Alfa glycerol phosphoryl choline or alpha-GPC for short is a chemical that gets released during the breakdown of fatty acids that are found in certain plants. It sounds quite scientific and not that exciting!
Something a bit more interesting that you’ll probably be surprised to find out about alpha-GPC is that it can enhance your bodybuilding efforts.
How does the chemical function? What’s its relationship with human growth hormone? Keep on reading to find out.
What Is Alpha GPC?
As already mentioned, alpha-GPC is a plant-based chemical that gets released after the breakdown of certain types of fatty acids.
This chemical is found in various types of foods. It, however, has one really interesting characteristic – to be active, alpha-GPC has to be present in much higher quantities.
This is the main reason why supplements containing the chemical have gained so much popularity lately.
There has been a lot of clinical research focusing on the properties of alpha-GPC. Scientists have come to some truly impressive conclusions. For a start, the chemical works on a cellular level.
It strengthens the cellular wall and also improves cellular membrane structure. In addition, the substance has become the focus of sports nutritional research because of some evidence that it can increase growth hormone levels.
The Relationship Between Alpha GPC And HGH Production
A natural source of choline, alpha-GPC plays an important supportive role when it comes to brain function. But there’s some evidence that it can be used for more than that. Research establishes a relationship between alpha-GPC supplementation and an increase in growth hormone.
Alpha-GPC is water soluble. It can quickly cross the blood-brain barrier and have a profound impact on the functioning of certain brain structures. The chemical is recognized as a secretagogue.
This means that it tells the pituitary gland to initiate hormone production. HGH is secreted precisely in the pituitary gland.
According to some research, growth hormone levels in the body increase as soon as 60 minutes after alpha-GPC supplementation.
There are two studies that shed some light on the effectiveness of alpha-GPC. The first one was conducted in 2012 and the results were presented in the Burbank Nutrition Journal. The double blind study involved eight volunteers.
The volunteers were given an alpha-GPC supplement their biomarkers were checked 60 and 120 minutes after. The plasma growth hormone levels were increased significantly 60 minutes after taking the supplement.
No significant change was observed in the group that took a placebo. The change in HGH levels continued even 120 minutes after supplementation and there was no change in the placebo group.
Another study involved seven volunteers and it took place in 2008. The results were presented in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.
The placebo-controlled study involved seven healthy and fit volunteers. All of them had done at least two years of resistance training.
In the group that was given alpha-GPC, peak growth hormone levels increased 44 times! The men that took the supplement also experienced improvements in their bench press.
Other Health Benefits
It’s obvious that alpha-GPC is the perfect workout supplement because of its ability to maximize growth hormone levels. But that’s not the only thing it does.
Here are a couple of additional health benefits:
- Brain power and cognitive improvements
the supplement improves the health of the neurons and provides essential support for the most important structures of the brain. It improves memory and can speed up the learning process.
- Higher iron absorption
some evidence suggests that alpha GPC can increase the absorption of iron. Thus, it may be a particularly good supplementation option for anemic individuals.
- Faster stroke recovery
researchers found out that people that suffered from a stroke recovered much faster when they were given an alpha-GPC supplement.
Alpha-GPC is thus great for improving brain health and fitness. As already mentioned, sufficient quantities are difficult to obtain from food. Choosing the best alpha-GPC supplement is the best option for enjoying all of the natural chemical’s benefits.