Gamma-Aminobutyric acid, or GABA for short, is a unique kind of amino acid that is never incorporated into protein. It does however play other vitally important roles in the human body, including the regulation of muscle tone and neurotransmitters. GABA, being the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain, is particularly useful for promoting a sense of calming and anxiety relief. It is also commonly used to promote muscle growth and has been shown effective in treating PMS and ADHD among other conditions.
The power of human growth hormone
One of GABA’s most sought after properties is its effect on human growth hormone. HGH, also known as somatotropin, is a chemical produced by the pituitary gland which stimulates cell production and regeneration. The positive effects of HGH on the body are practically endless. It can improve vision, energy levels, brain function, muscle tone, reduce body fat, decrease recovery times and boost immune function to name just a few. Unfortunately, some people who desire these attributes result to using synthetic growth hormone. Synthetic HGH can have dangerous long term side effects and can actually shut off the body’s own production of the hormone. This is why natural supplements like GABA, that do just the opposite; increase the body’s own HGH production, are a much smarter and safer choice.
GABA studies on HGH and stress
One 2008 study published in Medical Science Sports Exercise found that 3 grams of GABA supplementation increased peak Growth hormone levels by about four hundred percent when consumed during and after training sessions. This has huge implications since growth hormone is a chief factor in new muscle creation. While testosterone can increase muscle mass by adding size to existing muscle cells, only growth hormone has the ability to produce new muscle cells. By supplementing GABA after training you are creating optimal conditions in the body for new muscle creation.
A 2006 study published in the National Library of Medicine found that “after 60 minutes of administration, GABA significantly increases alpha waves and decreases beta waves compared to water or L-theanine. These findings denote that GABA not only induces relaxation but also reduces anxiety.” The study concluded that “GABA could work effectively as a natural relaxant and its effects could be seen within 1 hour of its administration to induce relaxation and diminish anxiety. Moreover, GABA administration could enhance immunity under stress conditions.” As noted in this study the effects of stress reduction and relaxation have a direct correlation to immune function and therefore overall health.
Sources and dosage of GABA
The recommended dosage of GABA is between one and three grams per day. Besides supplementing GABA directly, there are other ways to increase your body’s supply. One is by obtaining the amino acid through dietary sources such as beans, broccoli, almonds and spinach. The other way is to supplement glutamine, which acts as a precursors to GABA. Glutamine also has many of its own unique benefits. GABA is a safe supplement with a many desirable traits. For those who have high stress levels and/or are looking to build muscle, experimenting with this supplement may prove worthwhile.
Sources for this article include: