Alpha-GPC Nootropic Benefits for Your Body and Brain

Alpha-GPC Nootropic Benefits for Your Body and Brain - Lucid™

Alpha-GPC is considered to be a powerful nootropic–a class of substances thought to improve cognitive function–but how does it work?

Well, alpha-GPC is a cholinergic supplement, meaning it helps to boost choline levels in the body. Choline is an essential nutrient that helps the brain build neurons. As you can imagine, that makes choline pretty important to all aspects of health, from cognitive functions to physical functions to mood regulation and more.

The question is, what are alpha-GPC’s nootropic benefits? Meaning how will alpha-GPC actually impact your day to day life? And is there any research to back up these claims? 

Great questions, all with very encouraging answers. Let’s dive in:

Key Takeaways

Alpha-GPC helps the body produce essential neurotransmitters that can improve physical and cognitive functions. 

Alpha-GPC is approved for the management of Alzheimer’s disease in some countries, but is only sold as a supplement in the U.S.

Choosing a high-quality alpha-GPC or nootropic blend is the best way to reap nootropic benefits without side effects. 

What is Alpha-GPC?

Alpha-GPC (also known as L-alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine or choline alphoscerate) is a phospholipid, a substance that makes up membranes and helps to regulate crucial cellular processes. We mentioned that it helps to produce choline, which plays a crucial role in nervous system regulation, muscular functions, and much more. 

For this reason, alpha-GPC is heavily regarded as a physical enhancement supplement. Some evidence suggests that it can improve muscle growth, as well as several facets of physical performance. However, it’s also been researched for its potential to improve cognition, both in healthy adults and in cases of dementia, with positive results. 

In fact, alpha-GPC is approved for managing Alzheimer’s disease in some countries. Alas, it exists only as a dietary supplement in the U.S., but is a popular choice for students, athletes, busy professionals, and anyone else looking to boost total body performance. 

Before you believe the claims, though, let’s talk more about alpha-GPC as a nootropic and what that really means. 

What are nootropics?

We mentioned that nootropics are a class of substances, sometimes called “smart drugs,” that are known to enhance cognitive function, but let’s dive deeper. Nootropics are substances that alter neuronal production or change the way that the nervous system uses different neurochemicals. Most often, nootropics work by altering the production or uptake of dopamine, serotonin, GABA, or norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters help to regulate all functions, including appetite, focus, energy, sleep, mood, and so much more. 

There are natural and synthetic nootropics, including herbal and mushroom nootropics and prescription nootropic medications like Adderall. However, many synthetic nootropics, whether prescription or not, come with unwanted side effects and are potentially habit-forming. For that reason, it may be a good idea to explore the natural nootropics first, and Alpha-GPC is one of the most research-backed options out there. 

A woman showing a handful of alpha-GPC nootropic capsuless

Alpha-GPC Nootropic Benefits and Research

Like all supplements in the U.S., Alpha-GPC is not approved to treat or manage any condition. However, there is some evidence to back up its use as a nootropic. According to research, alpha-GPC may be useful for improving memory, preventing neurodegeneration, enhancing eyesight, boosting physical performance and muscular gains, and much more. Let’s take a look at the available evidence:


A clinical review of alpha-GPC’s neuroprotective benefits involving over 20 clinical trials and over 4,000 individual subjects confirms that alpha-GPC may offer “modest improvement of cognitive dysfunction in dementia of neurodegenerative and vascular origin.” Another review described alpha-GPC as having “significant effects on cognitive function with a good safety profile and tolerability.”

Other research has even found it to be superior to other choline supplements, stating that “choline alphoscerate was well tolerated, [and] improved cognitive function in VaD (vascular dementia) patients to a better extent than citicoline and to similar or better extent than other more recently developed drugs.”

This is easily one of the alpha-GPC nootropic benefits with the most backing–studies over two decades (1991,1992, 2015, 2017) consistently confirm similar neuroprotective and neuroenhancement benefits, including in cases of brain damage, poor blood supply, seizures, and more. 

Managing Alzheimer’s Disease

Alpha-GPC’s neuroprotective effects may be useful for preventing normal cognitive decline or improving cognitive function after injury or toxic exposure. However, these neuroprotective benefits are most often discussed for their ability to help manage Alzheimer’s Disease, a neurological disorder that’s notoriously hard to treat. 

Alzheimer’s is associated with the depletion of acetylcholine, so this sentiment makes sense. According to a clinical trial involving 261 patients taking 400 mg alpha-GPC three times daily, the supplemental routine improved all symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Another trial found that alpha-GPC may be even more effective when used alongside a standard Alzheimer’s treatment option, a prescription drug called Donepezil. 

