Date of Award

January 2018

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Exercise and Sport Science

First Advisor

Michael T. Lane

Second Advisor

Heather R. Adams-Blair

Third Advisor

James M. Larkin


Introduction: While alpha-GPC has received recent praise as a mental and physical performance enhancement supplement, very limited research on this topic exist, and no current studies examine alpha-GPC in collegiate-aged trained individuals. This study hopes to bridge the gap in the current research literature on the topic of alpha-GPC ingestion in young healthy adults in the cognitive and anaerobic paradigms, potentially shedding new light on the theoretical synergistic effect of caffeine and alpha-GPC.

Purpose: To investigate and identify the acute effects of alpha-GPC ingestion on performance testing (hand-grip strength, jump height, force kinetics, rate of force development) & reaction time of a college-aged recreationally trained athlete.

Methods: This study utilized a random, double-blinded, cross over design in which 27 participants (m=15; f=12) ingested either the placebo (dextrose, Group 1) alpha-GPC (6 mg ̭kgˉ̯ body mass, Group 2). Baseline measurements were obtained on the initial visit. On supplemental visits, immediately following ingestion, subjects were required to sit in a rested state for 25-minutes. Subjects first completed the 4-item mood questionnaire to assess subjective feelings of energy, fatigue, alertness and focus for tasking, followed by the pre reaction-time (RT) test. Body composition was then measured via the Bod Pod, followed by a standardized questionnaire indicating age and training experience. Each test consisted of four stations assessing physical task performance, specifically measuring hand-grip strength, jump height, rate of force development, and reaction-time. Following each test, participants completed the 4-item mood test questionnaire and the post-RT test. Subjects participated on three different occasions separated by 2-14 days.

Hypotheses: The author of this investigation predicted alpha-GPC would have a positive impact on the performance variables, improving power output and neurological stimulation. Furthermore, this study aimed to support preliminary evidence of the ergogenic properties in alpha-GPC

Results: Twenty-seven total subjects participated in this study (Age: mean 21.66 ±SD 1.88 years; Height: mean 68.4 ±SD 4.1 inches; Weight: mean 169. 02 ±SD 32.2 lbs.; Body fat: mean 19.2 ±SD 8.8%; Heart rate: mean 67.96 ±SD 8.2 beats/minute; SBP: 120.59±SD12.39 mmHg; DBP 74.74±SD 9.12 mmHg). There were no significant differences between any of the variables pre to post testing. There were also no differences between males and females for any test variable. Repeated measures ANOVA: Multiple comparisons, LSD reveal statistical significances were found for the following the dependent variables (fatigue, plyometric push-up, mood change, and reaction-time test). Participants reported lower levels of fatigue following alpha-GPC ingestion, yielding a significance of (p=0.019) when compared to baseline. The alpha-GPC group showed increased levels of peak force production during the plyometric push-up when compared to placebo with significance of (p=0.014). Mood change increased with alpha-GPC ingestion compared to placebo with significance of (p=0.023); and subjects scored more accurate (less incorrect answers) during the reaction-time test post alpha-GPC ingestion compared to placebo (p=0.014).

Discussion: A-GPC supplementation showed a 12% increase in upper body power output, and 12% improvement in accuracy during the reaction-time test. This investigation supports A-GPC as an ergogenic aid for physical or cognitive stimulation.