Choline is a natural compound that is used for its cognitive and muscular contraction supporting properties. It’s naturally found in food, most notably egg yolks.
When ingested, choline turns into acetylcholine, which many refer to as “the learning neurotransmitter” since it supports cognitive function so well.
There are several forms of choline, and all are beneficial. In this article, we’ll describe the differences and explain why citicoline (also known as choline CDP), is the most beneficial form to supplement.
Why use choline?
In general, choline is most popularly used for three reasons:
- Boosting focus for studying / working
- Enhancing the “mind-muscle connection” during workouts
- Supporting liver function
Forms of Choline
There are six common ways to get choline (five of which are supplemental):
This includes eggs, cod, chicken, milk, and soybeans.
Besides eggs, however, most foods require very high amounts, such as en entire pound of chicken to get a decent dose.
CiticolineThe most potent form of choline, which requires the lowest dosage to get the benefits. This yields the least amount of side effects, as we’ll explore lower down.
Due to cost, bitartrate is the most common form supplemented (or added to workout supplements), but there are a few important drawbacks to using it that are discussed below.
This is the form of choline most often used for liver support, but not as much for pre workout focus or studying.
This is the cheapest form, but it is poorly absorbed and is so incredibly sour that it’s not worth fussing with.
Also known as Alpha-glycerophosphocholine, this is a supplement that contains choline. While it has benefits, it is 40% choline by weight, which increases costs for those who are most interested in receiving cholinergenic benefits.
There is not much research behind the glycerophosphate part of Alpha-GPC, which makes several users cautious about its use.
This includes sources such as sunflower lecithin syrup, and soy lecithin granules / supplements. Many users prefer to stay away from supplemental forms.
When it comes to pre workout supplementation, which is the basis of this site (Nitramine is a pre workout supplement), supplement companies typically choose between the CDP and the bitartrate forms of choline. We dig into the differences:
Citicoline vs. Choline BitartrateOf all of the forms listed above, citicoline is the most potent one. It requires the lowest active dose, and increases neural concentration moreso than choline bitartrate.
Furthermore, citicoline serves a second purpose that goes beyond its conversion to choline → acetylcholine: It also converts to uridine, which increases the production of cell membranes and has other incredible neurological properties.
Absorption of CDP-Choline
Unlike nearly any other supplement, citicoline’s absorption is incredibly high: from 97% to 100%.
This means that lower dosages provide the same benefits, yielding fewer side effects and allowing for more highly-concentrated side effects.
Side Effects from Choline Bitartrate
Meanwhile, when you have to take higher amounts of the bitartrate form, you’ll notice some odd side effects:
- Users smelling like fish, due to a gene mutation in some individuals
- Gastrointestinal distress
Higher Focus Improvements from Lower-Dose Citicoline
One interesting study gave healthy women from ages 40-60 citicoline (250 or 500mg) dosages. Both dosages reduced errors in performance tests, but 250mg actually worked better!
Citicoline’s bonus benefits from uridine production
As mentioned above, citicoline also promotes a rapid conversion to uridine.
Uridine is highly neurogenerative, and this may be do it helping to create new synaptic connections. Unfortunately, most studies done that use it also used other supplements, so it’s difficult to determine how well it works alone.
While other forms of choline are good for most people, citicoline’s lack of “fishy” side effects, lower required dosage, and its bonus uridine conversion make it worth using, especially when dealing with pre workout supplements.
It’s included in Nitramine because it works that much better, and Nitramine is an elite energy and focus enhancing product. On top of other ingredients like higher dosages of Huperzine A, Myokem spared no expense when creating Nitramine.
You can read about the rest of the ingredients on the Nitramine Ingredients page, or get a free sample below.