3 Best GABA Supplements for Anxiety & Sleep in 2024

Updated on February 29, 2024
 by — reviewed by Jason Williams, PhD (Contributor: George Collins / Editor: Yoko Hill)
An article discussing the benefits of GABA supplements for managing anxiety and improving sleep quality.

What are the best GABA supplements?

Are you struggling with anxiety or sleep issues? If so, you’re not alone. Many people are looking for natural solutions to help calm their minds and improve their sleep quality.

One option that has gained popularity is the use of GABA supplements. Gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA, is a neurotransmitter that plays a crucial role in reducing neuronal excitability, promoting relaxation, and managing stress.

In this guide, we will explore the three best GABA supplements available in 2024 that are known for their potential to alleviate anxiety and improve sleep.

Best GABA Supplements

  • PharmaGABA — Best GABA supplement on the market today
  • Picamilon — Best GABA analogue for reducing stress and anxiety
  • Phenibut — Strongest GABA receptor agonist for improving sleep and mood

1. PharmaGABA

PharmaGABA is a natural form of GABA that is produced through a fermentation process and has a higher bioavailability compared to synthetic forms of Gamma-aminobutyric acid. It is known for its calming effects, helping to reduce anxiety and stress.(1)

This supplement is often used to promote relaxation and improve sleep quality. PharmaGABA helps increase the secretion of human growth hormone (HGH), which is involved in muscle synthesis, fat metabolism, and tissue repair.(2)

Pros

  • Helps reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety, and insomnia
  • Natural and safe alternative to pharmaceutical medications
  • Improves cognitive function and focus
  • Non-addictive and does not cause drowsiness

Cons

  • Effectiveness may vary among individuals
  • Potential side effects such as nausea, stomach discomfort, and dizziness
  • May interact with certain medications and supplements
  • Not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women

PharmaGABA is safe and well-tolerated. However, some people may experience mild side effects. It is advisable to consult a doctor before taking PharmaGABA if you have any medical conditions or are taking any medications.

2. Picamilon

Picamilon is a combination of Gamma-aminobutyric acid and niacin. It is known for its ability to enhance GABA’s effects and improve blood flow in the brain. This supplement is commonly used to reduce anxiety and boost mood.

Picamilon’s unique formulation allows it to cross the blood-brain barrier more effectively, leading to faster and more noticeable effects.(3)

It improves memory, attention, and learning by enhancing blood flow and oxygen delivery to the brain.(4) It also helps boost energy and performance by stimulating the production of growth hormone and nitric oxide.

Pros

  • Enhances cognitive function and improves mental clarity
  • Helps reduce anxiety, stress, and symptoms of depression
  • Improves blood flow and circulation in the brain
  • Increases energy levels and improves athletic performance

Cons

  • Effectiveness may vary among individuals
  • May cause minor side effects in some users
  • May interact with certain medications

Although being considered safe, Picamilon may interact with some medications or supplements that affect blood pressure, blood sugar, or GABA receptors.

3. Phenibut

Phenibut is a synthesized version of Gamma-aminobutyric acid that is often used as an anxiolytic and sleep aid. It is known for its sedating effects, promoting relaxation and improving sleep quality. Phenibut works by activating GABA receptors in the brain, leading to a calming and tranquilizing effect.(5)

It is available in capsule or powder form, but it is important to note that phenibut can be habit-forming and should be used with caution and under the guidance of a healthcare professional.(6)

Pros

  • Improves sleep quality and duration
  • Improves mood and anxiety
  • Boosts GABA levels and brain health

Cons

  • Potential for abuse and addiction
  • May cause drowsiness, dizziness, and fatigue
  • Potential for tolerance buildup, requiring higher doses for the same effect

Owing to Phenibut’s serious risks of dependance and addiction, it should only be used under medical supervision and with caution.

How We Picked the Top GABA Supplements

We conducted a thorough analysis and research on various GABA supplement products to select the top ones. We took into account several factors, including the potency of the Gamma-aminobutyric acid, scientific evidence, dosage, safety, customer reviews, formula transparency, manufacturer reputation, price, and overall value.

