Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA)
GABA, short for Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid, is an amino acid that has been studied to have powerful effects on the central nervous system. Specifically, GABA has been seen to calm an over-active brain, which has made it a powerful tool in remedying anxiety (reference 1). GABA is still being actively researched, but early studies have demonstrated that GABA could be a very impactful supplement for athletic training. GABA’s use by the body begins at the body’s computer, the brain, and therefore strong blood flow is an important ingredient in GABA’s ability to enhance your athletic performance.
Documented benefits of GABA have led us to believe there could be much use for GABA within athletic training. First, as expressed above, GABA is great for calming an over-active brain, which leads to improved focus and more clarity. In addition, supplementation with GABA has been seen to increase growth hormone secretion (reference 2). This should not be thought of as something dangerous, illegal, or extreme, but simply means that your body increases its uptake and use of amino acids. As a result, protein synthesis increases and the body is more likely to respond positively to your athletic training/activity of choice. For instance, under anaerobic weight training, this would mean increased strength, fat loss and muscle gain. Another example is for someone who hikes trails and/or mountains, they will experience improved lung capacity, strengthened legs and stronger stabilizer muscles in addition to fat loss (all of which depend on the intensity of the activity). Other benefits from GABA in combination with targeted training could involve increased explosiveness, improved mobility, improved lateral speed/quickness, and more.
Side-effects have not been seen in the dosed amounts (described below) but in excess of 2g daily, possible side effects include nausea, increased anxiety, feeling tingly, unrest, and face numbness.
If taken with other supplements included in TrustFuelTM like Citrulline, Beta Alanine and Arginine, the effectiveness of GABA is improved. These amino acids increase nitric oxide in the blood (and improve blood flow), and since GABA is used in the brain, it can more easily reach the brain and have the positive impacts expressed above given increased blood flow.
Typical doses of GABA are between 200mg-300mg (100:1 potency) that should be taken up to twice a day. TrustFuel™ (TF) has 185mg of GABA per serving, and 2-3 scoops of TF still leave the consumer in the “sweet-spot” for GABA consumption.
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12662130 (J Clin Psychiatry. 2003)
- Powers ME, et al Growth hormone isoform responses to GABA ingestion at rest and after exercise . Med Sci Sports Exerc. (2008)