While we are big fans of the “Work Hard, Play Hard” adage, we also know that if you want to maximize gains and stay on top of your fitness goals, you need to prioritize rest. Without adequate down time and the recommended amount of sleep, it’s harder for our bodies to recover and ultimately perform when we are pushing them to their limits.
That’s why we have developed a number of post workout supplements that have been shown to aid in both relaxation and quality sleep, including our GABA Formula, Sleep Aid Formula, and Zinc-Magnesium Supplements. Make sure that you are maximizing your down time so you can maximize your results inside and outside of the gym.
Gamma-amino butyric acid (often seen as GABA) is a non-essential amino acid that serves as neurotransmitter within the brain. Its inhibitory-effects on the central nervous system have been studied for their ability to calm synaptic responses, which offers the potential to help elevate mood, reduce anxiety, and improve sleep patterns.* In contrast, GABA deficiencies may contribute to bouts of anxiety, depression, panic attacks, or insomnia.*
As a non-essential amino acid, GABA is naturally produced within the human body through the synthesis of glutamate and an active form of vitamin B61. Individuals may be able to increase their GABA production through a number of different means without the need for dietary supplementation. Studies suggest that consuming materials such as green tea, spinach, walnuts, or mushrooms, which are high in the amino acid theanine, may contribute to the increased production of GABA2. Foods that are high in glutamic acid (such as chicken, broccoli, citrus, liver, or lentils) as well as those that are high in vitamin B6 (such as bananas, carrots, spinach, and potatoes) may show similar effects1. Because GABA cannot readily penetrate the brain-blood barrier in all cases3, this holistic approach may yield more positive results than direct supplementation.*
Because GABA has been shown to decrease brain wave activity and block nerve impulses, trials have been made in the hopes of demonstrating its ability to lower anxiety levels4, in addition to its ability to induce and increase the quality of sleep7. It is theorized that a GABA deficiency may be the potential cause for insomnia based on preliminary research8, which suggests that an increase in GABA production through wholefoods consumption or dietary supplementation may reduce the effects of insomnia.*
Although there is no conclusive evidence that has proven GABA‘s worth as a potential treatment for depression, a correlation has been drawn between low plasma levels of GABA and a number of identifiable mood disorders, but specifically in bipolar illness5. While this may seem to suggest that GABA could be used reverse these effects, one study addresses the possible concern that raising GABA levels in individuals that suffer from mood disorders may, in fact, serve as a trigger for a depressive episode until normalcy is restored6. Individuals that have not been diagnosed with mood disorders, on the other hand, may serve to benefit from its calming and mood-elevating effects.* One should always seek the advice of a medical professional before considering GABA as an alternative remedy.
Another series of studies looked at the effects of GABA in relation to the production of Human Growth Hormone (HGH). Two separate trials were conducted, which showed a substantial increase in HGH production in subjects that were administered direct injections of GABA in to the brain9,10. These claims were later substantiated in a more recent study that also looked at the effects of direct injection11, and in a separate trial where GABA was administered orally in conjunction with heavy exercise12. It can be concluded, then, that GABA may possess the potential to increase HGH levels if it is able to permeate the brain-blood barrier through injection or intense physical activity.*
As a dietary supplement, True Nutrition recommends 1 Serving (2,000mg) of GABA be taken 1-2 times per day, or as advised by a health care professional. **GABA may induce a state of tranquility or drowsiness, so individuals are not advised to operate a motored vehicle or any heavy machinery after consuming this material. **
It is our goal to help you meet your goals, and adding True Nutrition‘s GABA to your daily supplementation may be the key to your continued success! Ask us how GABA can complement your healthy lifestyle today!
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*DISCLAIMER: The above description is provided for information only and does not constitute medical advice. Please consult your physician or the appropriately licensed professional before engaging in a program of exercise or nutritional supplementation. No information in this site has been reviewed by the FDA. No product is intended to treat, diagnose, or cure any disease.
1. Petroff, OA. (2002). “GABA and glutamate in the human brain”. Neuroscientist. 8(6): p. 562â€“573.
2. Mason R. (2001). “L-theanine boosts alpha waves, promotes alert relaxation.” Alternative & Complementary Therapies. 7: p. 91-95.
3. Kuriyama K, Sze PY. (1971). “Blood“brain barrier to H3-Î³-aminobutyric acid in normal and amino oxyacetic acid-treated animals”. Neuropharmacology. 10(1): p. 103“108.
4. Braverman, E. Pfeiffer, C. (1987). “The Healing Nutrients Within.” Keats Publishing, New Canaan, Connecticut. p. 191-210.
5. Petty F, Kramer GL, Fulton M, Moeller FG, Rush AJ. (1993). “Low plasma GABA is a trait-like marker for bipolar illness.” Neuropsychopharmacology. 9(2): p. 125-32.
6. Petty F. (1995). “GABA and mood disorders: a brief review and hypothesis.” J Affect Disord. 34(4): p. 275-81.
7. Shell W, Bullias D, Charuvastra E, May LA, Silver DS. (2010). “A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of an amino acid preparation on timing and quality of sleep.” Am J Ther. 17(2): p. 133-9.
8. Winkelman JW, et al. (2008). “Reduced brain GABA in primary insomnia: preliminary data from 4T proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS).” Sleep. 31(11): p. 1499-506.
9. Cavagnini F, et al. (1980). “Effect of acute and repeated administration of gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) on growth hormone and prolactin secretion in man.” Acta Endocrinol. 93(2): p. 149-54.
10. Benetti G, et al. (1980). “Effect of gamma-aminobutyric acid on growth hormone and prolactin secretion in man: influence of pimozide and domperidone.” J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 51(4): p. 789-92.
11. MÃ¼ller EE, Locatelli V, Cocchi D. (1999). “Neuroendocrine control of growth hormone secretion”. Physiol. Rev. 79(2): p. 511“607.
12. Powers ME, Yarrow JF, McCoy SC, Borst SE. (2008). “Growth hormone isoform responses to GABA ingestion at rest and after exercise.” Medicine and science in sports and exercise. 40(1): p. 104â€“10.