Date of Award

January 2018

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Exercise and Sport Science

First Advisor

Michael T. Lane

Second Advisor

Heather R. Adams-Blair

Third Advisor

James M. Larkin

Abstract

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.

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