Did you know that GABA supplements have all sorts of benefits, from enhancing focus to relieving stress? The body naturally produces GABA to support communication between brain cells. Find out more about this powerful nootropic and how GABA supplements balance brain chemistry for peak mental performance.
What Is GABA?
GABA stands for gamma-aminobutyric acid. It is a non-protein amino acid and type of neurotransmitter that helps calm an overactive mind. The brain naturally produces it, and you can get it from taking GABA supplements. Certain foods also contain GABA or boost its production, including brown rice, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, and green tea.
Neurotransmitters – The Brain’s Messengers
Your brain cells “talk” to each other using special chemicals called neurotransmitters, which enable brain cells to send and receive signals.
The brain has over 100 types of neurotransmitters, which we can classify into three categories: excitatory, inhibitory, or modulatory.
Excitatory neurotransmitters, like acetylcholine, norepinephrine, and adrenaline, activate brain cell receptors. They “excite” brain cells, causing them to fire off messages and take action. Focused, attentive, alert—these are the effects of excitatory neurotransmitters.
Inhibitory neurotransmitters prevent or stop those messages from passing from one brain cell to the next. They lessen a brain cell’s ability to receive or send messages to other brain cells. GABA is the main kind of inhibitory neurotransmitter. Calm, relaxed, at ease—these are associated with inhibitory neurotransmitters.
The brain also has modulatory neurotransmitters, which work together with other neurotransmitters to enhance their function.
Keeping Neurotransmitters Healthy and Why
We need a balance of activity and rest to feel healthy in our everyday lives. The same goes for our brain chemistry.
Keeping a balanced neurotransmitter state maintains the right levels of brain cell activity, a balance between activity and rest. When you have excess or low levels of certain neurotransmitters, you may experience moodiness, overthinking, restlessness, worry, or stress.
You can start incorporating some practices that promote neurotransmitter health. You can help optimize neurotransmitter balance and brain activity through lifestyle habits, like exercise or meditation.
Taking supplements can also help balance the chemistry in your brain. As an inhibitory neurotransmitter, GABA decreases signaling between brain cells. Supplementing with GABA helps decrease overstimulation of brain cells, creating a sense of calm.
Top GABA Health Benefits
Taking GABA supplements offers many natural ways to optimize cognition and overall wellbeing, whether you have trouble sleeping at night, struggle with overthinking, or want to improve your focus. Keep reading to learn more about GABA benefits and what the science has to say about this beneficial nootropic.
It improves sleep quality.
Want to sleep better at night? Taking GABA supplements can help you get better quality rest. Studies show that GABA supports healthy sleep cycles, without the unwanted side-effects that come with taking prescription medications.
It helps us relax and manage stress.
We all deal with stress at one time or another. But, chronic, repeated stress can negatively impact our health. There is an important connection between memory and stress. That makes stress management an important part of caring for our cognitive health and memory.
While we can’t avoid stress altogether, taking GABA supplements helps reduce the negative effects of stress. Studies show that GABA acts as a natural relaxant with fast-acting effects seen within one hour of taking it. Moreover, GABA supplements could relieve the negative impacts of stress.
It eases overthinking.
Research found that GABA concentrations within the brain predict people’s ability to prevent unwanted thoughts from recurring. Within a sample of healthy young adults, people with less GABA were less able to suppress overthinking and hyperactivity in the brain. If your mind races as soon as your head hits the pillow at night, consider adding GABA supplements to your wellness routine.
It improves focus and mental clarity.
Any high achievers out there? GABA could give you the advantage for better focus and clear thinking. Research found that GABA induces EEG activities including alpha band waves (associated with relaxation) and beta band brain waves (associated with focus). This can help support your brain and alleviate stress during demanding mental tasks.
It supports workout recovery and building muscle.
Start taking GABA supplements if you want to get more out of your workouts. The nootropic does more than just support mental performance. It can also boost performance and recovery at the gym. A study observed the effects of taking GABA supplements in healthy male adults. The results showed significant increase in muscle mass and faster recovery among participants who took GABA in combination with whey protein.
Frequently Asked Questions about GABA
Supplementing with GABA is a more natural way to feel calm. You can enjoy the benefits of GABA by supplementing. GABA supplements come in different forms such as capsules, powders, gummies, and nutritional shakes. If you’re considering adding GABA to your wellness routine, this guide will walk you through all you need to know to get started.
What is GABA good for?
Studies show GABA has a range of benefits including:
- Stress relief
- Sleep support
- Mood balance
- Clear thinking
- Improved physical performance
Is it okay to take GABA every day?
Clinical studies show that it’s safe to take GABA supplements without any known side effects. When in doubt, check with your physician to make sure that GABA supplementation is right for you.
How much GABA should you take?
How much GABA you should take will vary from person to person. Clinical studies show that taking ~100-200 mg of GABA daily can help you enjoy the benefits of this nootropic to relieve stress, support sleep, and increase focus. The upper recommended intake is typically 3000 mg per day—with no more than 750 mg per dose.
As we learn more about the brain, we find new ways to optimize mental performance and feel our best. Taking GABA supplements regularly helps support brain health by maintaining balanced brain activity. It’s an easy step to ease overthinking, relieve stress, and improve focus.
Want more tips on how to optimize brain health? Learn more about the best nootropics to boost brain performance and memory.