When to take GABA – Quick Summary
- Take GABA 30 minutes before bed to help sleep
- GABA before a workout for mood, fat burning and muscle building
- 250mg-1g per dose, up to 3g per day
- GABA works best on an empty stomach
Benefits of GABA
GABA, or Gamma Amino Butyric Acid, is a neurotransmitter that is occurs naturally in the human body, where it acts to reduce the excitability of neurons, exerting a calming effect on the mind and body. GABA is used as a supplement because it has the capacity to reduce anxiety and promote sleep, and it is an ingredient in a number of sleep supplements.
On top of this, there is research to indicate that GABA supplementation can stimulate the hormone-producing pituitary gland, eliciting the release of human growth hormone (hGH), a natural booster of muscle growth. It is also used to promote fat loss, so it is a supplement with big benefits for anyone looking to improve their physique.
GABA is a supplement with many uses, and it is also taken by some people to stabilise blood pressure, to relieve PMS symptoms, and it is sometimes used by alternative medicine practitioners treatment of various neurological disorders.
How to take GABA
GABA supplements generally come in capsule or powder form. Like a number of supplements, there is no standard recommended dosage, and the dosage pattern may differ depending on what is being treated. Up to 3g of GABA per day is considered to be a safe dose.
The best way to take GABA is to start with a low dose, like 250mg twice a day, and increase this slowly until the supplement is producing the desired effects. Keeping to the lowest effective dose is particularly important when it comes to GABA supplementation, because there is some evidence that high doses of GABA can actually depress hGH production.
There may be some potential for GABA resistance to develop, so if your regular dosage is becoming less effective, taking a couple of weeks off GABA is a good idea to maintain the supplement's effectiveness.
Best time to take GABA
People who are using GABA to enhance the quality of their sleep are best to take a single, larger dose half an hour before bed. GABA is most effective on an empty stomach, so it is a good idea to wait an hour between eating food or drinking protein, and GABA supplementation.
Many people split their dose of GABA into two or three portions, adding a pre-workout dose to the bedtime dose. The mood boosting, calming effects of GABA can be beneficial during a workout, although this will not be ideal for everyone, as GABA also has the potential to cause tiredness.
Different people will respond to GABA differently, so the best dosage tactic is to work out what best suits your needs and routine.