Alpha-GPC is a popular nootropic supplement that can enhance your memory and physical performance.
Alpha-GPC is a type of choline— a class of nutrients that your body makes naturally. Your brain uses cholines to build stronger brain cells, strengthen brain pathways, and increase levels of certain neurotransmitters. There’s also evidence that alpha-GPC can boost your physical performance, making it a popular pre-workout supplement.
Here’s a look at alpha-GPC’s benefits, side effects, and dosage, and how you can use it to perform better in your daily life.
What Is Alpha-GPC?
L-alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine (alpha-GPC) is a natural choline compound that your brain produces.
Choline is an essential nutrient that you get from your diet. It’s abundant in chicken, fish, beef, eggs, and nuts. However, about 90% of Americans are deficient in choline, which makes supplementing a good idea for most people.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6566660/
Alpha-GPC is an excellent choice as a choline supplement. It’s easy to absorb and it passes the blood-brain barrier, which means it reaches your brain and can enhance cognition.https://www.jns-journal.com/article/S0022-510X(07)00059-7/fulltext It’s also a precursor to acetylcholine— a neurotransmitter that influences your muscle control, memory, and stress response. Alpha-GPC’s ability to increase acetylcholine levels could explain some of its main benefits.
Benefits of Alpha-GPC
Choline supplements in general are good performance enhancers. They provide raw materials that your brain uses to insulate brain cells, protecting them from damage and allowing them to send information more efficiently.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25524711/
Alpha-GPC is good as a general choline supplement, but it also has a few unique benefits that make it stand out compared to other forms of choline.
1. Better Physical Performance
Research suggests that alpha-GPC is a good way to enhance your muscle power output and increase the hormones that promote muscle growth.
A 2015 study found that people who took alpha-GPC daily saw a significant increase in muscle strength after 6 days.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4650143/
Another study found that alpha-GPC increased growth hormone secretion and fat oxidation in healthy young adults.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22673596/ Human growth hormone (HGH) promotes muscle growth, as well as fat loss and faster muscle recovery.
Alpha GPC works differently for everyone depending on their
2. Improved Memory
Alpha-GPC is currently in clinical trials as a way to treat Alzheimer’s Disease, with promising results for reducing or reversing symptoms. One large-scale study found that participants with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s Disease saw a continuous, significant reversal of symptoms after taking alpha-GPC for 180 days.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12637119/
Choline is an essential part of myelin sheaths, the fatty insulation that surrounds your brain cells and keeps them working properly.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25524711/ Researchers believe alpha-GPC’s ability to rebuild myelin sheaths may contribute to its protective effect against memory loss.
So far, there hasn’t been any research on alpha-GPC and memory in healthy adults. However, alpha-GPC is a popular supplement in the nootropic community, where people report (anecdotally) that it’s good for memory and enhanced mental focus.
Alpha-GPC Side Effects and Interactions
Alpha-GPC is generally well-tolerated, with few to no side effects in the vast majority of people. That said, this is not medical advice, and you should always talk to a health professional before adding a new supplement to your routine.
The only known drug interaction with alpha-GPC is scopolamine, a motion sickness drug. Scopolamine blocks acetylcholine activity in the brain, which helps with motion sickness, and alpha-GPC may increase acetylcholine levels and make scopolamine less effective.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1662399/
Most research uses a dose of between 250-500mg of alpha-GPC. If you’re going to use alpha-GPC as a nootropic or physical enhancer, this range seems to provide significant benefits without any side effects. Again, talk to your doctor before taking new supplements.
Alpha-GPC is water-soluble, so you can take it with or without food. You’ll absorb it well either way.
Alpha-GPC is a popular nootropic supplement. It’s a type of choline— an essential brain nutrient— and research suggests that it could enhance your muscle strength and human growth hormone levels, and that it could be good for preserving memory and reducing risk of dementia.
There are few to no risks involved with taking alpha-GPC, and because most Americans are deficient in choline, it could be a good choice for balancing your nutrient levels, as well as enhancing your cognition and physical performance.
If you want to learn more about compounds that upgrade your brain function and make you a sharper, more effective version of yourself, consider taking this nootropics quiz. It will recommend a custom nootropic formula, based on your unique goals and brain function.