Potency of GABA

To ensure that the GABA supplements we recommend are potent, we evaluated the concentration of GABA in each supplement. We assessed each supplement’s ability to promote relaxation and reduce anxiety.

Scientific Evidence

We meticulously reviewed published studies, clinical trials, and scientific literature to determine the effectiveness of GABA in each supplement. We only recommend products with strong scientific evidence supporting their effectiveness.

Dosage

We evaluated the dosage of GABA in each supplement to ensure it’s safe and effective. We only recommend products that contain Gamma-aminobutyric acid in amounts that are proven to be effective.

Safety

To minimize the risk of side effects, we thoroughly reviewed the safety of GABA in each supplement. We only recommend GABA supplements with ingredients that are safe when taken as directed.

Customer Reviews

We considered the feedback and reviews from customers to evaluate the Gamma-aminobutyric acid supplements. We looked for products with positive reviews and high satisfaction rates among customers.

Formula Transparency

We only recommend GABA supplements that have a transparent and easily accessible formula. We looked for supplements that disclose the ingredients and dosages on the label or website.

Manufacturer Reputation

We evaluated the reputation of each supplement’s manufacturer to ensure they have a history of producing high-quality products. We only recommend GABA supplements from reputable manufacturers with a proven track record.

Price

We assessed the price of each GABA supplement to ensure it provides value for money. We looked for supplements that are competitively priced without compromising on quality.

Value

We evaluated the overall value of each GABA supplement, considering its potency, safety, formula transparency, manufacturer reputation, and price. We only recommend supplements that provide the most value for money.

How GABA Supplements Work

Gamma-aminobutyric acid plays a crucial role in regulating brain activity and promoting relaxation. GABA supplements work by increasing the levels of GABA in the brain, which helps reduce anxiety and promote better sleep.

When GABA is released in the brain, it binds to specific receptors, known as GABA receptors. This binding leads to a decrease in brain activity, resulting in a calming effect. GABA supplements work by either directly increasing Gamma-aminobutyric acid levels or by promoting its synthesis in the brain.

Potential Side Effects of GABA Supplements

When considering taking GABA supplements for anxiety and sleep, it’s important to be aware of the potential side effects. While GABA is generally considered safe for most people, some individuals may experience adverse reactions. Here are some of the potential side effects of GABA supplements:

  • Drowsiness: GABA is known to have a calming effect, which can lead to feelings of drowsiness. This can be beneficial for individuals struggling with insomnia or anxiety-related sleep issues. However, if you take γ-Aminobutyric acid during the day, it may cause excessive sleepiness and impact your ability to concentrate.
  • Headaches: Some people may experience headaches after taking GABA. This could be due to changes in blood flow or the way Gamma-aminobutyric acid interacts with certain brain receptors. If you frequently experience headaches after taking GABA, it’s essential to consult with your healthcare provider.
  • Nausea: Nausea is another potential side effect of GABA supplements. This is more likely to occur when taking high doses or if you have a sensitive stomach. Starting with a lower dose and gradually increasing it might help minimize this side effect.
  • Muscle Weakness: Some individuals have reported experiencing muscle weakness or fatigue after taking GABA. This could be due to the calming effect of Gamma-aminobutyric acid, which can relax both the mind and body. If you notice muscle weakness or fatigue, it’s advisable to speak to your healthcare provider.
  • Dizziness: GABA may cause dizziness, especially in individuals prone to low blood pressure. If you experience dizziness after taking Gamma-aminobutyric acid, it’s essential to sit or lie down until the symptoms subside.
  • Allergic Reactions: While rare, allergic reactions to GABA can occur. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include rash, itching, swelling, dizziness, or difficulty breathing. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

How to Use GABA Supplements Safely

While GABA supplements are generally regarded as safe, it’s essential to use them responsibly and follow the recommended guidelines. Here are some tips on how to use GABA supplements safely:

