Alpha-GPC 101: Benefits, Side Effects & Dosages

Written on November 7, 2022 by | Reviewed by William Gallagher, MNeuroSci

Alpha GPC has been found to prevent cognitive decline in aging, improve memory and learning, and increase athletic performance.

It is a precursor to the brain's most important neurotransmitter, acetylcholine.

Alpha GPC is more bioavailable than other types of choline for cognitive benefits, as it readily crosses the blood-brain barrier.

This makes Alpha GPG a good choice as a choline source among experienced nootropic users.

An Overview of Alpha-GPC

Alpha GPC is a kind of choline that your body produces in tiny amounts.

Organ meats, dairy, and wheat germ are all sources of it.

Choline is required for proper brain function, but if your body consumes more choline than it can synthesize, you'll need to get it from food or a supplement.

You require choline to manufacture the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. And to create phosphatidylcholine (PC), a component of cell membranes.

Choline is so important to cognitive and nerve function that we couldn't move, think, sleep, or remember anything without it.

Your body can use choline to make more acetylcholine, which is the neurotransmitter of memory and learning.

This has a result on both short-term memory and long-term memory.

It improves memory and learning by increasing the synaptic response between neurons in your brain.

This means that nerves communicate faster and more efficiently, which increases mental processing speed and improves overall cognition.

It also strengthens neural connections, which contribute to memory function and recall.

What is the difference between Alpha GPC and CDP-Choline?

Choline is a water-soluble vitamin that has an analog composition to B vitamins. Choline comes from alpha GPC, CDP-Choline, Choline Citrate, and Choline Bitartrate.

CDP-Choline (cytidine 5′-diphosphocholine) is found in 500 mg contains approximately 18% choline.

Your body makes CDP-Choline (Citicoline) from choline naturally. It's then changed to phosphatidylcholine (PC), which aids cell membranes, and helps to create acetylcholine.

Choline Bitartrate: A choline that is more cost-effective and approximately 40% choline by weight.

1 gram of Choline Bitartrate delivers 400 mg of real choline, as opposed to the 400 mg provided by 1 gram of Alpha GPC or CDP-Choline.

Alpha GPC: A type of choline that has a lot of benefits. Alpha GPC is produced naturally in your brain as a by-product of phosphatidylcholine (PC). It is readily absorbed by the body, with 40% choline content and a high potential to cross the blood-brain barrier.

Alpha GPC also has a synergistic effect when combined with other nootropics. This makes Alpha GPG a good choice as a choline source among experienced nootropic users.

How does Alpha-GPC work in the brain?

Alpha GPC promotes brain health and performance in a variety of ways.

However, two stand out in particular.

  1. Alpha GPC aids in the production of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter involved with memory and whole-brain function. Alpha GPC is a precursor to acetylcholine. The efficiency of neural communication between neurons in your brain is improved. This boost in neural signaling improves memory recall, learning ability, cognitive processing, and mental clarity.
  2. The impact of Alpha GPC on cell membrane development in the cerebral cortex is very significant. The outer layer of your brain's neural tissues, often known as "gray matter," is the information-processing center. It controls the intellect, motor function, organization, personality, planning, and touch.

As you might know, cell membranes play a critical role in the communication and interaction of brain cells (neurons) with one another.

The integrity and fluidity of these neuronal cell membranes are essential for proper neuron functioning, which affects other areas such as memory, cognition, and learning ability.

Alpha GPC supplementation improves neuron membrane structure by increasing fluidity and nutrient delivery. It also helps with the repair of damaged cell membranes.

These benefits not only improve brain health, but they can help to offset aging and even repair damage caused by aging.

What does Alpha-GPC do for your thinking skills?

An important part of intelligence is your memory capacity and learning ability.

Most people would agree that having a good memory and being able to learn new information is a part of how intelligent someone is.

Alpha GPC supplementation has been shown to help increase both memory capacity and learning ability.

In addition, it helps with the communication between your neurons, which makes processing easier and more efficient throughout your brain.

This can have a significant impact on IQ.

As you might know, acetylcholine is one of several neurotransmitters involved in thinking skills and memory capacity.

