A-GPC is a potent building block of acetylcholine, which is a vastly important neurotransmitter present in both brain and muscle tissue. When taken supplementally, A-GPC is converted to phosphorylcholine, a metabolically active form of the essential nutrient choline. Phosphorylcholine migrates to the synaptic nerve endings found throughout the central nervous system and in turn increases acetylcholine synthesis and release.
In the brain, acetylcholine plays a key role in basically every cognitive function. In muscle, it is vitally involved in muscle contraction, as it is the major neurotransmitter involved in regulating physiological response to exercise. Force development, strength, balance, hand-eye coordination, and agility are all related to an optimized systemic acetylcholine "pool," and A-GPC is the most significant choline donor nutrient currently known.
Choline and acetylcholine have a longstanding association with increased memory and mental processing, but if you're hoping to get those benefits from a simple choline supplement, keep hoping. Supplements that have choline bitartrate or choline chloride as their choline sources have been shown in some studies not to be effective in functions involving brain processing, including memory, recall, task learning, and focus.[1-3] A-GPC, on the other hand, has been shown to reliably increase levels of brain acetylcholine and boost cognitive processing.[4,5]
Increasingly, savvy supplement shoppers are insisting on using patented versions for the most important ingredients in their stacks, and A-GPC should be no exception. The reason why is that A-GPC can be produced two ways: from a natural source, like AlphaSize; and from chemicals, like the vast majority of generic A-GPC from China.
This synthetic starting material has many implications. Notably, you don’t know where it came from, what purity standards it was created under (if any), and who decided that it was safe to put in your body on a regular basis. On the other hand, AlphaSize Alpha-GPC has been produced by the same Texas-based company since 1991, is affirmed as “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) by the Food and Drug Administration, conforms to the strict quality standards of the USP compendial monograph, and has been the subject of numerous clinical studies for both efficacy and safety.
In recent years, many athletes have become fans of the cognition-enhancing supplements known as nootropics, but many are put off by the image of gamers and students chugging energy drinks and taking nootropic gummies before tests.
Here's why that rep needs an update. As your fatigue grows from repeated exercise, it compromises motor neuron activity at the neuromuscular junction, the place where the nervous system connects to a muscle fiber. It is believed that motor neurons cannot resynthesize and release acetylcholine fast enough to maintain transmission of the action potential from the motor neurons to the muscles. Recently, the theory that this "peripheral signaling fatigue" is a primary contributing factor to muscular fatigue and loss of strength has gained much support in the scientific community.
A-GPC has been proven to benefit cognitive performance—memory, learning, recall, focus, and repetitive tasking—and also to benefit physical performance, including power output, force development, strength, jumping, and agility.* And, yes, it has even been shown to help improve video game performance.