As we grow older, we become increasingly vulnerable to age-related cognitive loss, which might include being diagnosed with neurological illnesses.
Forgetfulness can be a part of aging.
However, the good news is–scientists are working hard to discover advanced therapeutic options that can manage the latter illness.
One such supplement is Alpha GPC, also known as L-Alpha glyceryl phosphoryl choline, which is a nootropic known to boost memory, learning, focus, muscle gain, and power output in athletes, and help prevent age-related cognitive decline.
While this compound is found in small quantities in food, including eggs, liver, dairy, and cruciferous vegetables, supplementation can lead to higher activity and benefits in our bodies and brains.
Read through this Alpha GPC Review to discover more about this potent supplement!
What is Alpha GPC?
Chemically, this supplement is glyceryl phosphoryl choline which is made more lipophilic because of the addition of an added acetyl group, thus allowing it to easily cross the blood-brain barrier (1).
Owing to this ability to enter the brain, it works effectively for brain health and function.
Very few choline-containing supplements are able to cross over the blood-brain barrier – alpha GPC and citicoline are the two most effective supplements for this purpose.
It’s known to be one of the most bioavailable sources of choline on the market and augments not just brain choline levels but systemic concentrations of choline as well.
How Does it Work?
This supplement is a cholinergic compound, as it helps to increase concentrations of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh) in the brain.
ACh is important for memory formation, human growth hormone secretion, a healthy anxiety response, and the ability to focus.
When we consume choline from our diets, it is converted into ACh through a number of steps in our brains. The amount of ACh produced is dependent on how much choline is available, absorbed, and delivered into the brain.
One way to get around this limitation is by supplementing with alpha GPC.
Unlike other dietary and supplemental forms of choline, Alpha GPC is produced in our brains when cellular membranes containing choline are broken down. This basically means that when we supplement with this compound, it’s broken down in our brains and quickly converted into ACh.
Other studies have found this compound to increase dopamine, serotonin, growth hormone, and GABA levels.
Memory enhancement is what this nootropic is best known for. Till date, improvement in memory has been found mostly in animal studies and in elderly patients. The increase in ACh in the hippocampal region is mostly responsible for this advantage.
There is one study where it was found to help restore memory in healthy young participants following induced amnesia (2).
Protects the Brain
Alpha GPC has the ability to promote neurogenesis which is the growth and development of new brain cells, and repair cell membranes. Due to this property, it helps to protect cognitive function and brain health.
Increasing Growth Hormone
The gain in strength and muscle mass, as well as the reduction in fat, are mostly due to an increase in growth hormone (GH) generated by exercise.
This supplement has demonstrated the ability to boost exercise-induced serum GH and bench press force after supplementation of 600 mg 90 minutes before resistance exercise (3).
This increase in GH may help to improve power output in athletes, enhances the muscle-building potential of exercise, and help you recover more quickly from the gym.
Focus, Attention, Mental Energy, and Mood
In one study on alpha GPC, consumption led to an increase in frontal cortex and cerebellum dopamine levels while also uplifting frontal cortex and striatum serotonin levels. (3) A boost in these feel-good neurotransmitters may help to improve focus, energy levels, and mood.
The same study that implied the ability of this drug to improve memory impairment in healthy young participants also found a substantial effect on attention with increased attention in the treatment group (4).
These effects could be attributed in part to growth hormone, which is known to aid in the treatment of mood disorders such as sadness and anxiety as well as improving concentration and combating fatigue.
Additionally, many online users report enhanced focus and attention when taking this compound.
Protects Against Age-Related Cognitive Decline
In a meta-analysis of thirteen clinical trials, it was concluded that this drug helps to improve cognitive symptoms characteristic of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and stroke, among other age-related diseases linked to cognitive decline. (5)
The findings were so encouraging that the researchers deduced that future studies should be carried out to confirm the efficacy of this drug in helping patients with certain diseases to achieve functional recovery.
Anxiety and Depression
Having higher choline levels is negatively correlated with anxiety in humans (6).
This supplement may be able to assist in alleviating anxiety symptoms by supplying a source of choline for the brain. Healthy growth hormone levels are also known to help relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Other Potential Benefits
Studies have found that this compound may act to increase dopamine content in the brain, thus acting as a prospective treatment option for Parkinson’s disease (7).
It may also boost hepatic fat oxidation and may help reduce fat buildup in the liver (8). Limited evidence also suggests that it helps those with low iron levels by enhancing nonheme iron absorption as well (9).
It is known to boost energy if taken pre-workout as reported by user reviews. Additionally, it increases sex drive as well.
Neurohackers typically take anywhere from 300-600 mg per day of this nootropic. When it comes to specific conditions, such as age-related memory problems, the dosage is normally higher.
When it comes to cognitive decline, the dosage typical in studies is 1,200 mg divided into three doses throughout the day.
How to Use Alpha GPC?
