Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid, commonly referred to as GABA in the health world, is one of the mommy must-haves when it comes to daily supplements. It’s an amino acid that acts as neurotransmitter in our central nervous system. And what does this heroic supplement contribute to our wellbeing? It is renowned as a natural tranquilizer! GABA works its miracles by inhibiting nerve transmission to our brains, which can actually relieve nervous activity, both physical and mental. In addition to calming our anxieties, GABA is also popular in the fitness world because of its connection to human growth hormone levels. It is believed that supplementing workouts, especially weight training, with GABA can actually help promote muscle growth.
> Read more: The Best Vitamins for Stress Reduction
Many people choose GABA as a natural supplement in place of more extreme anti-anxiety medications, such as Xanax, Celexa and Adderall. Those who suffer from low levels of GABA often experience symptoms such as anxiety or mood disorders, epilepsy, or chronic pain. However, when it is used in conjunction with these conditions, research shows that there may be strong evidence that suggests GABA’s ability to boost your mood and have a relaxing, calming effect on the nervous system. People who take these supplements often report relief in the following areas:
- Improved mood
- Relieved anxiety or stress
- Improved sleeping patterns
- Improved premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- Relieved attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Alleviated pain and discomfort from injuries
- Increased tolerance and endurance during exercise
- Lowered blood pressure
- Increased fat burning
- Growth of lean muscle mass (via WebMD)
Unfortunately, our bodies do not naturally absorb GABA from food, so supplementation is the way to go if you want to incorporate the numerous benefits of this amino acid into your lifestyle. However, there are a variety of foods that contains substances like flavonoids. Flavonoids can actually impact how GABA is produced in the brain, which may help boost your levels. Flavonoid-heavy foods include fruits, vegetables, teas and red wine (yum!).
Be sure to consult with your doctor before you begin taking GABA supplements, as there is very little research into individual dosages. For more information, check out our sources here: WebMD, Denver Naturopathic Clinic.
>> Interested in more supplements? Check out our Glossary of Supplements here!