Would GABA (gamma-amminobutryic acid) be worth trying as a recovery agent? After a work out and/or in the evenings?

What reasoning is there for using it for recovery, out of interest?

I used it as a sleep aid. It did work, although it gave me some bad ‘tingle’ sensations in my head, which immobilised me for 10 seconds a time and made me feel sick.

I don’t like GABA at all. Despite the fact I took it and woke up fully refreshed after a long day with little sleep. If you get the sensations, they’ll put the creepers on you, considering all the people who’ve claimed to know someone who died or been put in a coma from it.

Have you ever tried it?

I wasn’t impressed by gaba. I think you’ll get better results from magnesium as a sleep/recovery aid.

Not sure if many have seen this new study published this year. Not sure that 3000mg doses will put you into a coma!! Is this a commonly used supplement by speed/power athletes?

Growth Hormone Isoform Responses to GABA Ingestion at Rest and after Exercise.

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 40(1):104-110, January 2008.

Oral administration of the amino acid/inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) reportedly elevates resting serum growth hormone (GH) concentrations.

Purpose: To test the hypothesis that GABA ingestion stimulates immunoreactive GH (irGH) and immunofunctional GH (ifGH) release at rest and that GABA augments the resistance exercise-induced irGH/ifGH responses.

Methods: Eleven resistance-trained men (18-30 yr) participated in this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. During each experimental bout, participants ingested either 3 g of GABA or sucrose placebo §, followed either by resting or resistance exercise sessions. Fasting venous blood samples were acquired immediately before and at 15, 30, 45, 60, 75, and 90 min after GABA or P ingestion and were assayed for irGH and ifGH.

Results: At rest, GABA ingestion elevated both irGH and ifGH compared with placebo. Specifically, peak concentrations of both hormones were elevated by about 400%, and the area under the curve (AUC) was elevated by about 375% (P < 0.05). Resistance exercise (EX-P) elevated time-point (15-60 min) irGH and ifGH concentrations compared with rest (P < 0.05). The combination of GABA and resistance exercise (EX-GABA) also elevated the peak, AUC, and the 15- to 60-min time-point irGH and ifGH responses compared with resting conditions (P < 0.05). Additionally, 200% greater irGH (P < 0.01) and 175% greater ifGH (P < 0.05) concentrations were observed in the EX-GABA than in the EX-P condition, 30 min after ingestion. GABA ingestion did not alter the irGH to ifGH ratio, and, under all conditions, ifGH represented approximately 50% of irGH.

Conclusions: Our data indicate that ingested GABA elevates resting and postexercise irGH and ifGH concentrations. The extent to which irGH/ifGH secretion contributes to skeletal muscle hypertrophy is unknown, although augmenting the postexercise irGH/ifGH response may improve resistance training-induced muscular adaptations.

©2008The American College of Sports Medicine

I have recently tried GABA at the 3g doses used in the above study. First thing I noticed about 30 minutes after taking the dose was an immense feeling of relaxation. Upon going to bed, I feel asleep almost immediately. My sleep is normally quite broken & despite still waking several times during the night, I feel asleep again almost immediately. My alarm normally goes off at 5am & I get out of bed very slowly & feel pretty tired until 9am when I get my first break & proper coffee for the morning. However, taking GABA, I was bouncing out of bed at 4:50am & was charging for most of the day.

If you normally have disrupted sleep, try ditching the coffee???

The problem with GABA as with most neutriceuticals is simple … taking what you need as opposed to what you see others taking.

The key of supplementation is the same key in training - SPECIFICITY