Alpha-GPC

1. What Is It?

Alpha-Glycerylphosphorylcholine, or Alpha-GPC for short, is a naturally occurring compound that is made up of phospholipids and choline. Choline is an essential nutrient that is required by the body to maintain our health. Phospholipids are a variation of lipid molecules that are the main component of cell membranes. Lipids are molecules that can be fats, waxes and even some vitamins. The phospholipid element of Alpha-GPC allows for extremely rapid uptake and superior bioavailability to other forms of Choline.

2. What Does It Do?

Alpha-GPC is known most as a Choline donor that helps enhance cognitive function, but there are more benefits we will get into later. Alpha-GPC, when consumed, is converted to phosphatidylcholine which is a source of choline for the body. The increased levels of choline then trigger the body to increase the production of Acetylcholine as well as cell membrane phospholipids. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that is used in many processes in the body and increasing Acetylcholine production is the key to Alpha-GPC’s benefits.

For an in-depth break down on the benefits of choline supplementation check out our Choline Supplements Simplified Article.

Alpha-GPC, just like any Choline based supplement, will yield the benefits experienced from increased choline levels in the body and thus increased production of Acetylcholine. But there are a number of factors that make Alpha-GPC different to the other Choline based supplements available.

Alpha-GPC’s Bioavailability

One of Alpha-GPC’s most valuable unique features is it's bioavailability. When you really look into different forms of similar ingredients, bioavailability is a massive factor; you can take as much of an ingredient as you physically can but if your body isn’t actually about to utilise it, then it's wasted.

As we mentioned earlier, Alpha-GPC is a combination of phospholipids and choline. It is the phospholipid element of Alpha-GPC that is responsible for extremely rapid uptake and superior bioavailability to other forms of Choline. This does make Alpha-GPC very effective for near instant effects when supplemented and also requiring a lower dose to elicit benefits.

Reversal of Age Related Neurodegeneration

As we grow older our brain’s chemistry changes, unfortunately for the worse. Reaction time, memory recall and general mood decline, brain cell membranes and structure weaken, acetylcholine levels, as well as nerve growth factor levels both decline. The good news is, Alpha-GPC can help.

Alpha-GPC has an impact on the development of cell membranes in the cerebral cortex. This is the part of the brain that is the information processing centre and has a major role in motor function, personality and intelligence. In a double-blind, placebo controlled study Alpha-GPC was given to people suffering from mild to moderate Alzheimers. Results showed that the subjects given Alpha-GPC showed consistent improvements in cognitive impairment over the 180 days compared to those who were given the placebo.

Muscular Power & Strength

One of the most exciting studied benefits of Alpha-GPC supplementation, for athletes, are the increases in muscular power and strength. As you would have learnt from our Choline Supplements Simplified Article; Choline, increases Acetylcholine production and that Acetylcholine is utilised in sending the messages in the body to allow us to contract our muscles. To put it real simple… more Choline, more Acetylcholine, better and stronger voluntary muscle contractions.

A study gave trained college-aged individuals 600 mg of Alpha-GPC for only 6 days, yes, ONLY 6 DAYS! They measured both upper and lower body isometric peak force before the study and again after the 6 days of Alpha-GPC. Both upper and lower body isometric peak force increased significantly after 6 days of 600 mg of Alpha-GPC.

Increased Natural Human Growth Hormone

Typically only associated with Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs), increased levels of Human Growth Hormone (HGH) can have huge performance benefits for athletes. Increased & faster recovery, higher energy levels and increased sense of well being are the most common associated with HGH. As we mentioned above, the PEDs that increase HGH are 99% prohibited in competition.

A randomized, placebo controlled, crossover design study gave men with at least 2 years of resistance training experience 600 mg of Alpha-GPC, or a placebo, 90 minutes before completing some resistance based exercises and then having hormone levels measured post exercise. From a single dose of 600 mg of Alpha-GPC, post exercise levels of Growth Hormone (GH) peaked at 44 times the pre-exercise level. Compared to the 2.6 times increase in the placebo group, it's safe to say Alpha-GPC had a significant effect on post exercise GH levels.

3. How Much Do I Need To Take?

Doses anywhere from 300 - 1,200 mg of Alpha-GPC have been shown to be effective. With that being said, majority of the studies that looked into the performance benefits of Alpha-GPC used a single dose of 600 mg once per day.

For general cognitive benefits 300 - 1,200 mg per day is effective. Ideally with the dosages being between 300 - 400 mg per serve spaced out across the day.

For performance benefits 600 - 1,200 mg of Alpha-GPC per day. Ideally supplemented before training or split up into multiple serves with at least 1 serve being before training.

For the neuroprotective benefits and potential treatment of cognitive diseases (Alzheimers Disease & Dementia) dosages of 1,200 mg of Alpha-GPC per day have been shown to yield positive effects in studies and trials.

4. When Do I Take It?

As with most ‘Nootropic’ ingredients, Alpha-GPC, is best taken at the usual times of day.

Morning

Midday / Early Afternoon

Before Exercise

For the performance benefits of Alpha-GPC consuming before training, either alone or in a pre-workout supplement will yield the highest benefits towards exercise performance. For general mental health and increased cognition supplementing with Alpha-GPC in the morning or before any mentally demanding task is ideal. Ensuring you are not taking Alpha-GPC too close to the end of the day as it may have an influence on sleep.

5. How Long Does It Take To Work?

Thanks to Alpha-GPC’s superior bioavailability and high potency, you will experience the benefits within the first 30 - 60 minutes after consumption. Even more impressive is the fact you will notice effects from your first dose of Alpha-GPC.

For effects such as increased exercise performance, the study looked at the benefits after only 6 days of supplementation. While we can say it can only take 6 days to see a significant effect, we aren’t certain as to whether any benefits in strength are seen after a single dose. Regardless, 6 days is hardly any time to have to ‘wait’.

6. What Are The Top Products?

The top products containing Alpha-GPC are:

Primabolics GRIND

Myoblox Skywalk

Sparta Nutrition Kraken Pump

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