Alpha GPC is a Choline-containing compound which can easily cross the blood-brain-barrier where it is converted into Acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter which is heavily involved in various cognitive functions (such as memory and attention) as well as muscle contraction.
Because it is one of the only Choline-containing compounds which can actually increase Acetylcholine in the brain, Alpha GPC is commonly used as a nootropic supplement. While those benefits are certainly worth noting, they are beyond the scope of this article.
Instead, we’ll focus on performance enhancement benefits of Alpha GPC which have now been observed in multiple studies.
Alpha GPC Increases Power Output
In a 2008 study published in the Journal Of The International Society of Sports Nutrition, researchers found that 600mg of Alpha GPC prior to exercise was able to increase peak bench press force. It’s worth noting that this study also measured growth hormone levels and found that Alpha GPC significantly amplified exercise-induced Growth Hormone release.
Similar results were obtained in a recent (2015) study published the same journal, this time utilizing a 6 day supplementation protocol using 600mg/day.
While it is certainly true that more research is needed to determine how exactly Alpha GPC increases power output (likely through increasing Acetylcholine levels), the preliminary evidence is no doubt in support of athletes and bodybuilders using Alpha GPC to increase power output during workouts.
Alpha GPC Dosing
In the studies discussed above, Alpha GPC was used at 600mg/day, so for all intents and purposes, this is the clinical dose. It is possible that higher doses may be more effective, or that lower doses still provide some benefit, but if you want to stick by the research, go with 600mg prior to your workout.
Alpha GPC Is Almost Always Under-Dosed!
Unfortunately, because Alpha GPC is relatively expensive, it is almost always under-dosed when it is included in multiple-ingredient pre-workout supplements. Most pre-workout supplements that contain Alpha GPC use only 150-300mg, so you would either need to take multiple servings or purchase additional Alpha GPC and add it in.
The Bottom Line On Alpha GPC
The research on Alpha GPC is still in a nascent stage, preliminary findings indicate that, when dosed appropriately, it is a highly effective performance enhancer. Unfortunately, most supplements contain far less than what can be considered a clinical dose of Alpha GPC.
If you want to increase power output during your workouts, ultimately leading to better workouts and greater strength gains, try supplementing with 600mg of Alpha GPC prior to exercise.
- Bellar, David, Nina R. LeBlanc, and Brian Campbell. “The effect of 6 days of alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine on isometric strength.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 12.1 (2015): 1-6.
- Ziegenfuss, Tim, Jamie Landis, and Jennifer Hofheins. “Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 5.1 (2008): P15.
- Lopez, C. M., et al. “Effect of a new cognition enhancer, alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine, on scopolamine-induced amnesia and brain acetylcholine.” Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 39.4 (1991): 835-840.