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Alpha GPC vs CDP Choline – Which One Is Better for Your Brain?

August 3, 2021

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Unlike other nootropic compounds, alpha GPC and CDP choline aren’t the less discussed ones you can find out there. Yet, there’s some debate over which one is better. As you grow more concerned for your physical and mental wellbeing, these supplements play a big role in maintaining proper brain function and ensure your nervous system is armed with just the right nutrients to bear the hectic lifestyle. So here it is, the clash of alpha GPC vs CDP choline arrived, finally.

“Success is something you attract by the person you become.”
—Jim Rohn

We all have heard as children of the wide range of benefits liver and other organs offer to the body. Eating the liver has played a huge role in enhancing your brain condition and reducing the malfunctions in your nervous system. This is because it is rich in choline.

Likewise, alpha GPC is available as a dietary supplement to help boost cognitive function and decrease the chances of Alzheimer’s disease.

So, what’s the difference between them and, most importantly, which one is better for you. Here’s an in-depth guide to answer all the swarming questions about alpha GPC vs CDP choline to help you make the right decision for yourself.

When deciding between alpha GPC vs CDP choline for your source of choline, it really comes to personal needs. One works well by enhancing the lost nutrients in your brain; the other does wonders by eliminating the distracting factors in your body. Yet the truth is that both work well and especially so when combined in the proper ratio like Marco’s Grounds does with MAXIMUM MIND. Read more to find out why!

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WHAT ARE NOOTROPICS?

“The only difference between the master and the novice is that the master has failed more times than the novice has tried.”
―Stephen McCranie

First things first, what are nootropics? Corneliu Giurgea, a Romanian neuroscientist, coined the term nootropic (pronounced new-tropic) in 1972. He believed that smart drugs should be invented and made widely available for the purpose of enhancing the general population’s brain health and increasing human intelligence.

According to Dr Giurgea’s findings, nootropics enhance cognition, memory, alertness, concentration, creativity, and attention. They became known as cognitive enhancers, substances that amplify the way the brain’s many cognitive functions operate and how we process information.

Simply put, cognitive enhancers (or nootropics or smart drugs) are prescription or off-the-counter drugs or supplements that enhance cognition. Some nootropics contribute to brain health while others can be quite dangerous.

Since Marco’s Grounds only works with safe and natural compounds in their purest forms, for most of our discussions we will restrain ourselves to natural nootropics that increase cognition safely.

 

What is Alpha GPC

“Invest in your dreams. Grind now. Shine later.”
– Unknown

Alpha GPC (L-alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine) is a phospholipid essential for improving your brain health, boosting myelin production, and a source of choline for cell membranes. Alpha GPC crosses the blood-brain barrier, unlike other compounds. This means you get to nourish your nervous system.

This supplement works by improving the blood flow to your brain and increasing a chemical in the brain called acetylcholine, which can otherwise cause health issues like strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, or dementia, when present in insufficient quantities. With this, you can also help enhance learning and memory skills.
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Benefits of Alpha GPC

“Success usually comes to those who are too busy looking for it.”
— Henry David Thoreau

As you must have already figured, alpha GPC is armed with a wide myriad of benefits to improve your overall health. However, what it is especially known for is its ability to improve brain and cognitive function. Not just that, here are some of the other benefits you can avail of from incorporating alpha GPC into your regular diet.

Alzheimer’s Disease: During Alzheimer’s disease, countless mutated proteins kill neurons and deplete the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, causing you to drown in cognitive issues. However, a clinical trial conducted on 260 patients out of Switzerland and published in Molecules showed that alpha GPC could delay Alzheimer’s disease and boost nootropic effects in younger people [1].

Cognitive Impairment and Dementia: Many older people frequently suffer from memory and age-related cognitive decline. This is mainly the result of poor blood flow to your brain. Luckily, alpha GPC can trigger just the right chemicals to help speed up the process of your blood flow to the brain.

Enhance Athletic Performance: alpha GPC has been a well-known supplement among many bodybuilding and athletes. But, that’s not it; it has been proven that taking alpha GPC pre-workout can cause a growth hormone increase of up to a staggering 44% and increase bench press output by 14% as researchers showed in an article published in the Journal of International Society of Sports and Nutrition [2]. The best part, you get a speedy recovery in no time.

Enhanced Focus: Struggling to stay concentrated in your work or school activities? Alpha GPC can be your knight in shining armor. It can help strengthen concentration and focus on improving overall endurance and brain functionality while providing healthy brain function. 

Memory Enhancement: Although we have mentioned this point before, it needed more emphasis to help you get a proper idea. Alpha GPC as a choline source has been found effective against many memory disorders like Alzheimer’s, stroke, and vascular dementia and helps in memory formation and memory function.