Alpha GPC is a fast-acting, water-soluble molecule that many users claim to experience the mental effects in as little as one hour.
It’s best to take this supplement with food twice daily as it has a short half-life of 4-6 hours with a peak around 1-2 hours post-ingestion.
Safety & Side Effects
One of the most common side effects of this supplement is headaches. This is due to an overabundance of choline, which is often accompanied by dizziness. If you experience this side effect, it is recommended to take a couple of days off until you begin to feel better.
Other side effects include:
- Insomnia/sleep problems
- Low blood pressure
It is very important to know users’ experiences to be able to make the right decision at the end of the day that makes sure our body works at its optimum level.
One of the users, Robtobin1 says,
“Alpha gpc is underrated when ppl say it’s optional to dose it alongside racetams for headache prevention. On its own, it can really improve my workouts and motivation outside the gym. Alpha gpc and uridine are my fav mood enhancers.”
Reaper59 also talks briefly about Alpha GPC,
“The alpha gpc is absolutely awesome. I must have been deprived of choline because before I was groggy all day and had some low level of brain fog. I’ve just been taking the alpha gpc, l theanine, b complex, multi, and fish oil and I have been feeling absolutely great. My lifts at the gym have more energy, I can focus more easily, and I find I even have more motivation.”
Some other reviews are as follows:
“I’ve been experiencing the same effects as OP. Started taking 300mg of Alpha GPC on Monday of this week and cannot express enough how happy- as well as surprised- I am with this supplement.”
“I take 300 mg twice a day. Sometimes on weekends I forget to take it and my wife is convinced that it affects my mood. She says I seem happier when I take it. That along with noopept really helps me stay focused at work.”
From these reviews, we can infer that it is quite evident that this supplement has a large impact on our brain health.
Alpha GPC Stacks
As the most bioavailable form of choline, this supplement is a beneficial addition to many nootropic stacks.
Alpha GPC with Piracetam
Piracetam is one of the safest and most well-tolerated nootropics of the racetam family.
Piracetam works to improve cognitive function, motivation, mood, memory, learning, mental clarity and energy, and attention, and even enhance vision and sound quality. It largely acts through an increase in uptake of ACh.
In order for your body to create enough ACh for this racetam to be effective, it’s often necessary to include quality, highly bioavailable source of choline. Alpha GPC is a good choice since it is highly bioavailable and passes the blood-brain barrier quickly.
Many neurohackers who have used these two nootropics together report experiencing amplification by pairing them together – in other words, they seem to act synergistically to boost the benefits even more than would be expected by just adding the benefits of each together.
Taking this nootropic with piracetam can also help to avoid some of the side effects of piracetam alone, such as headache, which can occur when you do not have sufficient choline levels in your body.
Alpha GPC and Caffeine
Alpha GPC and caffeine can be a great combination when it comes to improving physical and mental performance. Each of the compounds on its own has been found to increase cognitive function and physical performance. Because they work through different pathways, their individual benefits can work well together.
Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, which helps to boost focus and energy. This nootropic’s energy and attention benefits can be used with the nootropic’s learning, memory, and exercise benefits.
In one study that examined a supplement made from alpha GPC, caffeine, and a few other compounds, it was found that college students experienced an improvement in reaction time, focus, and feelings of alertness following exercise-induced stress.
Uridine and Alpha GPC
The synergistic benefits between uridine and alpha GPC are widely known. When stacked together, they are known as “Mr. Happy Stack.” They work together to help boost mood, cognitive function, and energy levels. The one common problem that users report is a problem sleeping due to too much stimulation.
It is recommended to take roughly equal amounts of each nootropic. You can start with around 200 mg of each in the morning and slowly increase if desired. It is however best not to take this combination late in the day due to the increased energy.
Alpha GPC and Noopept
This nootropic is known to stack well with Noopept for the purpose of boosting mental energy, focus, mood, short- and long-term memory, and learning. Noopept belongs to the racetam family, and as such, draws heavily on the ACh reservoirs in the brain.
As a result, it’s critical to combine Noopept with a high-quality, bioavailable form of choline, such as alpha GPC.
Where To Buy Alpha GPC?
Because of the relatively large customer usage of Alpha GPC, you will possibly find this nootropic at almost all reliable online vendors.
Anyways, I have selected my personal favorite sellers and I would recommend buying from any of them!
Alpha GPC vs Other Nootropics
Citicoline vs Alpha GPC
Citicoline, also known as CDP choline, is another cholinergic nootropic that works largely by boosting ACh levels by supplying a source of choline for the brain. Both of these drugs offer similar nootropic benefits, including enhanced memory, learning, focus, and protection from age-related cognitive decline.
As some of the most bioavailable sources of choline on the market, these nootropics both perform exceptionally well as an addition to your nootropic stack.
This is especially true for the racetam nootropic family as these drugs increase the demand for ACh in the brain. Adding either of these supplements to your nootropic stack can intensify the nootropic benefits and improve common side effects, such as headache and fatigue.