  • Consult a healthcare professional: Before starting any new dietary supplement, including GABA, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional. They can assess your health condition, current medications, and provide personalized recommendations.
  • Follow the recommended dosage: Gamma-aminobutyric acid supplements come in various forms such as capsules, powders, or liquids. Always follow the recommended dosage instructions on the product label or as advised by your healthcare provider. Taking more than the recommended dosage does not necessarily provide additional benefits and may cause adverse effects.
  • Start with a lower dosage: If you’re new to GABA supplementation, it’s best to start with a lower dosage and gradually increase it if needed. This allows you to assess your tolerance and how your body responds to the supplement.
  • Avoid combining with sedative medications: GABA supplements may have sedative effects and enhance the effects of certain medications like benzodiazepines or sleep aids. If you’re taking any sedative medications, it’s important to consult with your healthcare provider before adding Gamma-aminobutyric acid products to your routine.
  • Consider the quality of the supplement: Look for Gamma-aminobutyric acid products from reputable brands that undergo third-party testing and adhere to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). This ensures that the supplement contains the stated ingredients and is free from contaminants.
  • Use Gamma-aminobutyric acid as part of a holistic approach: GABA supplements can be beneficial, but they should not replace other essential aspects of a healthy lifestyle. Incorporate stress-management techniques, regular exercise, a balanced diet, and good sleep hygiene for overall well-being.

Summary

We delved into the three top GABA supplements that are praised for their anxiety-reducing and sleep-improving potential.

  • PharmaGABA offers a natural and bioavailable form of GABA, renowned for its calming effects that aid in stress reduction and sleep enhancement. We ranked PharmaGABA the best GABA supplement available on the market.
  • Picamilon, a GABA and niacin blend, supports mood and circulation for heightened relaxation.
  • Phenibut, while effective, should be approached with caution due to its potential habit-forming nature.

Each person’s response is unique, and professional guidance ensures safe and effective use. While GABA supplements may hold potential, they are just one facet of a comprehensive approach that includes a healthy lifestyle, stress management, and balanced well-being.

FAQs

Are GABA supplements safe to use for everyone?

Yes, GABA supplements are generally considered safe for consumption. However, it is always recommended to follow the suggested amount of GABA supplementation and to consult your doctor.

What is the recommended dose of GABA for anxiety and sleep?

The recommended dose of Gamma-aminobutyric acid for anxiety and sleep can vary depending on the individual. It is advisable to start with a lower dose and gradually increase it as needed.

Can GABA supplements completely treat chronic stress?

GABA supplements help promote relaxation and reduce stress levels for some individuals. However, it is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most suitable approach for managing chronic stress.

Can I take a GABA supplement if I already have low GABA levels?

If you suspect you have low GABA levels, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and personalized treatment recommendations. They can provide guidance on whether taking a GABA supplement would be beneficial in your specific situation.


Sources, Studies, and Scientific Research
  1. Yamatsu, Atsushi, et al. “Effect of oral γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) administration on sleep and its absorption in humans.” Food science and biotechnology 25.2 (2016): 547-551. 
  2. Abdou, Adham M., et al. “Relaxation and immunity enhancement effects of γ‐aminobutyric acid (GABA) administration in humans.” Biofactors 26.3 (2006): 201-208. 
  3. Santillo, Michael F., and Robert L. Sprando. “Picamilon, a γ‐aminobutyric acid (GABA) analogue and marketed nootropic, is inactive against 50 biological targets.” Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology 132.4 (2023): 352-355. 
  4. Silkina, I. V., et al. “Gabaergic mechanism of cerebrovascular and neuroprotective effects of afobazole and picamilon.” Eksperimental’naia i Klinicheskaia Farmakologiia 68.1 (2005): 20-24. 
  5. Owen, David R., et al. “Phenibut (4‐amino‐3‐phenyl‐butyric acid): Availability, prevalence of use, desired effects and acute toxicity.” Drug and alcohol review 35.5 (2016): 591-596. 
  6. Samokhvalov, Andriy V., et al. “Phenibut dependence.” Case Reports 2013 (2013): bcr2012008381. 
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