I have been experimenting with Alpha-GPC now for a few weeks, and have found it to be a double edged sword, there are many actual benefits to it that I can now report as having experienced and there are some odd side effects that I was not aware of from my cursory initial research on the NET.
Dosages start at a recommended 300mg, and at this dosage the vast majority of research available tends to suggest that there is minimal benefit, supplement companies however tend to suggest otherwise, I am always sceptical of these though as the dosages that they claim (on the whole but by no means all) always seem to fall conveniently into the dosage contained in their capsules, this is of course to give a false impression of the potency and the value for money that you are receiving, for example, most capsules are 300mg and that is a serving size but it is recommended that you take 2 to 3 servings a day, at which point the 60 capsules that you thought were a 60 supply are now 30 or less.
However that is a digression and the purpose of this article is to explain the perceived benefits of Alpha-GPC and which of these I am able to confirm based on my own experimentation with the substance.
As with most supplements the claims seem to vary dependant upon the audience as opposed to the product in question, there are however many claims made about Alpha-GPC supplementation and I have listed some of these below.
- Mental Acuity – Studies have shown that supplementation with Alpha-GPC does increase mental agility and cognitive function, indeed in larger dosages it is used in the medical industry to help treat Alzheimer’s disease and with some success.
- Improved Vitality – Increased strength and durability during exercise or just a general feeling of energy during daily life.
- Growth Hormone Release – Studies have shown that as well as acting as a mild stimulant Alpha-GPC can lead to an increased release of growth hormone post workout, this could lead to quick muscle gains and leaner body composition.
- Protection for the Brain Against Aging – A lot of studies tend to extol the benefits of regular Alpha-GPC intake to help keep the brain healthy as we age.
This is just some of the benefits that have been publicized, and while I cannot personally vouch for the long term effects on brain ageing I can relate my personal experience and of course share the research that I find.
Power and Performance
This study tests the effect of 600mg daily for 6 days on college age males, it concluded that after the 6 days, there was a 3% increase in lower body force, they also found that there was an increase in upper body force but this failed to attain statistical significance, they do note however that it followed the same trend. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4650143/
further, the below site gives a very good overview of Alpha GPC and has some more information with regard to the increased cognition benefits.
As for my own experience, I started on 300mg in the morning taken with Coffee as a lot of evidence suggests that this is a compound that works very well when stacked with others, Caffeine of course is a fond favourite and it seemed fitting,
Now it is true that I am far from college age, it is also true that the majority of research for some reason is centred around people of that age, but one of the major effects that I was looking to achieve was the increase in HGH the cognitive enhancement was also hugely desirable, but after reading the study here I was alarmed at the rate of decline in HGH production after the age of 30 (15% per decade) and the effect this has on how we age.
I can report that initially I did feel a little uneasy after taking Alpha-GPC, not frantic just unsettled, but this soon wore off and I did genuinely feel more focused and a lot clearer in my thought patterns, and this did extend into a good few hours, now I unfortunately am a person that often applies the principal “if this much has this effect then surely more would be better” (for the record this is a flawed concept and particularly in this case as you will see)
Dosages range as I said from 600mg to 1200mg and I had started on only 300mg so the following day I upped this to 600mg in one dose and waited, I felt unwell! there was an odd reaction in my skin that started to have a burning sensation and I did get a headache, however my concentration was very focused and once the symptoms of my larger dose settled down I was able to get through a greater volume of work than normal, now this reaches peak concentration in the body after around 30 to 45 minutes and then has a half life of 4 to 6 hours, so this day due to my schedule I was unable to test this before going to the gym, as the suggestion is that Alpha-GPC is taken 30 minutes prior to training at a dose of around 600mg, and I was not ready for another bout of the headache that had plagued me previously let alone while trying to train!
So the following day I did not take any in the morning and simply had 600mg (two capsules) 45 minutes before training with my Coffee / Coconut oil combination, well the effect was amazing!, I mean it could have been coincidence but I have tried training with and without since and the response is both predictable and reliable, strength was up, not by a massive amount but noticeable, the main gain was endurance, I was able to plough through my workout quickly and efficiently managing to add another 6 sets to each muscle group trained, and the energy felt boundless, when I finished at the gym my hunger was increased and I did not feel that completely mentally exhausted feeling that I normally have, it should be noted that my normal training routine includes taking no longer than a minute or 90 seconds in between sets, I prefer to get through the workout and get out of the gym to grow !
I have yet to see the benefits from fat loss but I have noticed that I have more definition then I did prior to starting Alpha ( I have been using it now for about 3 weeks at the time of writing) but this could be a result of my general focus on calorie restriction and that I am still trying to shift the layers of fat that years of bad decisions has laid upon me.
As most of these types of articles are written purely from the prospective of the gender of the writer I felt that I should address that in this article by adding the research that I have found for female use of Alpha-GPC, the truth is that I was unable to find anything that related particularly to women on this occasion, there are several warnings about the lack of research on pregnant women, and so the advice to is to avoid it if that is the case, but ultimately it operates at a gender agnostic level, the benefits seem to be provable for both sexes and there are no worries such as testosterone supplementation in women to consider, my wife is currently considering trying it so hopefully when she does I will be able to come back and report her findings here as well.
My conclusion is that Alpha-GPC did live live up to many of the claims that attracted it to me in the first place, I would highly recommend it and if you would like to use the same brand as me it can be found on amazon here failing that just google and you will find many retailers, a word of caution though, start slowly, this is a substance that I found to have a period of adjustment when first using it, and the side effects of over dose are many and completely counter to the positive effects you are trying to achieve, such as headaches, fatigue, confusion and irritability, but for the strength and concentration gains this is a definite winner for me and I will continue experimenting with it!