What is GABA?
Gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA, is an inhibitory neurotransmitter found in the brain. Its primary function is reducing the activity of nerve cells. It’s opposite is glutamate, the brain’s primary excitatory neurotransmitter.
GABA as a Supplement
GABA has difficulty passing the BBB and our bodies naturally regulate GABA levels. This makes GABA supplementation only effective up to a certain point due to peripheral effects. Increasing GABA dosage will not increase its effects by the same amount.
Recommended GABA Powder Dosage
Start with around 250mg to assess tolerance and effects. If desired results aren’t achieved at 250mg or 500mg then wait at least 6 hours and try 750mg.
Enhancing GABA’s Effects
A GABA supplement’s difficulty crossing the BBB may be mitigated by also taking a supplement that increase NO production. One study found that an increase in NO production increased gamma-aminobutryic acid permeability of the BBB.
Agmatine has the best chance of increasing NO production as it does so more effectively than L-arginine.
GABA Use Cases
Enhancing sleep quality: Taking GABA about an hour before bed may decrease the amount of time needed to fall asleep.
Promoting a healthy mood: GABA provides a natural calming effect.
Why Buy GABA Powder over GABA Capsules?
If you can stand the taste (it’s quite sour even in juice), then you will not have to wait as long for the effects.
Another benefit of the powder over capsules is cost. In capsule form, GABA is around $0.12 per gram. In powder form, it’s $0.04 per gram.
Is GABA Considered an Amino Acid?
This is a tricky topic since GABA has a primary amine and carboxsylic acid group. However, it’s not commonly referred to as an amino acid since “amino acid” generally refer to alpha amino acid. This may be better explained in the GABA wiki.