GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid) is a natural supplement that helps with anxiety, mood disorders, chronic pain, and epilepsy. Some of you may heard that it doesn’t work but it definitely does. I can fully back this up as I take GABA everyday.
It is essentially a neurotransmitter that interrupts impulses between nerve cells in the brain, thereby allowing the body and mind to have a calm, relaxing effect.
There are many benefits of GABA in which I will talk about in this article.
I will also discuss GABA side effects as well as the best GABA supplement you can take (the one I consume). Lastly, I will discuss why GABA is the best supplement for anxiety.
What GABA does to me mentally is definitely noticeable.
I find when I take it, it really helps to sooth my central nervous system. All feelings of tension, nervousness, and most importantly anxiety seem to disappear.
It allows me to focus more, be more social, and allows me to get the daily tasks completed without any worry.
I am relaxed, calm, and at ease when I take it. All my worries seem to disappear and they do not trigger me nearly as much.
The fact that GABA does not cross the blood-brain barrier is why many people claim it won’t work.
However, this does not stop it from effecting the central nervous system in the gut, where 90% of serotonin receptors are located, which is why many people with gut problems and anxiety and depression find it so helpful.
There is fascinating new research on the enteric nervous system that people who are disregarding GABA as a inefficient supplement (based on the blood-brain issue) need to catch up on.
What is GABA?
It is a neurotransmitter involved in the central nervous system. It’s main role is to decrease the neuronal excitability throughout the nervous system, hence why we feel relaxed and calm on it.
GABA can also be directly responsible for muscle tone regulation in humans.
With low levels of GABA in the human body (ie. GABA deficiency), anxiety or mood disorders can develop or if you already have anxiety, it can worsen with GABA deficiency.
That is why I think it is a great idea to take GABA supplements to aid with our anxiety as opposed to antidepressants. They are natural and come with very limited side effects if any.
GABA deficiency is also linked to epilepsy. Epilepsy is a very common neurological disorder and effects people of all ages.
Epilepsy can be referred to as seizure disorder as it is characterized by random and unpredictable seizures varying from types and person to person.
GABA deficiency can also be linked to chronic pain. Chronic pain can be classified as any pain lasting more than 12 weeks.
Mood changes as well as other health problems such as sleep disturbance, fatigue, and decreased appetite can be responsible for chronic pain.
This may limit a person’s ability to carry out daily tasks or functions which in turn may cause other mental disorders such as depression.
Fortunately, GABA can help eliminate or reduce these disorders and symptoms.
Best GABA Supplement
Here is my top recommendation for a great GABA supplement. I can fully attest to the benefits as I take mine frequently (2 times a day).
Thorne Natural Source GABA Supplement
- Promotes a relaxed, calm, focus state of mind.
- Relieves stress.
- Supports restful sleep.
- Pure, natural source GABA.
- Contain ingredients from pure sources. Flavors, colors, sweeteners, and preservatives are derived from natural sources.
- Product does not contain gluten, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), artificial preservatives, stearates, wheat, rye, barley, eggs, or nuts, dairy, soy, corn, yeast, sugar, or magnesium stearate.
- Promotes physical well-being (muscle relaxation).
- 250 mg is a very efficient and safe dosage.
- Rated 4.5 stars from 30 customer reviews that are mostly positive.
I love this GABA supplement and fully encourage you to take GABA supplements if you find yourself with anxiety or other said disorders.
Common user experiences suggest taking anywhere from 250mg-750mg two to three times per day is extremely efficient and safe. I take mostly 2 capsules per day, sometimes 3 if I am feeling a bit more anxious or have more things to do like going out.
Also, give it time to start working. Give it at least 2-3 weeks. Once it starts working, you will notice it works consistently, but make sure you keep up with your doses. It will feel like you don’t even have anxiety anymore.
GABA is also relatively difficult to find in stores over the counter. I know my closest drug store does not have it. That is why I buy mine here from Amazon for a cheap price.
I also take other natural supplements that are beneficial for my mental and physical health. GABA is the main one I take for anxiety though.
I also take:
- 5-HTP 100 mg (3 capsules per day) (My 5-HTP Review)
- Omega-3 (1 capsule per day) (My Omega-3 Review)
- Turmeric (1 capsule per day) (My Turmeric Review)
- Vitamins (B,C,D) (1 capsule per day)
The Benefits of GABA
There are numerous health benefits associated with taking GABA, both physically and mentally. GABA benefits include:
- Relief of anxiety
- Relief of mental tension and physical tension
- Relief of stress
- Relief of nervousness
- Improve sleep patterns
- Treatment of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)
- Lower blood pressure
- Increase the growth of lean muscle mass
- Relieve pain or discomfort
- Help with PMS (premenstrual syndrome)
- Increase tolerance to exercise
- Burn fat
- Elevate mood
However, there is more scientific research needed to prove if there are benefits for all the above reasons. Nonetheless, people have reported taking GABA for all the above reasons.
Personally, I did not know GABA supplements could have this many benefits.
I take mine mainly for my anxiety which I find actually in turn, helps with depression.
It is common for depression and anxiety to work hand in hand, which is why I believe when GABA relieves anxiety, it allows for mood elevation as well. It’s like a win-win situation and you didn’t even ask for it.
GABA Side Effects, Risks, and Interactions
There is actually not much research on GABA side effects. However, there can always be a range of side effects when taking any medication, vitamin, or supplement. Possible side effects may include:
- Increased heart rate (usually dissipates soon after)
- Sensation of itching, tickling on the neck, face, and/or limbs area
- Shortness of breath or rapid breathing (usually dissipates soon after)
I cannot back up these side effects as when I take my GABA supplements I don’t have any nor did I have any when I first started taking it before it kicked in. If you are taking GABA and notice any of the above side effects, then I encourage you to speak to your doctor.
Other Cautionary Measures
You should be cautionary when taking other medication/drugs that affect neurological pathways when also taking GABA. These drugs can include benzodiazepine, barbiturates, and alcohol.
In other words, it is not advised to take antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication when taking GABA.
Pregnant or lactating women should be cautionary with GABA supplementation as there is limited research conducted in this area of study.
Those with bipolar or unipolar disorder should talk to their doctor first before thinking about taking GABA supplements.
My Experience with GABA
GABA has an extremely beneficial effect on my anxiety. Before taking GABA, my anxiety would hit me whenever it felt like it. I would be sitting in my bedroom and all of a sudden, a wavelength of anxiety would come at me. It felt terrible.
My anxiety discouraged me from going out, socializing, and even started making me isolate myself from family and friends. I would be fearful for literally no reason but that is anxiety for you.
Now with GABA, I truly believe I am in a better state. I feel relaxed and calm on it and these effects are prolonged meaning I feel this way for the entire day and I always make sure to keep up with my doses, so no feeling of anxiety can come back at me.
This in turn has allowed me to have more courage, socialize more, want to go out and be more out-going, keep me motivated, and elevate my mood. Even in uncomfortable situations, I do not feel anxious or nervous.
So if you are struggling with chronic pain, epilepsy, but mainly anxiety, then I encourage you to take GABA.
I would like to hear from you if you are taking GABA, or any other supplement you find helps for anxiety or other mental disorders. If you have any questions or concerns, please comment below.