GABA is a naturally occurring amino acid which functions as a neurotransmitter. Due to its effects on the brain, it helps users remain clam, while reducing stress levels. Not only does it help promote a sense of peace and calmness, but it also encourages regular sleeping patterns.
There are various ways in which GABA can be influenced. GABA supplements for instance, are created in a lab, which allow users to amplify the effects. Although these are great in theory, it’s unknown if they’re effective.
In order to reach the brain, substances need to cross the blood-brain barrier. When taken orally, it’s unsure whether or not GABA supplements are effective for their intended purpose. A GABA agonist however, are different compounds that specifically interact with GABA receptors within the brain. These distinctions are important when trying to achieve certain effects.
What Exactly Is An Agonist?
Agonist is a common term within chemistry and the nootropic industry. An agonist is a chemical which interacts with cell receptors, increasing activity levels. A receptor tends to be highly specific, as it receives information from specific sources.
You can often think of receptors as a lock and key system. A hormone or neurotransmitter is essentially the key, which unlocks a receptor. When chemicals bind to receptor sites, a reaction occurs. For instance, an interaction may cause a nerve to fire.
Agonists are basically activators, causing specific reactions. The opposite of an agonist is an antagonist. These make it less likely that a receptor will be stimulated. In order to understand how GABA agonists work, it’s important to know the difference.
How Do GABA Agonists Work?
When taking a GABA agonist, they tend to work in the exact same fashion as the GABA in which our bodies produce naturally. Naturally occurring GABA, inhibits any action that may increase the occurrence of over-excited nerves. Hence, decreasing the rate at which these nerves fire.
When you feel stressed, this is due to signals within within your brain. They communicate stress stimuli to the rest of the body, which leads to a wide range of negative effects. GABA works by counteracting these effects before they occur. This is a natural way to manage both stress and mood.
When a GABA agonist binds to a receptor, it creates the exact same effects as naturally occurring GABA. Users experience less anxiety and stress. Some of the most common GABA agonists include Phenibut, Picamilon, and Progabide.
How GABA Agonists Create Calming Effects
When users take GABA agonists, they achieve the same results that would be experienced through natural GABA. They have been extremely beneficial when trying to treat both short and long-term anxiety and stress conditions. A GABA agonist can help ease social anxiety, which many individuals suffer from.
When you take a GABA agonist, it helps promote a more balanced and calm state of mind. When you’re more relaxed and calm, it’s easier to work, study, and enjoy the company of others. Not only are GABA agonists taken for this reason, but they’re also taken in a stack to increase the effects of other beneficial supplements.
Due to the effects associated with anxiety and stress, GABA agonists can also eliminate physical symptoms. For instance, anxiety disorders often create symptoms such as headaches, muscle pain, and high blood pressure. Effectively managing your stress levels can improve both your mental and physical health.
Another way in which GABA agonists create calming effects, is through sleeping patterns. When you take GABA agonists, you essentially promote sleep. This can help individuals who suffer from insomnia.
What You Should Know About GABA Supplements
Due to the way that GABA supplements are marketed, they can appear to be the perfect solution. Although they’re packaged as pure GABA, the science behind these supplements is much more complex. If someone is deficient in GABA, it’s important to target this imbalance.
Before you do start taking supplements, you should understand how they work. As mentioned, GABA cannot cross the blood-brain barrier when ingested. The blood-brain barrier acts as a protective barrier, keeping toxic and harmful substances away from the brain. Since pure GABA cannot cross the blood-brain barrier, these compounds cannot access the brain.
The same is true for all other neurotransmitters as well, in terms of supplementation. Since these supplements cannot reach the brain, it’s important to take precursors or agonists that can. In turn, this will increase levels of GABA. It will then be able to do what it’s supposed to.
When you take a GABA supplement, it will not be able to bind to receptors. Therefore, the desired effects will not be achieved. In most cases, these supplements will create a placebo effect. This can provide short-term relief, but does not truly address the issue.
It is believed that this placebo effect is linked to positive reviews regarding these supplements. In terms of scientific evidence, there isn’t any regarding the effectiveness of these supplements in terms of GABA activity.
Take a GABA Agonist Instead
Due to the issues relating to GABA supplements and the blood-brain barrier, a GABA agonist is much more effective. If you do need to increase GABA levels, these are your best bet. GABA agonists can effectively cross the blood-brain barrier. Since they act on receptors the same way naturally occurring GABA does, they yield positive effects.
If you’re considering taking a GABA agonist, then speak with your healthcare professional. This is especially true if you’re currently taking any other medications or supplements, as they could interfere with one another. Two of the most recommended choices are Phenibut and Picamilon.