The Truth about GABA Supplement Side Effects

I have had trouble sleeping for all of my adult life. My insomnia began as an irregular occurrence during my teenage years and developed into something more severe and persistent during college. This exacerbated an existing issue with anxiety I had and the two problems existed in a vicious cycle that was incredibly hard to break. My doctor was convinced that the answer was to take prescription only, pharmaceutically manufactured sleeping and anti-anxiety medications. I considered this for a while but was put off by the long list of side effects associated with these medications. When I was ready to give up hope on solving my restlessness and anxiety I came across GABA supplements. I will now reveal my experience taking GABA as well as my thoughts on GABA supplement side effects.

How GABA Helped Me with Insomnia and Anxiety

After beginning to take GABA supplements I noticed a simultaneous reduction in both my difficulty sleeping and my GABA Supplement Side Effects ongoing feelings of anxiety. Instead of lying in bed struggling to get any rest whatsoever I felt calm and ready for sleep at night. Once I fell asleep I actually stayed asleep! It is hard to overestimate the profound effect this had on almost every area of my life. I started being able to focus far better during the daytime and my skin looked healthier and less taut.

Situations that previously made me anxious, such as meeting new people, no longer affected me in the same way. Calm replaced panic and confidence replaced hesitation. These were the most obvious and immediate benefits of GABA supplementation that I noticed. My only caution was whether these benefits were too good to be true without some accompanying negative side effects.

Scientific Evidence of GABA Supplement Side Effects

GABA has been researched by a number of prominent scientists, such as Nemeroff, writing in the Psychopharmacology Bulletin in 2002, and Lydiard, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, also in 2002. There is largely a consensus within the scientific community that GABA is free of major side effects so long as the suggested dosage limits are adhered to.

The suggested dose of GABA to be taken depends upon the condition that it aims to treat. For example, adults with high blood pressure are advised to take 10mg of GABA a day whereas users with conditions such as insomnia and anxiety, such as myself, can take higher doses of up to 1000mg a day.

Some minor side effects have been observed as a result of GABA consumption although these are often the result of higher doses or a combination with other substances. It is essential to note that no confirmed contradictions have been found between GABA and existing medications. Another point of interest is the fact that GABA has a far lower probability of generating even mild side effects than more serious medications such as Valium. Despite this relative level of safety, GABA should still be used sensibly.

Researches such as Tim Mielke, writing in ‘The Book of Supplement Secrets’, have noted that some users of GABA experience excessive levels of relaxation when first taking the supplement. On the opposite end of the spectrum, some users experience an elevated heart rate and altered patterns of breath inhalation. These symptoms tend to occur as a user adjusts to their GABA supplement and are rarely more prolonged than during the initial stages of usage.

My Experience with GABA Side Effects

I personally experienced very few of the negative side effects that are occasionally observed with GABA supplementation. In my first few days taking the supplement I felt a mild tingling sensation but this dissipated after very little time. I was cautious about feeling the excess levels of calm and relaxation that some sources of information warn about and as a precaution I took my first dose inside, on my own, out of harm’s way. It turned out I was worrying for no reason as I felt calm and confident but not excessively relaxed or drowsy. I have since driven while taking GABA and it has not affected my performance in any way whatsoever. One possible reason for this lack of negative side effects is my careful adherence to the suggested dosage.

Also just to add that many brands claim that theirs is the best GABA supplement, I personally haven’t tried all of them but there is a difference. When you decide to try this supplement keep in mind that benefits, side-effects and quality is influenced by the product itself.


Overall, if you are still wondering is GABA safe from my experience I can vouch that GABA supplements are safe and a great alternative to more serious pharmaceutical products that serve a similar purpose. In order to avoid the small possibility of GABA supplement side effects it is essential to stay within the suggested dosage and to be careful when starting out with GABA. Compared to its pharmaceutical rivals such as Valium, GABA is a safe supplement to try.

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5 Responses to The Truth about GABA Supplement Side Effects

  1. Ruth Fassett September 25, 2014 at 11:49 pm #

    Thanks for this blog. I am trying to research GABA and Phenitropic GABA. Do you know what the difference is? I can’t seem to find much information.


  2. zack October 27, 2014 at 7:35 am #

    i’m using GABA for a three days..but hve a problem bloody diarrhea

  3. agnes November 5, 2014 at 11:22 pm #

    Thank you for your post. I find it very helpful, as you have included not only the benefits, but also you caution people on the use of GABA. I have just started taking it for anxiety, that had started a few months ago. I also had anxiety about 9 years ago, but with lifestyle changes it got better then. Now its time to make a change again, and at the mean time, I need GABA for sure. I have started taking it a week ago. It is helping me, but it makes me feel weird. GABA-T SAP 300mg GABA and 150mg L-Theanine. My naturopath recommended it. I have low blood pressure to begin with, and in the same time I feel that my pulse is faster since I have been taking it. I might just need more time to get use to the supplement, as I also have a sensitive system, and might need time to get used to or the dose.
    I was recommended one capsule with breakfast and one just before bed.
    I will see how things will go in the next few weeks.
    Thanks again for your post.

  4. Myff April 7, 2015 at 2:12 pm #

    I have chronic shortness of breath on 750mg I need gaba to help in a benzo withdrawal I’m on the home stretch of 1mg and feel stressed.

  5. Cordlesspizza August 11, 2015 at 12:04 am #

    I feel that side effect of “elevated heart rate and altered patterns of breath inhalation” which feels like anxiety. I am not one who suffers from anxiety. I use it to get deeper sleep. I also wanted to try it for the nervousness that comes with auditions. I cant use it for that. It only helps me sleep just a bit better but not better than St. Johns wart. I cant feel the effect of St. Johns wart in any way except feeling more rested when I wake up in the morning. Not so with GABA.

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