Comparing Alpha GPC vs other sources: Why it’s the best for Choline
There are many supplements available in the market and they can be categorized into four groups: Testosterone boosters, Fat burners, Pre workouts, and Nootropics. Among the four, Nootropics specifically target the brain to enhance memory, learning performance, focus, and stress-fighting capabilities. One of the popular nootropics is Choline and the best supplement source of Choline is Alpha GPC. This article will give a brief introduction to the importance of Choline and highlight the reasons why Alpha GPC is the superior form when it comes to Choline supplementation.
What is Choline?
Choline is a substance that provides a positive influence on our neurological functions and is an essential nutrient vital for the production of one of our body’s most important brain chemical, Acetylcholine. Choline plays a major role in improving memory, focus, liver function, muscle movement, supporting energy levels, efficient metabolism, and overall brain development.
How much Choline do you need?
According the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey only about 10% of the population have an adequate intake of Choline. This means about 90% of the population consumes a diet deficient in choline. That’s an alarming number but how much Choline do we actually need to get the “adequate” amount? The short answer is “it depends.”
The amount of Choline you need varies from person to person. Some need more Choline than others and it also varies depending on whether the person has a certain illness or if they’re already suffering from massive deficiency. To provide a general scope of measure, The National Academy of Sciences recommends the following daily intake:
- Infants and babies: 125- 150 mg
- Children ages 1-8: 150- 250 mg
- Teens ages 8-13: 250- 375 mg
- Women above age 14: 425- 550 mg
- Men above age 14: 550 mg
- Pregnant women: 450-550 mg
- Women who are breastfeeding: 550 mg
Where should you get Choline from?
Eating real food is still the best way to get the daily nutrients the body needs and Choline is no exception. Supplementing is effective but taking Choline thru food is better as you’ll also have the nutrients the food has. Some of the best sources of Choline in food are:
- Beef Liver 3 ounces: 283 mg (51% DV)
- Salmon 1 filet: 242 mg (44% DV)
- Chickpeas 1 cup uncooked: 198 mg (36% DV)
- Split Peas 1 cup uncooked: 188 mg (34% DV)
- Navy Beans 1 cup raw: 181 mg (32% DV)
- Eggs 1 large egg: 147 mg (27% DV)
- Grass-Fed Beef 3 ounces: 78 mg (14% DV)
Unfortunately, not everyone can get the right amount of Choline in their diet due to medical conditions and certain geographical or financial limitations. Those who want more Choline often go for supplements and one of the them is Alpha GPC, a nootropic considered one of the best in the market today.
Alpha GPC: The Best Source of Supplement Choline
Alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine or Alpha GPC is a pure form of Soy Lecithin. The reasons it’s the best source of Choline is all due to its ability to cross the blood brain barrier (BBB) at a much better efficiency than other forms. It’s also known to be 40% Choline by weight, the highest among its category. Combine the efficiency of absorption and the amount of Choline and you’ll have one potent nootropic at your disposal.
Let’s check out some of the benefits of Alpha GPC.
1. Memory and Learning
A study has noted an improvement in memory and learning in mice when it comes to learning in an active avoidance task. An active avoidance task is where mice are stimulated via small shocks following a stimulus such as sound. Administering Alpha GPC has made the mice quickly learn its connection with the sound played which resulted to a better response time when it comes to avoiding shocks.
2. Cognitive Decline
Dementia is a condition which normally occurs to people beyond 60 years of age. The World Health Organization estimates the number of people living with dementia worldwide at 47.5 million and is expected to rise up to 75.6 million by 2030. They also project the number of dementia cases to triple by 2050. With that said, administering Alpha GPC has been shown to improve patient conditions and symptoms associated with cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s Disease.
3. Growth Hormones
Alpha GPC isn’t just for the brain as some athletes take it for training purposes. A study has shown the beneficial effects of Alpha GPC on athletes’ peak force production during exercise as well as a noticeable increase in growth hormones.
Let’s compare the other forms of Choline against Alpha GPC.
1. Choline Citrate
This is the cheapest form of Choline but the problem is it’s poor bioavailability and potency with required doses going as high as 3,000 mg per day. Some even say it’s too sour or acidic and that’s due to the Citrate salt it was bound to which explains why most avoid using Choline Citrate as a nootropic.
2. Choline Bitartrate
Choline Bitartrate is a common form of Choline added in many supplements mainly because it’s also one of the cheapest forms like Choline Citrate. It also has 40% Choline but its poor absorption prevents it from significantly benefiting the brain as a nootropic.
3. CDP Choline (Citicoline)
One of the most potent forms of Choline with a 97-100% absorption which makes up for its 18% Choline content. It’s hailed as sometimes being better than Alpha GPC since it doubles as a Uridine supplement. Uridine is a neurogenerative which is important when it comes to creating synaptic connections. Better synaptic connections helps improve memory and learning capacity.
In a sense, CDP Choline is two nootropics in one but the clear disadvantage of CDP Choline against Alpha GPC is its metabolic pathway as it undergoes a two-stage conversion before it breaches the BBB. Although both retain their Choline content when they breach the BBB, the amount of Choline in Alpha GPC (40%) vs CDP Choline (18%) is significantly higher.
Which is better: Alpha GPC vs CDP Choline
There are currently only two major Choline supplements many consider as “optimal” when it comes to form: Alpha GPC and CDP Choline. Both are top choices when it comes to nootropics. They provide almost the same benefits but the key differences in Choline weight as well purpose of intake definitely makes it difficult to choose one from the other.
As a suggestion, given a choice between an infinite quantity of both, CDP Choline wins hands down as it’s basically two nootropics in one. That said, if you were only given a kilogram of each, Alpha GPC wins as it contains significantly more Choline.
Alpha GPC stacks very well with other natural nootropics, such as the popular L-Theanine & Caffeine nootropic stack. It can also be used with ashwagandha root extract, as this extract has been shown to provide cognitive enhancing and anti-cortisol benefits.
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