GABA acts as a sort of natural tranquilliser that helps to reduce anxiety by impacting neurotransmitters in the Central Nervous System. It is produced in the body and used in the brain to regulate sleep patterns and nerve impulses. Because of this, GABA supplements can also be utilized to help those with various sleep disorders or those who simply experience poor sleep quality.
Supplements that contain GABA are similar to others such as benzodiazepines and barbiturates, however the sedative effects users report tend to be milder than these other medications. These supplements are commonly used by those who experience anxiety, depression, insomnia, and various forms of addiction to counteract the lower levels of the natural amino acid that are found in their systems.
GABA is also commonly referred to as Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid and 4-aminobutanoic acid. Some have had success when attempting to increase GABA naturally by using certain plants such as Kava, however this is only an option where such plants are legal.
GABA deficiency diseases are quite common, and therefore GABA supplements are becoming increasingly popular to counteract these low GABA level symptoms.
Benefits and Effects
Since GABA is a naturally occurring amino acid in the brain, it has many useful applications when used in the form of a supplement too.
Motion sickness is a common occurrence in those who undergo lengthy car rides, boat trips, or plane flights. Many users report the use of GABA to help alleviate these feelings of motion sickness when taken before these longer rides. These reports even come from those who typically tend to experience greater levels of severity in their motion sickness, which can often include chills and cold sweats.
Anxiety and Depression
Due to its ability to inhibit certain receptors in the brain, GABA can be a naturally calming substance. In times of increased anxiety or depression, the nerves in the brain are firing at heightened rates. This increase in activity is what most often results in these feelings of uncertainty, worry, and anxiety. By utilizing the supplement GABA, users can help reduce this activity by blocking nerve impulses and achieving and more relaxed state in comparison to their state of anxiety.
GABA can be integral when it comes to supplemental assistance in the immune system. As a neurotransmitter, it has the ability to either promote or halt the activity of Cytokines in certain immune cells. Cytokines are small proteins that can impact how the cells around them behave. This is especially important when it comes to the function of the immune system. They help to keep in check the balance between humoral and cell-based immune responses to bacterial threats. When Cytokines are off-balance, the immune system can suffer. With higher levels of GABA in their system, users tend to fight off getting sick with more success thanks in part to a stronger immune system.
High Blood Pressure
It has been proven that those who suffer from heightened anxiety and stress are also more prone to suffering from high blood pressure and other similar ailments such as poor circulation and general health in the cardiovascular system. By using supplemental GABA, those who suffer from high blood pressure have shown healthier circulation and lower blood pressure, making it a possible alternative to other more common blood pressure medications that might have other negative side effects.
Some users choose to use seek the GABA supplement for its bodybuilding benefits, which work by promoting the healthy production and release of immunofunctional GH and immunoreactive GH. Both of these natural substances are known to help in the process of building lean muscle.
How It Works
GABA is known to moderate the activity between various transmitters within the brain that are associated with higher levels of anxiety, which can ultimately lead to panic attacks, headaches, and other forms of cognitive impairment when levels of GABA are extremely low. The absence of this substance within the brain can lead to these neurotransmitters having the ability to fire too easily, which then leads to these types of neurofunction.
GABA receptors are those that have been tied to the substance within the central nervous system. After they have bonded, the receptors are less likely to fire, which means that whatever signal they were going to send is blocked thanks to the GABA substance’s presence in the brain. The result of this in users who typically have lower levels of GABA naturally occurring in their system will usually be a calmer, more relaxed feeling.
Many find the results from low doses of GABA taken orally do not tend to have the desired effects, however.
Many users find it necessary to ingest high doses of GABA on a daily basis in order to see the results they want from the substance. While the recommended GABA dosage will vary based on the individual, the average is between 3 and 5 grams taken daily.
The lower impact the supplement has on the system is due in part to the low absorption rate between the blood-brain barrier and GABA. Users can either take their 3 to 5 gram dosage in one go or they can divide it into smaller doses throughout the day to achieve the same results. However, either way, GABA should be taken without food.
With levels of GABA high in the system from these higher doses, users are more likely to see the calming and relaxing benefits of the supplement.
GABA Side Effects
There are very few reported negative GABA effects associated with using the substance to achieve these results, which can be due in part to the fact that it is a naturally occurring chemical found in the brain.
Since it does function quite similarly to an antidepressant or an anxiety medication, which are designed to give the user more energy and motivation throughout the day, users of GABA can sometimes experience restlessness as well as the occasional elevated heart rate. This can also be accompanied by a tingling sensation throughout the course of the user’s body. However, even these side effects typically are short-lived and not much cause for concern to many.
There are certain drugs that can alter the way GABA works within the brain. These can include certain supplements designed to aid in experiencing quality sleep. This can also include certain tranquilizing medication. When these are being used, GABA supplements should not be taken, as the effects will more than likely be negated by these other drugs anyway.
Since there has been no significant research in regards to the effects GABA can have on pregnant women, the supplement should be avoided until after pregnancy to avoid any negative side effects that could potentially harm either the mother or the child.
A common combination of supplements can include various teas used in conjunction with GABA. This can be options such as Green Tea, Black Tea, or Oolong Tea. The amino acids in these help boost the effects of GABA.
You can also mix Valerian Root, American Ginseng, or Kava in varying doses to help heighten GABA receptor activity and achieve a more effective calming sensation.
Tryptophan and 5-HTP can also be used for their serotonin-increasing properties. Serotonin is known to help amplify the effects GABA can have on its users.