Alpha-GPC may boost lower body force production in only six days: Study

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Image: iStockPhoto
Image: iStockPhoto

Related tags Growth hormone

Supplements of alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine (A-GPC) may increase lower-body force production in less than a week, says a new study with implications for speed and power athletes.

A daily 600 mg dose of ChemiNutra’s AlphaSize A-GPC significantly increased the mid-thigh pull peak force change from baseline, compared with placebo, according to findings published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition​.

David Bellar, PhD, University of Louisiana-Lafayette, and his co-workers also noted that upper body isometric strength also increased in the A-GPC group, but this increase failed to attain statistical significance.

“Given that in many sports it is understood that a very small change in performance, often times less than 2%, can significantly affect outcomes it is important to note that the 6 days of A-GPC resulted in greater than a 3% increase in lower body isometric strength,”​ wrote the authors. “Sport performance coaches can consider adding A-GPC to the diet of speed and power athletes to potentially enhance muscle performance.”

Alpha-GPC is a potent choline donor for acetylcholine biosynthesis, the primary neurotransmitter that resides in the motor neuron which controls speed of muscle contraction - hence muscular power output.

“Studies demonstrate just how powerful Alpha-GPC can be”

The study’s findings were welcomed by Scott Hagerman, President of Austin, TX-based Chemi Nutra, which funded the study.

“Chemi Nutra continues to explore how its branded, patented, AlphaSize A-GPC can improve exercise performance, by focusing on its powerful role in facilitating explosive power output, speeding up reaction time, improving jumping ability, improving eye-hand coordination, and of course improving all cognitive measure - focus, memory, learning, and recall,” ​said Hagerman.

“Now we have a number of university studies that demonstrate just how powerful Alpha-GPC can be for individuals engaged in various exercise regimens. Currently we have evidence from other research studies that our Alpha-GPC can be more effective than caffeine in a number of performance outcome measures, and this is important for youth and adults who want to avoid caffeine or reduce their caffeine use, and for those who exercise in the evening, for example.”

Study details

Dr Bellar and his co-workers recruited 13 college aged men to participate in their randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover study. The men, all of whom were engaged in upper and lower body resistance exercise bouts, were randomly assigned to either placebo or 600 mg Alpha-GPC (AlphaSize) for six days.

Results showed that, for the lower body test, Alpha-GPC treatment resulted in significantly greater isometric mid-thigh pull peak force change from baseline, compared with compared to placebo.

For the upper body test, there was a trend towards greater force production in the Alpha-GPC group but it failed to obtain statistical significance, said the researchers.

Image © iStockPhoto

Commenting on the potential mechanism, the researchers said that A-GPC may boost strength and power performance via increased bioavailable choline. This would result in augmented acetylcholine synthesis in neurons.

“A-GPC has been shown to augment acetylcholine levels in CNS neurons,” ​they wrote. “Evidence suggests that when administered intramuscularly A-GPC can increase plasma choline levels.”

Other studies have reported that A-GPC may increase growth hormone secretion, but the researchers said that such increases over the course of this short study would probably not have impacted maximum strength.

“The study will need to be replicated with larger study populations and alternative measures of human performance, likely those that have the capacity to measure power not just peak force,” ​added Dr Bellar and his co-authors. “Additionally, different does of A-GPC need to be explored to determine any potential dose-response, or lower limit for meaningful effect.”

Source: Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition
2015, 12:42, doi:
“The effect of 6 days of alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine on isometric strength”
Authors: D. Bellar, N. LeBlanc, B. Campbell 

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