Eyesight: The main reason behind poor eyesight is Ocular Ischemic Syndrome which occurs when plaque clogs the tiny blood vessels in the eye. This will not only lead to poor eyesight but can also be quite painful to go through. With Alpha GPC, you get to recover your retina and sharpen your vision in a relatively short period.

Note: there’s an effective dose of alpha GPC at 99% purity in each dose of MAXIMUM MIND.

Read more on the benefits of alpha GPC here or consult the alpha GPC page on the Marco’s Grounds Deep Dive

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What is CDP Choline

“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together”
– Vincent Van Gogh

Citicoline, or also known as CDP choline, is a powerful compound that comes with neuroprotective properties to help transport dopamine and boost its release into your brain. Citicoline is made up of choline and cytidine. Choline can aid brain function, it is useful once it is converted into uridine. While cytidine can increase memory and focus.

The great thing about CDP choline is how extremely safe and powerful it is when combined with other supplements. Therefore, you are unlikely to see it as a standalone supplement for improving neurotransmitters among cognitive and muscle functions.

Besides that, not only can CDP choline be consumed with dietary supplements, but it can also be found in natural sources like eggs, whole grains, soybeans, chicken, and beef liver.

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Benefits of CDP Choline

“If people are doubting how far you can go, go so far that you can’t hear them anymore.”
– Michele Ruiz

Just like alpha GPC, CDP choline also has many beneficial effects on your brain as it functions as a cognitive enhancer. This is one of the many reasons why they are two misunderstood supplements among enthusiasts. In particular, choline focuses primarily on combating distractions, aiding better focus and concentration in people.

At the cellular level, you may find CDP choline improves neuronal membrane integrity and leads to a reduction in cases of neural death. Apart from that, here are some of the benefits you can expect from CDP choline.

Nootropics: As a general rule of thumb, CDP choline supplements work as cognitive-enhancing ingredients called nootropics or cognitive enhancers that come with their own set of perks for your mental health. Nootropics can be found in omegas 3s, mushrooms, and herbs, which are some of the powerful foods needed to boost brain health. By consuming CDP choline supplements, you get to cut down the hassle of keeping up with these foods and ensure you get enough essential nutrition.

Combats Aging: A lesser-known benefit of CDP choline as a choline source is that the acetylcholine that it produces is also considered an anti-aging neurotransmitter to eliminate the drawbacks aging has on our bodies.

Aids Depression: There has been evidence proving that consuming CDP choline has anti-depressive properties to help depression better than citalopram alone. This might be due to the anti-inflammatory effect of CDP choline while crossing the blood-brain barrier.

Boosting Metabolism: The speed at which your body burns calories and digests food plays a significant role in determining how fast or slow your gain or lose weight. Therefore, it is essential to keep your diet rich in high metabolism-boosting foods. Research published in the Journal of human kinetics has found that female athletes who have been rigorous with choline supplements tend to have lower masses of body mass indexes (BMIs) and leptin (body fat) levels than others [3].

Note: there’s an effective dose of citicoline as Cognizin® in each dose of MAXIMUM MIND.

Read more on citicoline on the Marco’s Grounds Deep Dive or find out more about the benefits of citicoline here.

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Alpha GPC vs CDP Choline: Difference

“Without great solitude, no serious work is possible.”
— Pablo Picasso

Nothing is more embarrassing than forgetting the names of people at a party. Just imagine introducing someone, and you don’t remember their name or where you met them in the first place. That’s where alpha GPC vs CDP choline comes into the picture.

But what’s the difference, we hear you ask?

Now that you are aware of the fundamentals of both supplements, you must have noticed minimal to no difference between them. If yes, you aren’t alone.

At a glance, they both seem to offer the same uses and benefits for your brain health. However, there are a few differences that one has the upper hand over the other. For example, both alpha GPC and CDP choline offer different metabolism processors. This is what releases as a byproduct.

There are many benefits alpha GPC offers that CDP choline doesn’t, and vice versa. Here, alpha GPC could lead to improved vitality and strength to help your muscles recover effectively after exercise. It can also boost the production of growth hormones in the human body while maintaining brain energy high.

While CDP choline also comes with benefits that you are unlikely to see in alpha GPC. One well-known perk is its amplified nootropics benefits that can make it a must-have in your regular diet (great to combine with taurine to multiply the effects of other nootropics further)

As we demonstrated before, when deciding between alpha GPC vs CDP choline, it really comes to personal needs. One works well by enhancing the lost nutrients in your brain; the other does wonders by eliminating the distracting factors in your body. If you are unsure of the best one for your needs, it’s never a bad idea to try out both and pick the one that works best for you. Yet the truth is that both work well and especially so when combined in the proper ratio like Marco’s Grounds does with MAXIMUM MIND.

