GABA promotes relaxation

If you are a client of mine, it’s quite likely we have spoken about GABA together since it has wide applications and benefits. Gamma-aminobutyric acid is an important neurotransmitter in the brain that plays a crucial role in regulating nerve excitability. Since it is an inhibitory neurotransmitter, it basically serves to calm the nerves down, producing a relaxing effect which is conducive to sleep, countering anxiety, and easing muscles. Did you know, that life extensionists and body builders use GABA for it’s touted effects on growth hormone? Growth hormone declines in us as we age, and boosting it up allows us to build muscle, and stay looking, and feeling younger. Sounds great right? GABA research is still not complete but let’s have a look at some of the benefits this supplement may have for us.

  1. Stress Reduction: GABA is known to have calming effects on the brain, which may help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. It works by inhibiting certain neurotransmitters that are associated with stress and anxiety, leading to a relaxation response.
  2. Improved Sleep: GABA has been implicated in promoting relaxation and sleep. Some studies suggest that increasing GABA levels may help improve sleep quality and duration, making it potentially beneficial for individuals with insomnia or other sleep disorders. Growth hormone is primarily released during deep sleep stages, particularly during the first few hours of sleep. GABA’s calming effects  help promote deeper and more restful sleep, which in turn can enhance the release of growth hormone during the night.
  3. Mood Regulation: GABA may play a role in regulating mood. By modulating neurotransmitter activity in the brain, GABA can help stabilize mood and reduce symptoms of depression and mood swings in some individuals.
  4. Epilepsy Management: As an inhibitory neurotransmitter, GABA can help to regulate the excessive electrical activity in the brain that leads to seizures. Certain medications that increase GABA activity are used in the treatment of epilepsy.
  5. Muscle Relaxation: GABA receptors are also present in muscles, where they help regulate muscle tone. Increasing GABA activity may promote muscle relaxation, which can be beneficial for conditions involving muscle spasms or tension.
  6. Cognitive Function: While the research is still in its early stages, some studies suggest that GABA may play a role in cognitive function and memory. It’s thought that GABA’s calming effects on the brain may help improve focus, concentration, and cognitive performance in certain situations.
  7. Pituitary Stimulation: GABA has been shown to stimulate the anterior pituitary gland, which is responsible for releasing growth hormone into the bloodstream.
  8. Exercise-Induced HGH Release: Some research suggests that GABA supplementation before and during exercise may increase growth hormone levels post-exercise, resulting n quicker recovery and improved muscle gain. More studies are needed to confirm this effect and understand the mechanisms involved, but here is an example for anyone interested:

A standard dosage of GABA is about 500 mg. If you take higher amounts (which I do) you may experience a slight flushing or tingling feeling which passes off quickly. One study on body builders had them using 3000 mg during a workout, just to give you an idea of the range of dosage. Since GABA has a relaxing effect, it may lower blood pressure so those on blood pressure medications should take note. As always, if you are unsure, please consult a professional for in depth advice on using GABA, though it is not known at present to have deleterious side effects.