GABA is an amino acid which is naturally produced in the body and acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain. GABA is said to boost levels of growth hormone and also acts as a sedative and vasodilator. GABA is taken as a dietary supplement although the U.S Food and Drug Administration considers associated compounds like gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, or GHB to be not legally approved drugs. It is noted that the GABA supplement may not be as effective as the naturally produced GABA and the supplemental GABA cannot cross the blood-brain barrier thus limiting the supplemental GABA to make contact with the GABA receptors in the brain. In this case it cannot act on those specific receptors where as the naturally produced GABA can. Let us then check more facts about GABA effects on muscle growth.
Benefits of GABA
GABA acts on the pituitary gland controlling the synthesis of growth hormone and contributing to the body temperature and sleep cycles as mentioned in the Iron Magazine. They are promoted by the GABA manufacturers to boost growth hormones, relieve anxiety, induce sleep and facilitate muscle recovery. As the GABA has the ability to relax the CNS, it gives a calming or sleepy feeling and according to some users of GABA they found out that it can give a better blood flow and provide bigger muscle pumps. With regards to the growth hormone boosting effect of GABA supplements, there are some supporting evidences but it can’t do that much since it is unable to cross the blood-brain barrier.
Effects of GABA on Muscle Growth
The effect of GABA as a body building supplement is still not clear, says Iron Magazine. To be able to act on hormone levels, the supplements have to enter the brain but unfortunately it cannot pass through the blood-brain barrier. Because of this, the magazine concludes that they don’t seem to be effective in stimulating growth hormone synthesis or in promoting relaxation.
Side Effects of GABA
Luckily, GABA does not cause serious side effects as noted by BodyBuildingForYou.com. It only causes tingling in both the face and neck area. You can possibly experience rapid breathing and heart rate also and if you are taking GABA aside for relaxation and induced sleep and you will feel a sedative effect then you may consider this as a side effect.
More often than not, athletes typically consume GABA orally although they can be administered through intravenous means. Athletes took the supplement with an empty stomach once a day at night before going to bed says Iron Magazine. The bodybuilders usually take 5g per dose although the most common dosage is 1-2g. Anyway this will depend on how strongly the individual requires the supplement in his body. The magazine also informs that a commercial tablet of GABA contains 250-750 mg. Well this is still under 1g. GABA may come in tablet and powder form. The powder form can easily measured by a measuring spoon.
You must scrutinize well the GABA supplement you want to purchase because many products have different claims but cannot guarantee its effect. It may also produce harmful effects to muscle growth.