Alpha-GPC supports brain health and memory

Alpha-GPC Benefits, Uses and More

Want to make sure you're keeping your cognition in tip-top shape as you age? Are you thinking about what you can do to level up your gym goals? Want to support optimal mental clarity? You might want to make sure you have enough of cognition-supporting alpha-GPC.

In this blog, we're talking about what alpha-GPC is, the health benefits it offers, what an appropriate dosage might look like, and how you can get more of it.

What is alpha-GPC?

Alpha-GPC is a compound that contains choline, a nutrient found in foods like eggs and soy. We produce some of this essential nutrient on our own, and of course, there are also alpha-GPC supplements. The reason why people want to get an optimal amount of choline is because it is used in the production of acetylcholine in the brain. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter (meaning a chemical messenger made by the body) that is specifically known for encouraging memory and learning functions.

Incidentally, alpha-GPC is actually just a nickname! Its full name is L-alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine. Another way people refer to this compound is choline alfoscerate.

Whatever you call it, this water-soluble, choline-containing compound's health benefits all pertain to its neurotransmitter support. When you have the right levels of acetylcholine in your brain, you enjoy certain perks. Let's dive in to see what those are.

Health benefits of alpha-GPC

Here’s how supplementing with alpha-GPC might be able to help support your best health.

1. Alpha-GPC may support cognitive function

Want to stay brainy for the long term? Research tells us that alpha-GPC might help you maintain cognitive function, especially as you age. This is because the neurotransmitter acetylcholine is an important part of supporting a variety of healthy cognitive processes.

2. Alpha-GPC might help maintain your memory

The hippocampus—a small region of the brain that plays a large role in learning and memory—relies on acetylcholine to help protect your ability to remember things. Supplementing with alpha-GPC helps encourage overall memory health.

3. Acetylcholine can encourage positive mental health

Research suggests that healthy levels of choline (and thus acetylcholine), can help you feel calmer and more at peace. And considering that your mood can impact both your mental and physical health in other ways, being able to maintain a good mood can pay dividends.

4. It might support your athletic endeavors

If you participate in any sports that demand speed and power—like sprinting or weightlifting—alpha-GPC might be a smart nutrient to take for your physical performance.

In one study of healthy college-aged males, those who took A-GPC had improvements in their strength after 7 days. The study also found that A-GPC increased serum levels of choline after supplementation. In other words, A-GPC helped increase their power output.

5. Alpha-GPC might support growth hormone secretion

Growth hormones serve several important roles. For instance, it influences our height and helps maintain our muscles and bone health. Growth hormones even maintain levels of fat and tissue in the body. It's also involved in our metabolism, promoting already-healthy blood sugar levels.

Alpha-GPC may support growth hormone secretion and maintain healthy levels in the body. Age-related changes can impact growth hormone levels though, so making sure you're getting enough alpha-GPC is a good idea.

Is Alpha-GPC a Nootropic?

Yes, alpha-GPC is considered a nootropic. A nootropic is a type of substance that can support brain function and cognitive performance.

Also worth noting: another example of a nootropic is pregnenolone, which supports your cognitive health, just like alpha-GPC. Talk about a dynamic duo!

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What foods have alpha-GPC?

If you can consume more foods that contain a higher content of choline—which alpha-GPC is a precursor of—then you can help maximize the benefits of an L-α-glycerylphosphorylcholine supplement. And luckily, there are plenty of foods to help you get enough. The USDA recommends getting your choline from these healthy sources:

  • Eggs (both the white and the yolk, although most of the choline is in the yolk): About 146 mg of choline
  • Fish like salmon and cod: 75 mg of choline
  • Soybeans (an excellent plant-based source): 39 mg
  • Beef: About 58 mg to 110 mg of choline, depending on the type of beef
  • Chicken: About 32 mg to 151 mg, depending on the type of chicken
  • Turkey: About 23 mg to 95 mg of choline, depending on the type of turkey
  • Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli (23 mg to 30 mg), cauliflower (37 mg), and cabbage (6 mg to 20 mg)
  • Almonds: 72 mg of choline
  • Cottage cheese: Between 18 mg to 26 mg of choline

But, if you can't find a food-based choline source that works for your diet and lifestyle, supplementation is easy!

How to take alpha-GPC

Supplementation is a convenient way to encourage the levels of alpha-GPC in your body. Make sure you choose a supplement with a dosage of around 250 mg of alpha-glyceryl phosphoryl choline per serving to ensure that you're getting enough of this compound.

To further augment the effects of alpha-GPC, seek out comprehensive formulas that complement this nutrient's benefits. Some good options include phosphatidylserine, which supports healthy brain cell membranes along with healthy cognition, memory and attention, and the compounds in wild blueberry extract to further encourage cognitive function and offer potent antioxidant protection.

Always follow the specific directions on the bottle regarding when to take your supplements and whether you should have an empty stomach when you take them. When it comes to alpha-GPC, there's no suggested method. Rather, focus on staying consistent for your best health!

Another thing to look out for when it comes to supplements is whether they're labeled as gluten-free and non-GMO. And always remember to speak with your healthcare provider before trying any new dietary supplement.

Does alpha-GPC work immediately?

Alpha-GPC is a great source of choline because it contains so much of it and it can cross the blood-brain barrier. But how soon can you expect your daily dosage of L-alpha-glyceryl-phosphorylcholine to work?

It all depends! One study noted increased levels of choline in participants after just 60 minutes of taking A-GPC. And in the strength study previously mentioned, participants taking A-GPC noticed strength gains after seven days. In yet another study, participants supported optimal cognitive health after 90 days of supplementing. Remember, consistency is key here.

A-GPC is generally well-tolerated. However, always talk with your healthcare provider before trying a new supplement—especially if you're receiving attention for other health challenges you may be experiencing.

Give your cognition the encouragement it needs. Support your mental clarity. Focus on your physical performance in the gym. A daily dosage of an alpha-GPC supplement might be all you need to get that extra edge! Gift your brain the almighty nootropic with alpha-GPC supplementation.

Psst! Take our quiz to see what other supplements might help support your brain health.

About the Author: Megan Grant has a degree in communications from University of Michigan. She has been writing professionally for 15 years, with a focus on nutrition, fitness, and general health. A lifelong competitive athlete, she's fascinated by how the human body responds to food and movement.