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Why Are They Important

“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.”
– Lou Holtz

Alpha GPC and CDP choline are two of the essential supplements to enhance your choline intake and the quality of your life. However, unlike others, you don’t really get to hear many stories about these two. So why would you go for these instead of the conventional vitamins and dietary supplements?

Glad you asked. Here’s why alpha GPC and CDP choline are essential.

Supports Memory and Learning

Both alpha GPC and CDP choline display benefits related to memory and learning and are among the most studied. They both cross the blood-brain barrier. Alpha GPC and CDP choline play a vital role in improving the brain’s cognitive area responsible for memory retention, learning, and thinking skills and can also help with mental focus. While a lesser-known benefit of CDP Choline is that the acetylcholine it creates is also regarded as an anti-aging neurotransmitter, which helps our bodies overcome the disadvantages of aging.

Both increase acetylcholine synthesis which, as mentioned before, helps with memory and cognitive thinking. Since alpha GPC can be beneficial for people with Alzheimer’s or dementia, it can also benefit those who don’t suffer from either disease as a prophylactic.

A notable study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition done on a large group of dementia-free subjects (744 women and 647 men) with ages ranging from 36-83 found that higher doses of choline lead to improvement in areas such as verbal and visual memory, verbal learning, attention span, and executive function [4].

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Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and Brain Health

Since diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia cause damage to the brain cells over time, leading to memory loss and the ability to obtain new information. Several studies have shown that alpha GPC aids in slowing down the cognitive decline process.

One notable study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease was done on a group of patients with mild to moderate dementia who were given alpha GPC daily paired with an Alzheimer’s drug that increases acetylcholine levels. The study discovered that over two years, subjects were found to have improved cognitive function over the placebo group [5].

Dementia is a word used to describe a wide range of problems associated with mental functioning. These include forgetfulness, difficulty in problem-solving, communication issues, etc. Dementia is a progressive problem that begins with having little to no effect on your regular life, gradually increasing and becoming the biggest obstacle you must face to go through each second of the day.

This condition is so common that it affects one in three individuals over 65 years old who fail to enjoy their life to the fullest after dementia strikes them. Luckily, by adopting healthy habits from an earlier age, including supplements containing alpha GPC and CDP choline, you get to reduce the risk of brain damage and improve your quality of life with time. This way, you get to make the most out of your life after retirement.

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Supports Athletic Performance and Boots Metabolism

The benefits of alpha GPC and CDP choline have grown more popular in more recent years with athletes, weightlifters, and bodybuilders since both are ergogenic aids. These can enhance energy production in both neural and muscular tissue, reduce recovery time, and can create more strength and endurance.

Because who doesn’t want to be pondering philosophical questions while lifting serious weight? A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition showed whether alpha GPC affected peak growth hormone levels and physical performance. The study was done on a group of men with at least two years of resistance training prior. They were given a 600 mg dosage of Alpha-GPC 90-minutes before weight lifting. Alpha GPC increased the peak bench press force 14% higher than the placebo group. The increase in growth hormone can also aid in weight loss and bone density and can be a mood booster [6].

Help Maintain a Balanced Weight

Are you struggling to maintain a healthy diet? These can help mostly by increasing willpower and motivation.

Besides, the rate at which your body burns calories and digests food has a large impact on how quickly or slowly you acquire or lose weight. As a result, it is critical to maintain a diet high in metabolism-boosting foods. Both CDP choline and alpha GPC have been studied on female athletes who have been diligent with choline supplements and had lower body mass indices (BMIs) and leptin (body fat) levels than others, according to research published in the Journal of human kinetics [3]. Therefore, both supplements seem to help in managing food cravings.

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Live an Active Life

Improving your brain functioning isn’t just associated with mental health. But it can also play a big hand in controlling your physical behaviors and make you active in everyday life. For example, as alpha GPC and CDP choline can regulate blood flow, you can rest assured to have a supportive body during workouts and recover faster to help you begin the next active journey.

Reduces Pregnancy Complications

A lot goes into making these supplements. They work by eliminating the root cause of significant problems and bringing back the lost minerals to your body. Here, choline can affect fetal development in women, which, as a result, can influence your pregnancy journey.

Most of the women who consume 480 milligrams (mg) of choline per day have noticed reduced symptoms of pregnancy complications like severe headaches, swelling, and high blood pressure, as a study published in Nutrients suggests [7].

This means by incorporating alpha GPC and CDP choline into your diet, you don’t just ensure excellent brain health but also improve the life of your new bundle of joy.

The freshly chosen ingredients help protect your brain using the right blend to create a balanced diet to ensure you get an extra boost of sources from this supplement as well. With this, you can remain healthy by eliminating brain fog signs, increasing your speed of thought, and supporting cognitive functions.

