Alpha GPC Review: Effects and Dosage
Alpha GPC or Alpha Glycerylphosphorylcholine which is also sometimes referred to as Choline Alfoscerate, is one of the many variations of choline supplements available today. In the last post we discussed the best sources of choline. AlphaGPC is a popular and effective source of choline and has a unique property of crossing the blood brain barrier easily, thus delivering superior results faster. It is purified from soy lecithin and is considered to be one of the best choline sources available today, read additional benefits of alpha gpc here. Additionally you can check our past write up on all the benefits of choline as well.
How does Alpha GPC work and what are its benefits?
Since Alpha GPC is water soluble and can easily cross the blood brain barrier, its results are experienced at a faster rate. But how does Alpha GPC really work inside our brain and body? Let’s get to knowhow Alpha GPC acts and what it’s benefits are to the human health.
Alpha GPC for enhanced cognition
One of the commonly sought benefit of Alpha GPC is its influence on an individual’s cognition. This may be attributed to its action on the cholinergic system. It increases the amount of available Choline, which then converts into an increased production of Acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is the neurotransmitter responsible for an individual’s memory, learning and mood. Moreover, it also has a vital role on one’s contraction of muscles, the regulation of the endocrine system, and REM or Rapid Eye Movement sleep cycles (1). Because Alpha GPC increases the levels of Acetylcholine, it may result in an enhanced cognition. This includes increased learning ability, enhanced memory formation, storage and recall, improved attention span and focus, and faster processing speed. Although Alpha GPC is a choline source, it is also considered to be a nootropic because of its cognitive-enhancing properties.
Researchers have also found that aside from the Cholinergic system, Alpha GPC acts on the Dopaminergic system as well. It serves to increase Dopamine levels in the cerebellum and prefrontal cortex of the brain. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter responsible for an individual’s memory and learning capabilities, attention, pleasurable reward, behaviour and cognition, and most especially for mood and sleep (5). With an increased level of this neurotransmitter, there will be a significant improvement in one’s mood and cognitive abilities. It may also be of great help to deal efficiently with stress, anxiety, depression, and even signs of OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
Alpha GPC also appears to have neuroprotective properties. It serves to protect our neurons from damage and helps maintain their health. In this way, there would be an improvement in the signal transmission or communication between the neurons and in the synapses.
The neuroprotective mechanism that Alpha GPC possesses may be attributed to its role in the integrity and structure of our cell membranes. This is because the other half of the Alpha GPC molecule, the glycerophosphate, is a precursor to membrane phospholipids and also plays a role on the repair and maintenance of the brain cell’s membranes. (2)
Alpha GPC increases Growth Hormone
Individuals who wanted to have a significant step up in their cognitive functions are not the only ones inclined to the use of Alpha GPC. Athletes, weight lifters, and other active professionals, are also looking to Alpha GPC as one of their important workout components. This is because studies have shown that Alpha GPC works with our pituitary glands by stimulating the production of Human Growth Hormone or Somatropin. Human Growth Hormone is a small protein that acts on many tissues throughout our body. In children and adolescents specifically, Human Growth Hormone stimulates the growth of bone and cartilage. While in people of all ages, it plays a role in the production of protein and in the utilization of fat. It also interferes with the action of insulin, raises blood sugar levels, and raises the levels of insulin-like growth factor-1 or IGF-1. (3)
Studies have shown that supplementing with Alpha GPC can increase muscle mass while reducing the amount of body fat in healthy adults. It also increases exercise capacity and bone density as well. There would also be an improvement in our cell’s growth, reproduction and repair. (4)
Is Alpha GPC safe to use?
Alpha GPC is known to be a safe supplement and is generally well-tolerated. However, if the choline source is impure or when used beyond the recommended dosages, it may produce some Alpha GPC side effects. These are generally mild and may include headaches, nervousness, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, gastrointestinal problems, decreased appetite, and increased sweating and salivation.
If these reactions are experienced, you might want to lower your daily dosage or cycle its use. For example, you may avoid taking Alpha GPC for a few days and return back to using it.
Alpha GPC Dosage
Generally the recommended dosage of Alpha GPC falls between 300 mg to 1200 mg. The most commonly used dose however, ranges from 300 mg to 600 mg. This daily dose may be divided and taken into multiple administrations if you wanted to have a more constant and sustained release of benefits. You may also take it once a day, normally in the morning since it acts as a stimulant. When taking it into multiple administrations, it would be best not to take Alpha GPC later than midday since it can interfere with your ability to sleep at night.
Knowing the right amount of Alpha GPC you need and when to take it would greatly be a factor in achieving the results you desire. When starting any new supplement such as Alpha GPC, it would be best to start first with the lowest possible effective dose and increase it gradually over time. Moreover, you might also want to consider consulting your doctor or healthcare provider first before starting with any new medication since a person’s condition and health status may play a role.
Stacking Alpha GPC
Working alone, Alpha GPC is already known to be very potent and has its own nootropic benefits. However Choline sources, in general, are a vital component to any nootropic stacks especially when it is paired with the family of Racetams. Click to read the benefits of Piracetam, Pramiracetam benefits, Phenylpiracetam benefits, Aniracetam, and Oxiracetam benefits.
Alpha GPC paired with a Racetam in a stack is one of the best deals today for your nootropic needs. But, how does Alpha GPC contribute to a synergistic effect to the Racetams? Piracetam, for example, works in our system mainly by influencing the cholinergic system. As a result, in order for it to act efficiently, it needs a steady supply of Acetylcholine. And this quality supply of Choline may be provided by Alpha GPC. In this way, the Alpha GPC-Piracetam stack works in both ways by enhancing cognitive function and by synergizing the effects of each other. Moreover when there is insufficient source of Choline, headaches may occur and is one of the most common side effects of the Racetams. With Alpha GPC at hand, you can surely reach your peak cognitive performance while preventing and/or minimizing the occurrence of headaches.
Since Alpha GPC is water soluble, it is fast acting and does not require a meal for a faster absorption. Although the powder form is the most popular one, Alpha GPC may also be administered intravenously.
Aside from the Racetams, Alpha GPC may also be stacked with other potent nootropics such as Noopept. Your personal stack would greatly depend on your own preference and your needs. However, we should take note that combining supplements needs a thorough understanding of each of the drugs you wanted to use. If you are not sure of your stack, you might want to consult your healthcare provider or do your researches first.
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