Alpha-GPC can create positive effects in both your brain and body.
It promotes cognitive functions and has the potential to enhance an athlete’s power output.
This cholinergic compound has properties that also prevents symptoms of cognitive decline, especially in pa-tients with Alzheimer’s disease.
What is Alpha-GPC?
Alpha-GPC is a supplement that contains the vitamin Choline, which in higher doses has been shown to produce nootropic pharmacological results.
Unlike other types of Choline, when Alpha-GPC is ingested orally it has the ability to improve the concentrations of Choline throughout the body and in the brain, resulting in potential benefits to both.
In normal users, Alpha-GPC can improve memory, and enhance the ability to learn new skills and information.
When combined at 1200 mg dose with traditional therapy to treat the cognitive disorder Alzheimer’s Disease, Alpha-GPC produces positive effects and has been shown to slow the rate of cognitive decline and the progression of the disease.
Physically, the supplement has shown promising results in the ability to enhance the production of growth hormone and is of interest to athletes looking to increase their power output and performance.
The supplement is sold throughout the US online and in drugstores over the counter without any restrictions. Like all supplements, it is not regulated by the FDA.
As a supplement, Alpha-GPC has a positive effect on slowing cognitive decline and has produced favorable results that require additional research and testing in regards to applications in sports performance.
Other names for Alpha-GPC
L-Alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine, Choline alfoscerate, a-GPC
Users report that Alpha-GPC is a great compliment to their nootropic stack. It helps them feel focused and alert, without giving them the jitters or making me anxious.
They’ve noticed an improvement in my short-term memory, and also feel that they more productive when taking the supplement.
I can definitely see how the science behind how Alpha-GPC works would make it a natural fit for older adults.
Those looking to improve their memory naturally without taking a prescription medication can use the supplement long-term to improve their clarity and memory.
An Alpha-GPC user reports:
“My husband and I are both in our 70’s and … we both have excellent cognition and mental alternates. We honestly believe that we function mentally above most of our peers… We strongly encourage others, especially seniors to use these products so that they can more fully enjoy all aspects of a full life.”
Some arguments have been made that by simply increasing the amount of Choline our diet, we could also see positive effects.
While Choline as a vitamin is available in a variety of foods, most notably eggs, it’s easier to consume the right dosage in a supplement form.
Additionally, in order to eat enough eggs to see the benefit (8-12 daily depending on the size and nutritional density of the egg), you may also see some negative side effects, like high cholesterol levels.
It would be possible to carefully calculate nutrients in your diet to increase your Choline, but taking an easily absorbed supplement like Alpha-GPC is a far simpler alternative.
There are no significant side-effects in taking Alpha-GPC other than a better attention span and the ability to recall details, names, and information quickly and correctly.
There are, however, some interactions when it’s combined with Scopolamine, so don’t take it if you’re also taking a medication to help with motion sickness or IBS.
Overall, Alpha-GPC may be a beneficial addition to help maintain and improve cognitive function a well-rounded supplement program.
(start at 2:19- the first part is slow, but the review is useful.)
There are no shortage of testimonials and support for Alpha-GPC as a both a brain and perfor-mance boosting supplement.
Blogger Love Finds Its Way chronicles her personal experience with the supplement saying:
“To be honest I have used Alpha-GPC, Neuro Peak, and Bio Energy. All these nootropic supplements help me to stay focused while writing long posts for my blog. Without using nootropic supplements, I don’t think its possible for me to write well researched lengthy articles especially in one go.”
Other sites name Alpha-GPC as top choice for “Supplements That All Bodybuilders Should be Taking” because of its performance enhancing benefits in the gym.
Benefits and effects
Alpha-GPC has a number of documented benefits to both the brain and the body including:
Alpha-GPC is best known for its memory enhancement and improvement functions. When the supplement delivers a high quantity of choline to the brain your body is then able to convert it to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which supports your body’s ability to form and recall memories.
In patients with memory loss due to degenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer’s, the effect is more profound. A higher dose has been shown to improve memory and attention tasks in most patients.
Protect brain health
As Alpha-GPC works to help the brain develop new cells and to repair those that have been damaged, the supplement also serves as a neuroprotectant with anti-aging properties.
In addition to slowing down the progression of dementia, Alpha-GPC may also aid in maintaining healthy brain tissue in younger users.
Increase power output during exercise
While there is still more research and testing to be done, a pilot study shows that participants who took Alpha-GPC 45-minutes before doing a strength test increased their output by 14%.
Whether you’re an athlete or an everyday exerciser, these results imply that you can see physical benefits from supplementing with Alpha-GPC in addition to the documented mental improve-ments.
By producing more power in movements during a workout, you can get fitter, faster and without having to work any harder during training sessions.
How It Works
Alpha GPC is made up of three elements, choline, glycerol, and phosphate and is a principal choline source.
