Indisputable fact: mental focus is a critical component to any bodybuilder’s and athlete’s training session.
There are typically two approaches you can take to enhance your focus through supplementation—stimulants and nootropics. Stimulants are well-regarded for their ability to spike focus (think of that morning cup of coffee to “mentally wake up”), but they also impact other physiological systems such as your heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol levels. On the other hand, nootropics work solely on your psyche, allowing the other systems to remain stable.
Alpha-GPC (alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine) is a supplement containing choline, which is known for its cognitive-enhancing functions. To understand how Alpha-GPC benefits your workouts, we have to trace it back to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh). ACh works to boost alertness, sustain attention, and even plays a role in muscle contraction. The body needs choline to produce ACh, which is where Alpha-GPC comes in. Alpha-GPC works to deliver choline to the brain, where it aids in the production of ACh. Think of Alpha-GPC as the transportation system that kicks off this production chain, yielding the cognitive benefits you’re looking for.
Bodybuilders, serious lifters, and athletes alike, know the importance mental focus has on their training. Whether crushing a workout in the gym or playing a sport, your head needs to be in the game. A loss of focus can lead to mistakes, a less intense workout, and even an increased risk of injury. On the flip side, a focused workout can yield better execution, keep intensity high, and result in a more efficient workout with a greater amount of work completed.
The pre-workout window is well known for its ability to boost performance with proper supplementation. Consuming a comprehensive pre-workout can be a strong ergogenic aid which prepares the mind and body for the gruelling session ahead.
Research has found a dose of 600 mg of Alpha-GPC is effective at enhancing cognitive properties in athletes. This dose was also found to have a significant impact on power output, which is likely a by-product of the heightened mental focus. Specifically, a group of trained men who supplemented with 600 mg pre-workout demonstrated a 14% increase in power when performing a single physical task. A dosage of 600 mg tops the high end of doses found in most products on the market, but is the proven clinical dosage if you want enhanced performance.
But its benefits don’t stop at just cognitive performance. Research has found that supplementing with Alpha-GPC also results in increased growth hormone (GH) secretion. Subjects who took a pre-workout dose of 600 mg of Alpha-GPC showed significant increases in GH serum levels, peaking at 30 minutes post-exercise. GH is a powerful anabolic hormone, helping you recover faster, build more muscle, and boost your lifts due to improved strength.
The most effective pre-workouts to support focus don’t just offer Alpha-GPC; they combine additional cognitive amplifiers that are proven by research to work synergistically with one another. That’s why you can’t mention Alpha-GCP without mentioning Huperzine-A. Huperzine-A is a compound pulled from herbs of the Huperziceae family. As a nootropic, it’s known for its ability to enhance cognition, specifically memory and concentration.
As we saw above with Alpha-GPC, the presence of acetylcholine is key for mental alertness. When the aim is to support ACh levels in the brain, an ingredient that protects its breakdown is a no-brainer. Huperzine-A plays this protective role as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor; it stops the natural breakdown of ACh, leaving more ACh available to support mental functioning.
While both are available as individual supplements, the combination of Alpha-GPC with Huperzine-A is even more beneficial. Even a small amount of Huperzine-A, when combined with 600 mg of Alpha-GPC, yields a level of focus that is simply unmatched. Both of these ingredients have the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier quickly and easily upon ingestion. Consuming these two ingredients in the pre-workout window before you even pick up that first weight will help get your brain producing centers firing on all cylinders, without impacting other physical processes.
If you’re looking to experience a workout with razor-sharp mental focus, give HOSSTILITY a try. Its formula includes the efficacious dose of Alpha-GPC along with the complement of Huperzine-A to support superior mental function.
- 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 Nutr5, P15 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1186/1550-2783-5-S1-P15