This is why Alpha GPC may be the supplement that you need to help develop a better memory and increase the ability to learn new things.

What are the overall benefits of using Alpha-GPC?

Alpha GPC has been proven to have the following benefits in scientific research from hundreds of studies:

  • Optimize cognitive function and memory
  • Re-establish the bioavailability of acetylcholine
  • Nerve growth factor receptors in the brain may be restored and enhanced
  • Increase the number of growth hormones in all age groups
  • Alzheimer's patients will benefit from improved cognitive performance and memory.

Alpha GPC is easily absorbed into your brain after ingestion. It improves signal transmission and protects neurons once it's there.

Alpha GPC supports brain function and learning processes by boosting acetylcholine synthesis and secretion. It's immediately required as your body requires it.

Alpha GPC is not a precursor to phosphatidylcholine (PC), but it is a metabolite of PC.

This implies that all that remains of PC after it has been broken down and removed of its fatty acids is Alpha GPC.

You feed your brain the precise sort of choline it requires, rather than going after its membranes for Alpha GPC.

As you can see, Alpha GPC is an excellent brain supplement to use for improving your memory and learning ability.

It also provides numerous physical benefits like increased growth hormone production, regeneration of cell membranes, and enhanced nerve growth factor activity.

These effects make Alpha GPC another highly effective nootropic on its own or as part of a stack.

Alpha GPC is equally as effective for staying sharp in your older years as it is when you are young.

Alpha GPC is the most popular choline compound used by both scientists and doctors.

This is because of its unique properties that have been shown to work by hundreds of studies.

How will Alpha-GPC make you feel?

Try coffee and 500 mg of Alpha GPC if you find it difficult to begin your day, instead of eating a high-sugar, high-carbohydrate breakfast as usual.

Alpha GPC can help you feel more energized which is why it's recommended to take 35 minutes before exercising.

It also keeps you mentally sharp for at least three hours, longer if you take a second dose.

When it comes to mood, Alpha GPC also helps to release serotonin, dopamine, and other neurotransmitters that play important roles in regulating your emotions.

Alpha GPC is an effective supplement for boosting energy levels. Your stress levels may be reduced as well.

However, if you take too much of it, you could feel jittery or anxious because the compound increases adrenaline.

What is the recommended Alpha GPC dosage?

The choline content of Alpha GPC is around 40% by weight.

So 1,000 mg of Alpha GPC contains 400 mg of choline.

  • The recommended dosage of Alpha GPC for cognitive benefits is 400 – 1,600 mg per day.
  • Before an exercise session, the recommended dose of Alpha GPC is 400 mg. Before working out in the morning, take 400 milligrams of Alpha GPC. Take another 400 milligrams 15 – 30 minutes before exercising.

For higher dosages, divide the daily Alpha GPC total into two or three doses per day. For example, 1,200 mg would be divided into 400 mg doses 3 times a day.

People over the age of 65 years should take a lower dosage because they might be sensitive to choline at this age.

Alpha GPC can be easily stacked with most other nootropics and smart drugs to boost the effects of these compounds.

What about the side effects?

Alpha GPC is considered to be safe.

Side effects are rare and are more likely to occur with high doses. These side effects include:

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Nervousness
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

This might be an indication that you have too much choline in your system.

Because many Biohackers find that Alpha GPC increases energy, it's best to avoid administering it late at night.

Bottom Line

Alpha-GPC is a highly bioavailable form of choline.

It helps protect your brain from cognitive decline and enhances memory, learning, reasoning, and information retention.

Since it also increases growth hormone levels, this nootropic is great for both men and women.

Alpha GPC protects your brain cells against age-related degenerative changes by increasing the number of cell membrane receptors for acetylcholine.

This cholinergic compound boosts your mental alertness, focus, attention span, clarity of thought, and memory.

It also enhances both short-term and long-term potentiation which is the cellular basis for learning and memory formation.

Alpha GPC is best taken in the morning or early afternoon.

If taken too late, it may keep you awake because choline tends to have stimulating effects.

Take anywhere between 400-1600 mg per day of Alpha GPC, depending on your needs.