Gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA is an amino acid and neurotransmitter that plays important roles within your body. GABA prevents certain activity from occurring within your nervous system and produces a calming effect within your body. It reduces stress and anxiety as a result. GABA supplements are popular today, as this amino acid is naturally occurring in our bodies, and there are not many dietary sources of GABA.
Although GABA is fairly new on the supplement market, some research has proven its efficacy in combating stress, anxiety, seizures, high blood pressure, fatigue, and insomnia. So, what are the best GABA supplements? Let’s take a look!
Different Types Of GABA Supplements
There are different types of GABA supplements, and many of them act in indirect ways. For instance, many anti-anxiety medications and sleeping pills target GABA activity and act in similar ways to our bodily GABA activity.
GABA supplements may either contain synthetic GABA, or they may support GABA activity. Many researchers agree that synthetic GABA may not be effective as the GABA molecules from this source may be too big to cross into the brain through the blood-brain barrier. However, there are some exceptions to this, and synthetic GABA may actually work for some individuals by targeting the nervous system.
GABA Supplement Benefits
GABA is an incredibly important neurotransmitter in the body. If we do not have sufficient GABA in our bodies, we may experience mood disorders, seizures, or epilepsy. The following are some benefits of GABA in the body:
- Improved sleep
- Prevention of mood disorders and seizures
- Lowers blood pressure
- Reduces fear and anxiety
- Induces feelings of calmness
- Helps the body relax
- Helps to treat insomnia
- Relax muscles and help them to recover
- May help treat symptoms of PMS
These benefits are also associated with supplemental GABA, but it’s hard and too early to tell if supplemental GABA behaves the same way as naturally occurring GABA within our bodies. Most research has shown though that supplemental GABA does reduce feelings of stress in patients.
Should I Take GABA Supplements?
With GABA supplements being so new to the market, it’s important to consult with your doctor before taking them. It’s also important to note that even though GABA may help with things like high blood pressure and seizures, if you suffer from these conditions, you should discuss it with your doctor first. It is cautioned to avoid taking GABA alongside blood pressure and anti-anxiety medications.
GABA supplements are also pretty expensive, and because their efficacy isn’t resounding, there are other cheaper options like tea, dark chocolate, and magnesium.
Do GABA Supplements Really Work?
GABA supplements are new to the market, but some research has proven its efficacy. The efficacy of supplemental GABA has been proven through small-sized trials. It may help to lower blood pressure, reduce stress, improve sleep, and reduce anxiety. More research is underway and should be conducted before it’s deemed a truly reliable and effective supplement. We know how GABA works in the body, but understanding it in supplemental form is a little bit different.
Additionally, it’s important to note that some people have found GABA supplements have made them feel more tired, sluggish, and has even resulted in headaches.
Best GABA Supplements
Now Supplements GABA
This product contains 750 mg of synthetic GABA. Although it may not cross the blood-brain barrier, this supplement may impact the nervous system directly, allowing for the same calming effects in the body. This product is vegan and comes at an affordable price.
Smarter Vitamins L-Theanine
This product contains L-Theanine, an amino acid that allows for more calmness in the body as it affects GABA activity. This is a non-synthetic form of GABA supplements. It also contains flaxseed oil for enhanced absorption.
Life Extension Taurine
This product contains the amino acid Taurine, which also enhances GABA activity, offering a synthetic-free GABA source. It is affordable and comes highly rated.
GABA Supplement Alternatives
GABA is a naturally-occurring neurotransmitter in our bodies, and we are not really able to get GABA through any dietary sources. However, some fruits, vegetables, teas, and red wines contain flavonoids that may impact GABA in the body. It’s also been shown that kimchi and fermented foods may help produce and synthesize more GABA, specifically in the gut.
GABA And Your Brain
GABA is a very important neurotransmitter in your body. Without sufficient GABA activity, individuals may suffer from epilepsy, seizures, mood disorders, and insomnia. Although these are all crucial functions, it is unsure as to whether or not GABA supplements are effective in enhancing activity. As there are not any direct dietary sources of GABA, many have turned to GABA supplements.
There are also more indirect ways of increasing GABA activity in the brain through flavonoids in food and other amino acid supplements like L-Theanine and Taurine. As with any supplement, it is important to consult with a doctor first, especially if you are on anti-anxiety medications or blood pressure medications.