New study using GABA and whey protein to build body mass in males

Using GABA and whey protein to build body mass in males

Supplementing with gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and whey protein after resistance training helps males build fat-free body mass, according to the results of a new study.

Using 125mg of Pharma GABA (equivalent to 100mg of GABA), and 10g whey protein for 12 weeks, GABA was found to increase both growth hormone (GH) and protein synthesis, thus contributing to exercise-induced muscle hypertrophy [1].

GABA’s uses within the human body are varied, including it’s role as an inhibitory neurotransmitter, anxiolytic and relaxant via increasing parasympathetic nervous system activities [2-5] . However from a physiologic perspective, GABA controls the pituitary gland’s secretion of GH, thus having a key role in muscle growth [6, 7]. Furthermore, GH facilitates increased amino acid transport and cellular amino acid uptake [8].

In the single-blind, randomised and placebo-controlled study, 26 males were randomised into two groups, either whey protein (WP) only or WP + GABA. Resistance exercise was undertaken twice per week, with supplementation administered 15 minutes prior to training or prior to sleep on the exercise-free days [1].

Results at weeks 4 and 8 showed substantially higher resting plasma GH concentrations in the WP + GABA group compared to baseline. This was responsible in part for the significantly enhanced whole body fat-free mass in participants in the WP + GABA group versus WP alone [1].

References

[1] Sakashita, M., Nakamura, U., Horie, N., Yokoyama, Y., Kim, M., & Fujita, S. (2019). Oral Supplementation Using Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid and Whey Protein Improves Whole Body Fat-Free Mass in Men After Resistance Training. Journal of Clinical Medicine Research, 11(6), 428–434. https://doi.org/10.14740/jocmr3817

[2] Abdou, A., Higashiguchi, S., