According to the American Institute of Stress, over half of Americans report feeling stressed every single day.
If this sounds like you, taking a GABA supplement might help.
Today we’re covering everything you need to know about this brain food and the best GABA supplements on the market.
GABA, short for Gamma-aminobutyric acid, is an amino acid produced by the body. Although it’s an amino acid, GABA operates as a neurotransmitter. It’s a chemical mailman for your brain. And like the USPS, GABA has certain instructions as a sender of information. It blocks certain brain signals, while activating others.
GABA can produce a calming, stress-relieving effect when the protein attaches to its appropriate GABA receptor.
Because of this, GABA has become a popular treatment for stress, anxiety, and insomnia. You’ll find it in sleep aids, in anti-stress supplements, and as a stand-alone supplement.
Today’s world is chronically stressed out. And according to the American Psychological Association, chronic stress can cause anxiety, muscle tension, fatigue, digestive issues, chest pain, insomnia, headaches, and more.
Research shows that consuming GABA can help reduce chronic stress symptoms.
For example, a study in Japan revealed that participants who consumed a beverage containing 50 mg of GABA before completing a problem-solving task reported less fatigue than the control group. In another study, results showed that consuming 100 mg of GABA reduced stress levels for participants completing a strenuous mental task.
Research also suggests that people with certain medical conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, ADHD, and mood and seizure disorders, might have low levels of GABA. It may also help lower blood pressure. However, GABA is not an approved treatment for any disease.
Overall, GABA is a great supplement for lowering stress levels and relieving insomnia symptoms. Although GABA may help with certain medical conditions, additional research and evidence are still needed to support this.
*Note: We do have affiliate links throughout this article, which means we receive a commission if you purchase from any of our links. This supports our mission to bring complicated health and fitness info in an entertaining package. And it keeps us from putting up annoying things like banner ads. Those suck.
The supplement industry is notoriously unreliable when it comes to quality. Every product on our list is third-party tested and GMP (good manufacturing practices) certified.
Now, let’s get into the best GABA supplements on the market.
For a combination of quality and value, you can’t beat Double Wood Supplements’ GABA. First of all, Double Wood goes beyond the typical testing requirements, and displays the testing results of every batch. They manufacture their products in the USA.
Second, the value of the product is unmatched. Every bottle contains 300 capsules that each have 500mg of GABA. That’s double the dose of the GABA, oftentimes for half the price.
Third, there’s no fluff or fillers in this product, just simple, pure GABA.
For these reasons, Double Wood Supplements GABA is our top pick.
GABA pairs exceptionally well with l-theanine, an amino acid found naturally in green tea. L-theanine is famous for taking the “jitters” out of caffeine since it helps you relax and focus.
The combination, then, provides a powerful calming effect.
The second aspect that makes Quicksilver’s GABA + L-Theanine stand out is the delivery mechanism.
Simple GABA supplements often suffer from poor bioavailability (absorption.) This product uses liposomes to protect molecules so they actually make it into the bloodstream.
It comes in a simple spray. It’s dairy-free, gluten-free, non-GMO, soy-free, allergen-free, and vegan. It’s a high-quality, premium GABA supplement.
For all of these reasons, Quicksilver Scientific GABA + L-Theanine is high up at #2 on our list.
Price: $6.99 – $68.99
If you prefer buying in bulk, consider PureBulk’s GABA supplement options.
They come in either powder or capsule form with different serving size options. Both the powder and capsule forms are free of sugar, soy, dairy, and gluten. PureBulk is a good option if you already know that GABA works for you.
Simply, it’s the best value on our list.
However, as mentioned, bioavailability is a question with straight GABA products.
Thorne’s supplement is labeled as PharmaGABA, which means the GABA was produced from natural fermentation rather than artificial synthesis. It has been clinically tested and shown to reduce the brain’s stress levels without hindering focus.
If you are new to taking GABA and want a reliable supplement, this is a good option for you. Each bottle contains 60 servings if you take the recommended amount of one 250 mg capsule per day.
Like Thorne’s supplement, Jarrow Formulas’ GABA supplement is produced from naturally fermented ingredients. It also contains Theanine, an amino acid that helps relax the body. Combined, these ingredients make for a potent supplement at an affordable cost. Plus, the capsule is vegan-friendly.
Each bottle contains a 30-day supply if you take the recommended amount of two 100 mg capsules per day.
