Alpha-GPC: An In-Depth Review
Alpha-GPC stands for Alpha-glycerophosphocholine and is a supplement that contains choline. You can find choline naturally in egg yolks, Alpha-GPC is just a slightly more efficient way to ingest choline. There are many benefits to supplementing with Alpha-GPC, some of which have a lot of evidence behind them, while others are slightly more speculator. In this article we will take a look at these benefits, while also paying attention to ideal dosage, and the potential side effects.
Benefits of Supplementing with Alpha-GPC
Alpha-GPC is mostly popular with the Nootropics crowd, people who take supplements to boost their cognitive function. There is actually quite a lot of evidence to support this, with numerous studies showing that Alpha-GPC supplementation can prevent cognitive decline in the elderly. It has also been shown to reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
But this doesn’t mean that Alpha-GPC doesn’t also benefit the young, there is quite a lot of evidence that Alpha-GPC will help improve decision making, long and short term memory, and focus. It has also been shown to increase power output, making it a great sports supplement, specifically found in top pre-workout supplements.
A 2008 study by Ziegenfuss, Landis, & Hofheins found that men who received 600mg of Alpha-GPC 45 minutes before a strength training session had a 14% improved power output. It also led to an increase in growth hormone output in relation to exercise .
Other studies have also found evidence of increased growth hormone after ingestion, they have also noted that fat oxidation (burning of fat for energy) increased . This means that supplementing with Alpha-GPC can not only increase your strength and power, but may also help you burn more body fat after a workout. The increased growth hormone release will also allow for better recovery after a workout.
There is limited evidence that Alpha-GPC may reduce fatigue, whether this is the case or not remains to be seen but taking it as part of a pre-workout supplement combined with guaranteed fatigue removing ingredients (such as caffeine and essential amino acids) will definitely help you train harder and for longer.
What is the Ideal Dosage?
The dosage for Alpha-GPC is around 600mg, this is enough for people to increase their power output while training. For cognitive enhancement, studies seem to indicate taking three doses of 400mg daily.
Are there any Side Effects?
There does not appear to be any side effects whatsoever to supplementing with Alpha-GPC, but that does not mean you should play fast and loose with the dosage. Stick to the 600mg per day for performance, or 1200mg per day for cognitive enhancement.
The Bottom Line
Alpha-GPC could be one of the most underrated supplements on the market right now, with benefits both in the gym and outside it you’d be mad to pass up an opportunity to try it. The complete lack of side effects is also a big plus. If using Alpha-GPC for the gym take it around 45 minutes before a workout, around the same time that you would take your pre-workout supplement.
 Ziegenfuss, T., Landis, J., Hofheins, J. 2008. Acute supplementation with alpha-glycerophosphocholine augments growth hormone response to, and peak force production during, resistance exercise. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 5(Suppl 1): P15
 Kawamura, T., Okubo, T., Sato, K., Fujita, S., Goto, K., Hamaoka, T., Iemitsu, M. 2012. Glycerophosphocholine enhances growth hormone secretion and fat oxidation in young adults. Nutrition 28(11-12): 1122-6