As a water-soluble vitamin, it acts quickly and typically crosses the blood-brain barrier within an hour of orally taking the supplement.
The Choline is a precursor to the neurotransmitter responsible for enhancing cognitive functions like recall, memory formation, improved attention and focus, and the ability to learn, acetylcholine.
When you take Alpha-GPC you introduce a surplus of usable Choline into the system, al-lowing the body to stimulate production acetylcholine and produce the cognitive benefits.
As it relates to sports performance, Choline is thought to also have a positive influence on synaptic signaling allowing the body to more rapidly heal muscles thereby increasing strength and power.
While the boost received from Alpha-GPC is immediate, they will wear off between doses so the supplement is one best taken daily and long-term.
As neurologic development and preservation are things that happen over time, the short-term applications and results are less impressive than the long-term adaptations your body will make as a result of taking the supplement.
The recommended dosage instructions for Alpha-GPC depend on the goal of the user.
If you’re looking for the basic nootropic benefits, it’s recommended that you take between 300-600 mg daily.
As Alpha-GPC is one of the most effective sources of Choline available in supplement form (approximately 40% potency), you won’t need to take as large of a dose as you would with other nootropics.
If you have a cognitive disorder and are using the supplement to help improve the deterioration associated with the disease, a higher dose is recommended.
In clinical studies, participants showed improvement by taking 1200 mg per day divided into three 400 mg doses in the morning, at lunch time, and in the evening.
Choline is a notoriously unstable compound, but in pill form, it retains its potency better than as a powder.
Alpha-GPC has very few side effects reported by users. This is likely because it’s an essential nutrient to the body.
In rare cases, users may experience nausea, headaches, or insomnia, typically when the supplement is taken in extremely high doses.
Users with hypertension should consult their doctor before taking Alpha-GPC. Avoid taking Alpha-GPC if you are also taking scopolamine to help with motion sickness, nausea following a surgery, or to manage symptoms of IBS.
In scientific studies, it was found that a dose as high as 1636 mg in a 150-pound person admin-istered continuously over 90 days produced no adverse effects.
Alpha-GPC is capable of producing favorable results as a stand-alone supplement, but it’s also possible to stack it for additional benefits.
Commonly, Alpha-GPC will be stacked with Piracetam as they work in synergy to form a nootropic stack.
Combining the two allows the brain to become extremely efficiency at producing and converting the neurotransmitter Acetylcholine, potentially creating even more powerful cognitive benefits.
Additionally, Alpha-GPC can be safely stacked with acetylcholinesterase inhibitors prescribed to Alzheimer’s patients to help manage the disease.
There are a number of Choline supplements that have similar effects to Alpha-GPC. The three most notable are:
1. Choline Bitartrate
A Choline supplement with a higher concentration of Choline than what you find in food (though not quite as high as what is in Alpha-GPC), this vitamin is the best for converting into the neurotransmitter Aectylcholine.
While less expensive than Alpha-GPC, Bitartrate has one major drawback, it’s not as effective at crossing the blood-brain barrier.
As that is an essential step to the vitamin being utilized by the central nervous system, it’s not as effective at producing the nootropic effects.
Although not a source of Choline, Centrophenoxine has been shown to provide similar benefits to Alpha-GPC.
Created to mimic the structure of DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol), Centrophenox-ine can be taken as a stand-alone supplement shown to positively effect Aectylcholine production, or in combination with Choline for enhanced benefits.
Price-wise, the supplements are very comparable, though Alpha-GPC is just a few cents more per dose.
3. Citicoline (CDP Choline)
CDP Choline, also called Citicoline, is a slightly less expensive alternative to Alpha-GPC. In general, you’ll pay around $0.33 per dose of Alpha-GPC, and around $0.28 per dose of CDP Choline.
The main difference is how the body processes this supplement. In CDP Choline there is double conversion process, first digesting the supplement in the intestines and then supplying the Citicoline to the brain. As such, the effects can take longer to be observed.
Before deciding to use any supplement, it’s always a good idea to research and understand the pros and cons of each.
All of the above Alpha-GPC alternatives have merit. Though I prefer CDP-choline myself, you should look into which is the best solution to support your brain health.
Maintaining brain health while boosting memory and cognitive function is important for everyone.
Your mind is with you 24/7 as long as you’re alive, and it’s important to keep it healthy and active for as long as possible.
Alpha-GPC provides your brain and body with a concentrated dose of Choline in supplement form that would be very difficult to obtain through diet alone.
In doing so, your body then has access to the nutrition it needs to produce the neurotransmitter responsible for your memory.
Physically active users may also see benefits in addition to mental clarity as a result of the posi-tive impact that Alpha-GPC has on growth hormone production.
It can help users produce more power during a workout, resulting in faster results without more time spent in the gym.