Alpha GPC is a Choline supplement derived from soy. It is the most concentrated supplement source of Choline, which is a B-Vitamin found in fish and is used in brain-development and memory function.
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The first step to optimising your cognition is to take either Alpha GPC or CDP Choline every day.
Alpha GPC is the most concentrated supplement source of Choline, which is a B-Vitamin found in limited quantities in fish and eggs. Compared to CDP Choline (the second most popular Choline supplement), Alpha GPC contains twice as much Choline.
For people who don't already take a Choline supplement on a daily basis, taking either CDP Choline or Alpha GPC (the 2 most popular Choline supplements) is the first thing you should do to upgrade your cognition.
They both contain the Choline B-Vitamin, which is one of the most widely researched cognitive enhancing nutrients. It "feeds" several of the brain's nutrition-dependent processes underlying memory, brain development, focus, attention and essentially all areas of cognition.
"Choline is essential for neurodevelopment and brain function." (University of Oxford - link to study)
Because of Choline's integral role in brain development, we recommend that everybody take either Alpha GPC or CDP Choline on a daily basis.
Benefits: Memory, Brain development, Focus, Physical power
Actions: Alpha GPC contains Choline, which is used to (1) create the learning neurotransmitter Acetylcholine and (2) build and repair neurons (brain-cells).
Dietary sources: Choline is found in fish, eggs and chicken. Alpha GPC is derived from soy.
Who should take it: Nearly everybody - 90% of people do not get the recommended daily Choline intake levels from their diet.
Quality of studies: Robust human research with overwhelmingly positive results from research centers around the world. Over 35,000 publications on Pubmed.
Time to effect: Long-term beneficial effects on brain development and memory which might not be immediately noticed.
Combines well with: Uridine, Caffeine, DHA (found in omega-3 capsules)
Avoid combining with: Other Choline supplements as too much Acetylcholine can cause nausea.
Recommended dose: 500mg - 1000mg per day (more information on this below)
Cycling: Not required. Daily Choline intake is recommended.
Studies on Brain Development:
Choline is a naturally occurring B-Vitamin found in egg yolks and fish that provides the "raw materials" used in 2 nutrition-dependent brain processes:
Choline is used in the creation of the Acetylcholine neurotransmitter, used for communication between neurons (brain cells). (University of North Carolina - link to study)
Choline is used to build and repair the outer layer of neurons called their cell membranes. (University of North Carolina - link to study)
Without regular Choline intake, these processes are slowed down. Neuroscience research centres are in agreement that "Choline is essential for neurodevelopment and brain function." (University of Oxford - link to study)
Studies on Memory and Learning:
The Acetylcholine neurotransmitter plays a significant role in communicating information to the memory region of the brain (the hippocampus).
As well as increasing Acetylcholine levels, Alpha GPC has been studied to also increase levels of Protein Kinase C (PKC), which is a protein used during long-term potentation. This is when the repeated connections between neurons form long-term memories. (University of Milan - link to study)
1,371 healthy men and women saw improvements in verbal and visual memory. (Boston University School of Medicine - link to study)
Improved immediate memory-recall for healthy men aged 18-39. (University of Milan - link to study)
Higher concentrations of Choline are associated with better executive function, global cognition, sensory motor speed and perceptual speed. (University of Oslo - link to study)
A summary of 13 placebo-controlled trials with 4,000 human volunteers found 3 months of Choline supplementation improved memory task performance by an average of 15.6%. (University of Perugia - link to study)
Studies on Focus and Concentration:
Because Choline promotes overall brain connectivity and encourages the release of the motivation neurotransmitter dopamine, studies have shown it to increase levels of focus.
Improved attention among healthy young women. (University of Utah - link to study)
Improved mental energy by as much as 14%. (McClean Hospital & Harvard Merdical School - link to study)
Increases dopamine release, the motivation neurotransmitter. (Trabucchi M. - link to study)
Increases the sensitivity of the dopamine receptors. (University of Barcelona - link to study)
Brain scans showed that people with higher dopamine levels tend to be "go-getters" and work harder. People with lower dopamine levels tend to be "slackers". (Vanderbilt University - link to study)
Studies on Power and Athletics:
1000mg of Alpha GPC was studied to significantly increase growth hormone after 65 minutes of ingestion (Ritsumeikan University - link to study).