But what is the difference between these two supplements? When it comes to the increase of ACh, CDP choline and alpha GPC act on opposite ends of the ACh synthesis process. Even though they take part in the same process, the metabolism of each is quite different.
Citicoline is the precursor to phosphatidylcholine. When you consume citicoline, it’s broken down into phosphatidylcholine. Some of this compound is then used to create ACh. Alpha GPC is actually a byproduct of phosphatidylcholine that is then used to create ACh.
What this means is that citicoline is closer to the original source of choline, and alpha GPC is much later in the process, closer to the form used to create ACh.
So which of these two nootropics is best? When evaluating the existing science and user reviews, there is no black-and-white answer to this question.
While there do exist two studies that would support the choice of alpha GPC over CDP choline, the evidence is very limited and not necessarily relevant to using these drugs orally as a nootropic.
As both of these compounds have been shown to be effective and well-tolerated, the best way to decide which is best for you is to test them out yourself and see which best yields the benefits you’re looking for.
Alpha GPC vs Choline
Choline, generally in the form of bitartrate, is the basic form of choline for the body. While it’s the cheapest source of choline available and can help boost choline levels in the body, it does not appear to have the same impact on the concentration of choline in the brain.
What this means is that this supplement can benefit overall health, particularly that of the liver, however, it does not boast nootropic and other cognitive benefits.
Another common form of choline is choline citrate, and the benefits are similar to those of bitartrate.
Both alpha GPC and bitartrate are about 40% choline by weight, however, the former provides a choline source that passes through the blood-brain barrier, thus extending its benefits to the cognitive realm.
If you’re looking to boost your cognition and are looking for a choline source that’s also a nootropic, the extra cost of alpha GPC is well worth its benefits.
Alpha GPC vs Alpha Lipoic Acid
Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is a sulfur-containing fatty acid that easily crosses the blood-brain barrier. It acts as a powerful antioxidant known to help protect against depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.
In the brain, it reduces inflammation and works to flush heavy metals. It’s also known to improve mental energy by increasing glucose uptake in your brain cells.
Both alpha GPC and ALA increase ACh concentrations in the brain, however, they do so in a very different manner. While the former provides a source of choline that can be used as a precursor to ACh, the latter both boosts the production of and decreases the breakdown of ACh in the brain.
It has been shown to decrease acetylcholinesterase, an enzyme responsible for the breakdown of ACh, and activate choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), boosting the production of ACh.
In order for ALA to increase the production of ACh, it needs sufficient choline in the brain to do so. This is where alpha GPC comes in: it provides a highly bioavailable form of choline, and then ALA helps to increase the synthesis of ACh from choline. If you want to boost the nootropic effects of both supplements, combining the two is a great way to do so.
Alpha GPC vs Phosphatidylserine
Phosphatidylserine is a supplement that has been linked to reducing cortisol levels and stress, helping boost focus for those with ADHD and ADD, improving symptoms of bipolar disorder, and protecting against age-related cognitive decline.
It is both an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. While not cholinergic, it too is involved in the ACh pathways.
One study found a supplement containing alpha GPC, phosphatidylserine, and caffeine increased both reaction time, attention, and feeling of alertness in healthy college students undergoing acute stress.
This study suggests benefits for nootropic stacking alpha GPC and phosphatidylserine.
Is Alpha GPC Legit?
We, as humans, regard the brain as a strong organ for doing daily activities, and as a result, we seek ways to develop and improve the way our brain functions.
This is when nootropics play a great role.
In all, Alpha GPC is one such supplement that not only sharpens memory but also relieves a person from anxiety and depression.
Well in my opinion, if you really want to allow the brain to function at its optimum level and help amplify the effect of other smart drugs, Alpha GPC is a go-to supplement and I am confident you will not be disappointed.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take for Alpha-GPC to kick in?
A-GPC is effective at increasing lower body force production after 6 days of supplementation
Should you take Alpha-GPC every day?
When taken in one or two doses, a cumulative daily dosage of 300-1200 mg is safe and effective.
Does Alpha-GPC affect sleep?
It doesn’t negatively affect sleep quality, so there is no need to avoid taking it at night.
What does Alpha-GPC do to the brain?
It enhances the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and eases learning and memory.
Does Alpha-GPC raise blood pressure?
Alpha GPC may widen blood arteries and reduce blood pressure because it has a vasorelaxant effect comparable to acetylcholine.
Do you build tolerance to Alpha-GPC?
After extended and frequent use of alpha-GPC, tolerance to its effects develops.
Does Alpha-GPC increase muscle mass?
According to research, alpha-GPC is a fantastic approach to boosting muscle power output and hormones that promote muscle growth.
What food sources contain Alpha GPC?
Abundant food sources of choline include beef liver, eggs, fish, nuts, cauliflower and broccoli. Choline can also be taken as a supplement, of which CDP-choline and Alpha-GPC seem to be the best types.