· By Joseph Schroer
Alpha-GPC in Blast Off
Alpha GPC is a naturally occurring compound in the body and is a short name for “Alpha-glycerylphosphoylcholine“, and while this large name might seem intimidating, let’s break it apart and understand what it means, how it is made, and why it’s needed in the body, especially while exercising. Alpha-GPC as a supplement is thought to increase specific neurotransmitters to facilitate learning, memory, cognitive function, and mood.
We will start more general and get more detailed into the science of how Alpha-GPC works and how research shows it might increase cognitive and mental performance. Before we get into mechanisms, we first need to define a few things.
A neurotransmitter is a signaling molecule secreted by one neuron to effect a cell across a synapse. There are over 40 neurotransmitters and are essentially the way your brain internally communicates to itself. Some of the most commonly known neurotransmitters are: dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, GABA, and acetylcholine. Look at the end of Alpha-GPC again: -choline.
Choline is an essential nutrient for neurological and nervous system functionality and is needed to regulate muscle control, memory, and other hormones. Choline is also necessary for the formation of membranes for the cells in the body. Surely something so necessary is likely already produced in the body? Correct, but not at adequate levels to sustain all of these functions and we are required to find other sources from our diet. There are some foods high in choline like: whole eggs (especially the yolk), liver/kidney, caviar, fish, and soybeans to name a few.
Personally, the Rocky Balboa method of slamming a mug full of raw eggs is not something enticing right before the gym. Blast Off has 400 mg of Alpha-GPC to sustain both physical exercise needs along with cognitive boosts for studying and working. Lastly, research has shown that prolonged strenuous exercise appears to decrease circulating choline and once sources of choline are depleted, the body will begin to take choline away from other key systems and organs.
Now we will explain the cascade of how Alpha-GPC alone, and with caffeine, supports the levels of acetylcholine (needed for choline) in the body and the brain.
While not only necessary for physiological maintenance, Alpha-GPC is also related to mood, blood flow in the brain, and is researched as a potential supplement for Alzheimer’s disease patients.
This is part 2 of our Blast Off nutrient series and why each ingredient is in our formula.
For the biochemically interested, check out this image of the acetylcholine cycle at a synaptic junction in the brain.