Alpha-GPC (choline alfoscerate) is a natural choline compound found in the brain. It is much less well researched as a supplement than caffeine and its effect also appears to be weaker, but alpha-GPC probably does not induce habituation. As a result, you could take it before any workout to benefit your strength performance.
HOW IT WORKS
Alpha-GPC is a precursor of acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that is important in the control of muscles by the brain. Alpha-GPC enters the brain relatively quickly after ingestion. The temporary surplus of acetylcholine ensures that you can contract your muscles more powerfully.
The temporary is important here: if you have a surplus of acetylcholine throughout the day, your body gets used to it. By taking only a small amount before training, your body uses it for a boost.
Doses of 600 milligrams or more, taken 30-45 minutes before training, increase the release of growth hormone , according to two studies. That could increase the maximum power by 2-3 percent. An important caveat to these findings is that they were sponsored studies.
Supplements expert Kurtis Frank nevertheless gives the supplement the benefit of the doubt. According to his colleague Jason Cholewa, Alpha-GPC is especially useful for strength athletes with voluminous workouts, for example two hours straight.
Alpha-GPC is somewhat similar to caffeine, which has been studied much more often as a strength sports supplement. And while the positive effect of caffeine on strength performance has been convincingly demonstrated, that effect is quickly negated by habituation.
Overall, alpha-GPC appears to be a supplement that strength athletes can benefit from if taken right before training, although more research is needed to confirm this.
We haven’t come across alpha-gpc in pre-workout supplements yet, but the substance is available as a separate supplement in some online stores. It is quite expensive.