600mg of Alpha GPC 45 minutes before training increased athlete power output by 14% as assessed by bench throws. (Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition - link to study)
"Alpha GPC is effective at increasing lower body force production after 6 days of supplementation. Sport performance coaches can consider adding A-GPC to the diet of speed and power athletes to enhance muscle performance." (Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition - link to study)
Instructions on How to Take Alpha GPC:
The Recommended daily Choline intake: The Linus Pauling Institute and the US institute of Medicine recommend that only a daily basis, men should get 550mg and women get 425mg of Choline.
Calculate your current Choline intake: Roughly work out your daily Choline intake from your diet using this official calculator. Most of our UK customers typically get about 200mg of Choline per day from their diet.
Understand how much Choline Alpha GPC gives you: Alpha GPC is 40% Choline by weight, which means that each 250mg Alpha GPC capsule would give you 100mg of Choline, 1 gram of Alpha GPC powder would give you 400mg of Choline and 1 gram of Alpha GPC 50% powder would give you 200mg of Choline.
Take your Alpha GPC: Take your Alpha GPC on a daily basis at different times of day (with gaps of 4-6 hours) to meet the recommended daily Choline intake. Alpha GPC has a half-life of 4-6 hours (this is how long it lasts in your body), which is why you should take it throughout the day instead of all at once.
Finding your optimal dosage: Some people have seen better results from exceeding the "official" recommended dose. According to Dr. Steven Zeisel, 10% of men would be better served by getting 850mg/day of Choline. All of our bodies break down Choline at different rates, so some people may need more.
Knowing your limit: If you produce too much Acetylcholine from too much Choline intake, you will get a headache or experience brain-fog. This won't last long, but it's a good indication of what your "limit" is.
Should you choose Alpha GPC over CDP Choline?
CDP Choline is also a favourite for Choline supplementation. Essentially, it serves the same purpose as Alpha GPC, since it's also a Choline supplement. It's best to choose either one or the other, because too much Acetylcholine can cause nausea and "brain fog".
1. Alpha GPC contains more Choline versus CDP Choline:
Alpha GPC is 40% Choline by weight, whereas CDP Choline is 18.5% Choline by weight.
250mg of Alpha GPC would provide 100mg of Choline. 250mg of CDP Choline would provide 46mg of Choline.
For strictly Choline supplementation, Alpha GPC tends to be the more popular choice.
2. Alpha GPC has a shorter half-life versus CDP Choline:
Alpha GPC lasts 4-6 hours in the body, whereas CDP Choline lasts 60-70 hours.
As a result, CDP Choline accumulates in the system, which is why you take a lower dose.
3. CDP Choline also breaks down into Uridine:
This is the reason why CDP Choline is only 18.5% Choline by weight. It's essentially a 2-in-1 supplement.
Uridine is a powerful nootropic on its own, with motivation and brain development benefits that synergise well with Choline.
But...You could always just buy Uridine and stack it with Alpha GPC.
In the end, it's usually down to personal preference and trying both to see which one works best for you. Alpha GPC and CDP Choline are both fantastic Choline supplements with numerous studies behind them. Regardless of which one you decide to take on a regular basis, the research suggests that your brain-development, memory, and overall cognition will see great benefits.
A study which tested people with both Alpha GPC and CDP Choline found both to work well at improving cognition, but concluded that "alpha-GPC possessed a statistical higher efficacy and an overall more satisfactory activity." (University of Messina - link to study)
What combines well with Alpha GPC?
1. Uridine - Great to stack for the long-term - Studies at MIT revealed that Uridine synergizes extremely well with Choline by increasing the production of neuron cell membranes (link to study). Other research has shown that the combination improves spatial awareness and selective attention (link to study). Uridine is also a known motivation enhancer because it releases the dopamine neurotransmitter. You can find Uridine at our store here.
2. Caffeine - MIT and Cambridge found that Caffeine allows more Choline be absorbed and thus increases Acetylcholine release because it is a non-selective phosphodiesterase inhibitor. "Coadministration of caffeine with choline significantly increased ACh release after each of the choline doses tested." (link to study). We don't sell Caffeine on its own, but we do sell Caffeine + L-Theanine, which is a focus enhancing 2-in-1 supplement. This would work great with Alpha GPC too.
3. DHA (found in Omega-3) - Similar to when combining Alpha GPC with Uridine, combining it with DHA has been seen to provide memory and learning benefits. We don't sell DHA yet, but we will soon. (MIT - link to study)
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