GABA daba doo!! Come on! We couldn’t resist channeling the Flintstones for a second. Now, that’s out of our system. Let’s talk about GABA or Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid.
This naturally occurring amino acid may promote fat loss while helping other health problems like epilepsy. We’ll give you all of the information you need to decide if taking a GABA supplement is right for you.
GABA is a chemical in the body that works as a neurotransmitter to inhibit cells from sending and receiving messages. It works together with other neurotransmitters like serotonin and glutamate that allow cells to send and receive messages. The delicate balance between GABA and these neurotransmitters will enable the brain to function correctly.
For example, when you are in a stressful situation, neurotransmitters allow messages to your brain to increase excitement. For you to deal with a problem, GABA blocks messages to cells in the central nervous system to calm you down.
The balance between the two helps you understand your situation without overloading your brain to the point where you can’t deal with the stress.
By blocking messages between cells, GABA is known for having a calming effect on the body. It can relieve stress and anxiety while helping with sleep quality. In comparison, low levels of GABA can cause issues like epilepsy, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain.
GABA is made naturally within the body but is found in certain foods too. Foods like spinach, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and kale are some of the best resources for Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA).
GABA and the Human Growth Hormone
The benefits of GABA go beyond relaxing the nervous system. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine Research showed that GABA supplements increased the human growth hormone serum levels and muscle protein synthesis in twenty-one healthy adult males over 12 weeks.
Two groups were considered, one receiving only whey protein, while the other had whey protein plus GABA supplements. At the end of the trial, the group with the combination of whey protein powder and GABA supplements had a more significant increase in whole body fat-free mass.
What does this mean for fat loss?
This evidence may suggest that GABA affects metabolism due to higher levels of the human growth hormone secretion when taking GABA supplements. This process has shown an increase in lean body mass and a lowering of body weight in some studies. With increased muscle mass and weight loss on the table, GABA supplements are a favorite among bodybuilders. These supplements and exercise-induced muscle hypertrophy work together to create lean muscle mass and less body fat.
According to Bradford Lowell, the senior author of a paper published in Nature Neuroscience, body weight maintenance consists of three stages–sensory input from the brain, environmental factors mixing with that sensory input, and the brain making adjustments for food intake and energy spent. That said, increasing levels of GABA, which affects the sensory information to the brain and the human growth hormone, may lead to better body composition as you lose fat and build muscle mass.
GABA and Sleep
An essential ingredient for weight loss is sleep quality. Not only does GABA enhance lean mass by igniting the human growth hormone, but it also relaxes the central nervous system, which results in better sleep. Sleep allows muscle recovery from strenuous workouts, but it may also play a role in better metabolism and increased hormones like leptin that make you feel full, leading to fewer hunger pains.
GABA to the Rescue!
GABA supplements might be an excellent addition to your fitness regimen to increase lean body mass and weight loss.
While its benefits of lowering blood pressure and effects on diabetes are still being studied, its impact on the central nervous system to reduce insomnia and anxiety are reason enough to incorporate it into your diet. The added benefit of fat loss tip the scales even further, in the right direction, of course!
Kristen holds a bachelors in English from Louisianna university. With a longstanding passion for fitness, she owns and operate her own gym and is a certified jazzercise instructor.