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Foods Rich with Dietary Choline

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”
Epicurus

According to research from NIH, the five foods richest in choline (in terms of milligrams per serving) include:

  • 100g (3 oz.) Beef Liver, Pan-Fried – 356 mg choline per serving
  • 1 Egg, Hard Boiled – 147 mg choline per serving
  • 100g (3 oz.) Beef Top Round, Braised – 117 mg choline per serving
  • 1/2 cup Soybeans, Roasted – 107 mg choline per serving
  • 100g (3 oz.) Chicken Breast, Roasted – 72 mg choline per serving

Adding foods rich in choline to your diet is an effective way to lessen the risk of Choline Deficiency. However, given the low efficiency of most dietary choline’s ability to cross the blood-blood barrier or increase plasma choline levels, many nootropic consumers go even further by taking choline-rich diets with the addition of potent cholinergic supplements like MAXIMUM MIND.

Finishing Thoughts

“I know the mind, like the parachute, is most valuable open.”
― Dan S. Kennedy

All in all, alpha GPC is a choline-containing supplement that is ideal for boosting acetylcholine in the brain and defeating age-related cognitive dementia and decline. CDP choline is also a choline-containing supplement that works slightly differently and increases mental energy. As a result, most people would see tremendous benefits from choline supplementation to enhance cognition and improve overall physical performance by using both for supplementing their choline intake.

MAXIMUM MIND provides citicoline as Cognizin® coupled with premium alpha GPC and uridine, so your brain is supplied with all significant choline donors and there’s no risk of you being deficient in this essential nutrient.

That said, MAXIMUM MIND is everything you need in an ideal supplement that helps you focus on complex tasks, react quicker, remember names, learn new concepts better, and boost other cognitive abilities to help you win over anything you have in mind. MAXIMUM MIND is known to bridge the gap between where you are now and your goals and focus on helping you devote yourself to a mission and ensure no obstacle comes your way.

Why not put to rest the debate between alpha GPC vs CDP choline and experience both benefits in their purest form along with other clinically studied compounds for increasing brain performance and health with MAXIMUM MIND?
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MAXIMUM MIND

Clinically Studied

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Literature

  1. Kumar, H., More, S. V., Han, S. D., Choi, J. Y., & Choi, D. K. (2012). Promising therapeutics with natural bioactive compounds for improving learning and memory–a review of randomized trials. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 17(9), 10503–10539.
  2. Ziegenfuss, T., Landis, J. & Hofheins, J. Acute supplementation with alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine augments growth hormone response to, and peak force production during, resistance exercise. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 5, P15 (2008).
  3. Elsawy, G., Abdelrahman, O., & Hamza, A. (2014). Effect of choline supplementation on rapid weight loss and biochemical variables among female taekwondo and judo athletes. Journal of human kinetics, 40, 77–82.
  4. Poly, C., Massaro, J., Seshadri, S., Wolf, P., Cho, E., Krall, E., Jacquez, P., Au, R. (2011). The relation of dietary choline to cognitive performance and white-matter hyperintensity in the Framingham Offspring Cohort. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 94(6): 1584-1591.
  5. Amenta, F., Carotenuto, A., Fasanaro, A., Rea, R., Traini, E. (2014). The ASCOMALVA (Association between the Cholinesterase Inhibitor Donepezil and the Cholinergic Precursor Choline Alphoscerate in Alzheimer’s Disease) Trial: interim results after two years of treatment. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease 42 Suppl 3, S281-288.
  6. Ziegenfuss, T., Landis, J., Hofheins, J. (2008). Acute supplementation with Alpha-Glycerylphosphorylcholine augments growth hormone response to and peak force production during resistance exercise. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 5(Suppl 1): P15.
  7. Korsmo, H. W., Jiang, X., & Caudill, M. A. (2019). Choline: Exploring the Growing Science on Its Benefits for Moms and Babies. Nutrients, 11(8)

About the Author

DISCLAIMER

The materials and information provided in this post, document and/or any other communication (“Communication”) from Marco’s Grounds LLC. or any related entity or person (collectively “Marco’s Grounds”) are strictly for informational purposes only and are not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention or treatment of a health problem or as a substitute for consulting a qualified medical professional. Some of the concepts presented herein may be theoretical.

References to any non-Marco’s Grounds entity, product, service, person or source of information in this or any other Communication should not be considered an endorsement, either direct or implied, by the host, presenter or distributor of the Communication. The host(s), presenter(s) and/or distributor(s) of this Communication are not responsible for the content of any non-Marco’s Grounds internet pages referenced in the Communication. Marco’s Grounds is not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information or services you chose to follow without consulting a qualified medical professional. Before starting any new diet and/or exercise program, always be sure to check with your qualified medical professional.

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