Alpha-GPC Supplements | Quick Guide for Bodybuilders

Nootropics have many cognitive benefits and have been on the supplement market for years. Athletes have been exploring them more recently because they could impact workout performance and recovery. If Alpha-GPC is a compound on your radar, this guide will help you decide if adding it to your stack is beneficial.

What is Alpha-GPC?

Alpha-GPC is one of the many compounds that is naturally occurring in the brain already. Research seems promising, showing that oral supplementation can actually increase levels in the body. 

It first gained interest in the world of supplements because of its possible effects on the brain’s cognitive abilities. Alpha-GPC can potentially boost memory, motivation, attention span, and arousal. While this can help dementia patients, these mood-boosting effects can also help to have a more effective workout!

How Alpha-GPC Benefits Bodybuilding

While the cognitive effects can potentially help a bodybuilder power through a workout with more intensity, there is another possible benefit to adding an Alpha-GPC supplement to your regimen: it might make your movements more explosive. [1]

This benefit can assist you in any exercise where you need more quick, explosive force, like a vertical jump during calf training. Most notably for bodybuilders, this effect can be seen in the force needed during bench pressing heavy loads. [2] Have you plateaued after a PR on your big lifts? Consider looking into supplementing Alpha-GPC to help get over that slump.

Alpha-GPC is an excellent source of choline, which is crucial to your workouts. The benefits of Alpha-GPC on cognitive and physical ability can also be considered similar to caffeine (better focus and more energy), but it is not a stimulant and won’t impact your sleep. This can make it very attractive to athletes that work out in the evening and may not want a caffeine rush within a few hours of bedtime.

The cognitive benefits can also prove beneficial to a bodybuilder’s workout because the mind-muscle connection is imperative for getting the most out of every exercise. [3] Greater focus during your workout is directly linked to more muscle building and a lessened risk of injury. The more efficient your workout is, the faster you will see results.

Alpha-GPC Dosage for Bodybuilding

At this point, research has indicated two different dosage recommendations for Alpha-GPC supplementation.

If you are young, able-bodied, and considered cognitively well, the ideal dosage range is around 250-300 mg per day. 

For those attempting to remedy cognitive decline or needing more explosive benefits, upwards of 1200 mg per day can safely be ingested. If choosing to take higher amounts, most prefer to break them up into 400 mg doses taken three times per day with meals.

Alpha-GPC Side Effects

Alpha-GPC is considered to be overwhelmingly safe with few side effects. Because it is a building block for your body to create and use more choline, some who may be considered “choline sensitive” might report some agitating side effects: brain fog, restlessness, increased libido, nervousness, or mild headache. 

Depending on how it’s taken (or the supplement formula in compounds) it could also lead to a mild upset stomach. This can often be mitigated by taking it with a meal.

Are Alpha-GPC Growth Hormone Claims Real?

Alpha-GPC also purportedly increases growth hormone, but since it has a short half-life, the growth hormone increases have marginal results, if any, for bodybuilding. One study shows that supplementation of Alpha-GPC increases HGH production in the short term, particularly in young adults. [4]

Much more research is necessary to be conclusive on these claims and their benefits, particularly for bodybuilding, where HGH can be massively important for muscle growth and retention under stressful training protocols. 

That said, even without a direct link to long-term boosted HGH levels, the other benefits can still make it worthwhile to explore.

Should You Use Alpha-GPC Supplements for Bodybuilding?

Those that will see the greatest benefit from trying Alpha-GPC will be:

  • Athletes that work out in the evening
  • Those that want to replace caffeine with a gentler supplement
  • People who may struggle to focus during their workout sessions
  • Athletes that have plateaued, specifically in lifts that require explosive movements
  • Older athletes that are beginning to notice a cognitive decline or decreased mind-muscle connection

If you’re in any of these categories, it can be worth testing this nootropic in your supplement stack.

Best Alpha-GPC Supplements

There are some great options on the market if you want to give Alpha-GPC a chance:

Double Wood Alpha-GPC
Double Wood Alpha-GPC

Double Wood is a reputable brand, and its Alpha-GPC supplement is non-GMO, soy-free, and gluten-free, making it a strong choice for those with allergy sensitivities. At 300 mg per capsule, it also comes in a convenient dosage for bodybuilders.

Onnit Alpha Brain
Onnit Alpha-GPC

Onnit’s Alpha Brain supplement has been an industry leader for years and has other beneficial vitamin boosts like vitamin B6 and BCAAs.

Nootropics Depot Alpha-GPC
Nootropics Depot Alpha-GPC

Nootropics Depot carries an Alpha-GPC supplement that is very budget friendly without compromising on ingredient quality. It can be a safe choice for those on the fence that don’t want to make a significant investment before trialing its efficacy.

Alternatives to Alpha-GPC Supplements

If you like some of the claims made by this supplement but don’t feel comfortable adding it to your routine, creatine is a great supplement that can increase athletic performance and recovery. Coupling it with caffeine is a very common pre-workout stack that will give you similar (and possibly even better) results. 

Best Creatine Supplement

Bulk Supplements Micronized Creatine
Bulk Supplements Micronized Creatine Monohydrate Powder

For a great creatine supplement to add to your stack, we recommend the Bulk Supplements Micronized Creatine Monohydrate powder. It’s a clean supplement with pure micronized creatine monohydrate as the only ingredient. You also get the benefit of buying it in bulk if you wish to do so for a lower cost per serving. 

Best Pre-Workout with Caffeine and Creatine

Gorilla Mode Pre-Workout
Gorilla Mode Creatine Pre-Workout

A great pre-workout that contains caffeine and creatine is the Gorilla Mode Pre-Workout. Each 2-scoop serving contains 5 grams of creatine and 350 mg of caffeine, along with other ingredients that have proven to be beneficial when taken pre-workout, such as l-citrulline, agmatine, and l-tyrosine. Everything about this pre-workout is efficaciously dosed to be effective.

Conclusion

Like many other supplements on the market, Alpha-GPC could benefit from more long-term research, but what is available is quite promising. Whether you are an older athlete looking to keep spry or just wanting to curb a coffee habit in the afternoons, it’s one that we consider to be worth exploring!

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Pierce Reiten
Pierce Reiten

Pierce Reiten is an NASM certified personal trainer with over a decade of experience in the gym. He's passionate about providing information to help you improve your fitness and life.

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