Athletic Advantage

Where Intensity Meets Intelligence

Strength and Conditioning, Nutrition and Sport Psychology Coaching

Alpha GPC and Max Capacity from Nova3 Labs

As a coach and an athlete, I am always looking for supplements to help increase performance. Performance in sport is most often determined by moments of extreme force production and power output. While much of this can be attributed to muscular strength, some adaptations to training can be neural in nature. A study by Pensini, Martin and Maffiuletti , demonstrated that increases in torque associated with 4 weeks of eccentric exercise were likely the result of central (or neural) adaptation.  This demonstrates that both central and peripheral adaptations are necessary to enhance performance in athletes. When we take a look at nutrition for athletes, it is therefore important to study interventions that have the potential to augment either potential site of adaptation.

One such supplement that has been proven to increase performance via central adaptation  is Alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine (Alpha-GPC). Studies have demonstrated some initial promise in changing explosive performance.  Recently, Bellar, LeBlanc and Campbell, performed a study giving athletes 6 days of supplementation with Alpha GPC, to see if it augmented  isometric force production compared to a placebo.

The results of the study proved that alpha GPC was effective at increasing lower body force production after only 6 days of supplementation. Given that in many sports, especially weightlifting, it is understood that a very small change in performance, (often times less than 2 %, can significantly affect outcomes), it is important to note that the 6 days of Alpha GPC resulted in greater than a 3 % increase in lower body isometric strength. Coaches working with speed and power athletes should consider adding Alpha GPC to the diet to potentially enhance muscle performance.

Nova 3 Labs has a product called Max Capacity, that contains Alpha GPC, that I use every single day before training. While there are too many compounding factors for me to determine whether or not my power output has been positively affected; anecdotally, my mental focus and energy are noticeably better. In addition to Alpha GPC, Max Capacity contains cordyceps, which is a fungi of the mushroom family, that has been shown to alter lactate threshold and mitochondrial ATP generation, as well as adaptogens which I wrote about in my previous post. Use my code SCHOLL10 at checkout.