Now Foods GABA supplement is a great option at an affordable cost. It contains Vitamin B-6, which supports brain development and works to keep the nervous system healthy. The combination of GABA and Vitamin B-6 will help you relax without losing focus.
Each bottle contains 60 to 100 servings, depending on whether you take 2 or 3 capsules per day.
Nature Bounty’s stress comfort supplement is a great gummy option. It contains GABA and Saffron, which acts as an antioxidant and improves mood. Combined, these ingredients can help relax your nerves and keep you grounded. Plus, all of Nature’s Bounty gummies taste great.
The one downside is that each bottle only contains 18 servings if taking the recommended amount of 2 gummies per day.
Country Life’s gluten-free GABA supplement is another option on our list that contains Vitamin B, enhancing the supplement’s power. It also lives up to its natural, “Country Life” name. It is vegan and contains no artificial colors, preservatives, or sweeteners.
Each bottle contains 45 servings if you take the recommended two 200 mg capsules per day.
Om Mushroom’s Gently Zen supplement is brimming with brain food. In addition to 300 mg of GABA, each capsule contains Vitamin D3, B6, Ashwagandha, Theanine, and a detoxifying reishi mushroom blend. Combined, these ingredients make a supplement that will leave you feeling calm, cool, and collected all day.
Each bottle contains 30 servings if taking the recommended amount of 3 capsules per day.
If you’re looking for a reliable supplement with all-natural ingredients, Natural Stack’s GABA brain food is the best pick for you. Each of their products is third-party lab tested for quality and manufactured in the USA. And if it ends up not being for you, Natural Stacks offers a money-back guarantee, which shows they’re confident in their product. Lastly, it’s marketed as a sleep aid, so it’s best to take it at night.
Here’s what went into our decision-making process for these rankings.
Overall Quality: The most important factor is that it comes from a reputable company and uses quality, third-party tested ingredients.
Every product on our list is third-party tested, but companies that go through stricter testing or use higher quality ingredients (like Thorne using a fermented form), then they’re higher up.
Simplicity: You’ll find GABA in all kinds of different products. But if you want the benefits of GABA, we recommend taking a simple product. Generally, you’ll save money this way.
Cost/Value: Finally, all else equal, we looked for affordable products. GABA is not expensive to bottle up into a supplement, so we didn’t promote products that are gouging consumers on prices.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid is considered to be a safe supplement, and there are no known drug interactions. However, commonly reported side effects of GABA are headaches, fatigue, digestive issues, and drowsiness.
Because it may cause drowsiness, you should avoid driving until you know how taking the supplement affects you. And as always, you should consult your healthcare provider before taking a GABA supplement.
Experiences vary from person to person. If you want a supplement that calms you down and helps you sleep, a GABA supplement is definitely worth a try.
However, it’s only safe at reasonable doses. Since it decreases activity in the central nervous system, if you take tons of GABA pills, you can put yourself in a coma.
GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. This means its job is to block stuff. It blocks certain brain signals, which decreases the activity of your brain. This, in turn, leads to a calming effect.
More specifically, its role is to block glutamate, the primary excitatory transmitter.
Because it slows down the central nervous system, it has other effects like lowering your heart rate and blood pressure.
Yes. GABA is super popular in all-encompassing sleep supplements. You can create your own sleep stack by combining GABA with magnesium. It’s also popular with taurine, an amino acid, which, per some research, has a slight agonist effect.
There’s some debate about whether GABA from supplements can it through the blood-brain barrier. GABA supplements do have an effect, though, which suggests at least some of it does. To increase this bioavailability, we recommend a product like Quicksilver GABA.
We make GABA naturally. If we want to increase GABA, especially in the evening, that begins by optimizing our circadian rhythm. Movement during the day, avoid blue light in the evening, meditation, and breathwork are a few strategies.
This will also improve your sleep overall.
You can also look into GABA-rich foods, and consume these in the evening.
Finally, gut health seems to be linked with GABA production. Make sure you eat plenty of vegetables and consider probiotic-rich foods like kimchi and greek yogurt.
GABA supplementation has not shown substantial evidence to improve mental health, despite what some companies may claim. As a dietary supplement, GABA is not approved by the FDA to treat or prevent any disease. Likewise, despite some suggestions, it’s NOT a treatment for epilepsy.
Disclaimer: Don’t trust strangers like us on the internet. None of this is medical advice. Consult with your healthcare provider before taking any supplement.