GABA Supplement Review
GABA Supplements are popular nootropics used as a safe and natural way to relieve anxiety, nervousness, and stress.
Find out if GABA supplements actually work today in our review.
What Are GABA Supplements?
GABA supplements deliver high levels of GABA directly into your body. GABA stands for Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid and it’s a type of amino acid.
GABA is a natural chemical produced in your brain. Your brain produces GABA when you need to feel calm. It’s also been shown to increase focus and act as a sleep aid.
Unlike most amino acids, GABA is not directly involved in the building of proteins. As you’ll learn below, however, it does play a small role in muscle tone and development.
In order to make GABA, your brain needs glutamate and vitamin B6.
When it comes to mood regulation in your brain, few chemical compounds are as important as GABA. Numerous scientific studies have recognized the importance of GABA and its critical role on mood.
But as you’ll learn below, pure GABA supplements are not very effective as nootropic supplements or as mood boosting compounds.
How Does GABA Work?
GABA primarily functions as an inhibitory neurotransmitter. It inhibits the activity of certain neurons to prevent them from getting over-excited.
If your neurons are exposed to external stimuli and get over-excited, for example, then GABA could be used to provide much-needed relief.
Some neurotransmitters are more susceptible to over-excitement than others. Adrenaline and noradrenalin, for example, can both become over-excited, which leads to feelings of restlessness, stress, insomnia, and irritability.
By raising levels of GABA, you can effectively “soothe” these neurotransmitters to promote a feeling of calmness.
In many cases, doctors find that sleeplessness is linked to low levels of GABA. Conditions like depression, anxiety, and stress are also linked to low levels of GABA – which means that external stimuli aren’t always responsible for your stress and mental state. It might simply be your GABA levels.
In addition to promoting a feeling of calmness, GABA plays other roles throughout the body. GABA is used to support the production of numerous other hormones – especially hormones that regulate muscle growth and muscle tone.
Many bodybuilders take GABA supplements to support muscle growth while also reducing the stress and anxiety that comes from a hard athletic regimen.
New research has also indicated that GABA may be an effective fat burner. It optimizes your body’s fat burning and weight loss. Some nutritionists even consider GABA a thermogenic, which means it acts as a natural fat burner.
Why Don’t Some GABA Supplements Work?
GABA supplements all suffer from one major flaw: GABA cannot cross the blood-brain barrier when ingested orally.
That means you can’t just take a pill filled with GABA in order to raise levels of GABA within your body. It just doesn’t work that way. The compound will never cross the blood-brain barrier, which means the compound will be passed harmlessly out of your body.
After you take a GABA supplement, the ingredients pass through your digestive system and into your intestines, where they then enter the bloodstream. The ingredients travel through the blood and reach the brain. Only certain chemicals can pass the blood-brain barrier. GABA is not one of those chemicals. All of the GABA in your brain must be produced within your brain.
However, there’s one caveat to this rule: many GABA supplements don’t actually contain pure GABA. Instead, they contain the chemicals that your brain needs in order to produce GABA, including glutamate and vitamin B6.
Other supplements also advertised themselves as GABA supplements, even though they don’t actually contain GABA. Green tea extract, for example, contains L-theanine, and L-theanine has been shown to work as a natural GABA booster. Some GABA supplements also contain melanin, which raises GABA levels and leads to sleepiness.
How to Use GABA Supplements
The recommended dosage of GABA varies from supplement to supplement. In general, you should vary your dose according to which conditions you’re trying to treat, including:
— General Stress Relief: 250mg taken 2-3 times per day.
— Anti-Anxiety: 250mg taken 3 times per day, increasing up to 650mg if necessary.
— ADHD: 250mg taken 3 times per day, increasing in 50mg increments up to 400mg as needed.
— Insomnia: 500-750mg taken within half an hour of going to bed, increasing up to 1000mg as needed.
Ideally, you’ll take GABA on an empty stomach. You should also avoid taking it at the same time as protein, as this can mess up your digestion.
Most studies on GABA involve taking 3-5 grams of GABA over the course of an entire day. Some people prefer taking this supplement all at once in one big dosage, while others prefer multiple smaller doses.
How to Buy GABA Supplements
What if I told you that you already use GABA supplements on a regular basis?
Most popular anti-anxiety treatments, including alcohol, marijuana, and tranquilizers, affect your body by raising GABA levels in the brain.
However, if you’re reading this article, then I assume you’re interested in genuine GABA supplements. These supplements come in all different shapes and forms.
Most bodybuilding manufacturers make GABA supplements (GABA supplements are popular among bodybuilders). Major manufacturers include Universal Nutrition, PharmaFreak, Dymatize, Infinite Labs, and Ultimate Nutrition.
These supplements range from as cheap as $15 for a monthly supply to a high of around $60.
As mentioned above, your brain can’t actually absorb GABA when you take it orally. It won’t cross the blood-brain barrier. That’s why you should compare GABA supplements based on their other ingredients.
PharmaFreak’s GABA supplement, for example, is specifically designed to support healthy sleep. You take three capsules before going to bed every day. Each capsule contains GABA along with DHEA, 5-HTP, L-Theanine, melatonin, and niacin. While the GABA doesn’t actually enter your brain, the other ingredients will raise GABA levels within your body.
Universal Nutrition’s Animal PM, priced at $30 for a monthly supply, is one of the better GABA supplements on the market. Instead of flooding your body with pure GABA, Animal PM contains multiple formulas designed to promote relaxation. GABA is just one part of the formula, and other ingredients include valerian root powder, pyridoxine (vitamin B6), magnesium, zinc, and glutamate. You need glutamate and vitamin B6 to make GABA, so the supplement is one of the few that actually raises GABA levels in the brain.
Who Should Use GABA Supplements?
GABA supplements are primarily targeted towards bodybuilders, although some people take GABA supplements purely for their anti-anxiety, anti-stress, and anti-insomnia effects. If you have trouble falling asleep at night or want to improve your mood, then GABA is a proven way to do that.
The most important thing to remember with GABA supplements is that your brain can’t directly absorb pure GABA. If you see a supplement that contains high levels of GABA and few other ingredients, then that won’t be a very effective GABA supplement.
If you see a supplement that contains ingredients that support GABA production, however, then that supplement is likely to be more effective. Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and glutamate are the two most effective ingredients for raising GABA levels.
With careful shopping and research, you can easily find a GABA supplement that works as promised to deliver powerful cognition-boosting, anti-anxiety, fat-burning effects.