Improving Athletic Performance

Although nootropic benefits usually center around cognition, alpha-GPC has some potential benefits that may enhance physical fitness as well. One 2017 study evaluated the effects of alpha-GPC on 48 college aged males and determined that alpha-GPC “should be considered as an emerging ergogenic supplement,” a type of supplement used to enhance athletic performance, stamina, and recovery. 

A 2015 study echoed these results, finding alpha-GPC supplementation capable of improving speed, power, and pull force in human subjects, including significant effects on the lower body. To further support these results, one study found that doses of 200 milligrams of alpha-GPC daily increased the jump power of human subjects by 8.5%. 

In research using alpha-GPC as a pre-workout supplement, it was found to increase growth hormone production and increase bench press force by 14%. Yet another trial confirmed this boosting growth hormone and found that alpha-GPC supplementation may increase fat burning during workouts. 

Stroke Recovery

Various reviews (1994, 2001) have looked at alpha-GPC’s potential for supporting stroke recovery. Overall, it was found to help improve cognitive recovery by up to 70%, and researchers believe it could also have physical benefits for patients whose physical capabilities were negatively impacted by a stroke. 

Eyesight Support

In patients with Ocular ischemic syndrome, a condition where plaque clogs vessels in the eye resulting in vision loss and discomfort, alpha-GPC has been found to improve healing of the retina by boosting circulation to the eyes. These results were also linked to an overall improvement in vision scores, but this trial size was limited and more research is needed.

Alpha-GPC Nootropic Uses

We mentioned that alpha-GPC is a supplement in the U.S., meaning it is not regulated as strictly as prescription medications. Alpha-GPC also isn’t standardized, so you need to do your due diligence to evaluate the quality and understand the dosage necessary for the supplements you choose. 

Luckily, this just takes a bit of research and it’s easy to find out which alpha-GPC nootropic supplements are worth their weight.  Here are some of the most important things to pay attention to:

Alpha-GPC Safety

Alpha-GPC is a safe and well-tolerated supplement in both human and animal trials. It is generally safe when used appropriately, though most sources suggest that you should only use it for a duration of up to 6 months. Some people have reported various mild side effects, like heartburn, headache, dizziness, and skin rash.

Not much research exists to specifically assess the safety or dosage threshold for the many alpha-GPC supplements available in the U.S. The most important factor in alpha-GPC safety is choosing a high-quality supplement and using an appropriate dosage. 

As always, talk to your doctor before making changes to your wellness routine or if you suspect any side effects after beginning alpha-GPC. 

Source and Quality Importance

Ensure the quality of your supplements by looking for a reputable manufacturer and a reputable manufacturing facility. The company you choose should have policies in place to ensure they produce the highest quality supplements, including third-party testing and a cGMP compliant facility.

Alpha-GPC Dosage

When Should I Take Alpha-GPC?

Alpha-GPC should be taken around one hour before you start your day, depending on how it’s being used. For instance, you may want to take it one hour before a workout or before you start studying. 

You should take Alpha-GPC daily for the best results as it has been known to have greater benefits when used consistently over time. 

How Much Alpha-GPC Should I Take Daily?

There’s no one off suggested dosage for Alpha-GPC, and you should be willing to work with your health care provider to figure out the best dosage for yourself. Clinical trials have used doses ranging from 200 to 1,500 milligrams of alpha-GPC daily. 

In multiple trials (2003, 2014) 400 mg of alpha-GPC was used 3 times daily to potentially help manage dementia and related conditions. A 1994 study concerning stroke recovery involved 1,000 mg injections of alpha-GPC daily for one month, followed by an oral daily dose of 400 mg for 5 more months. 

In a study evaluating its impact on athletic performance, doses of 250 milligrams were used daily for one week. 

If you are unsure where to start, it’s usually best to start with low doses. Talk to your doctor to work out a dosage plan that works for you. 

Forms of Alpha-GPC

alpha-GPC is available in two main forms–powder and capsules. For capsules, you’ll usually find strengths between 200 and 400 milligram per pill. Powder provides more dosing leniency and may be the primary form used for nootropic stacks, or multi-faceted nootropic formulas that involve alpha-GPC and other synergistic nootropic supplements. 

For many, these nootropic stacks are the way to go because they cover multiple different facets of physical and mental health. Most natural nootropics are safe to take together, but you should always discuss changes to your health routine with your doctor. 

If you’re looking to take advantage of an alpha-GPC nootropic blend (and enjoy the convenience of a pre-made, full-coverage nootropic stack) check out our Lucid nootropic stack, which contains:

Want to learn more? Read “Why We Chose Our Ingredients? What’s in a Lucid Stack?” Or, check out one of our three flavor varieties:


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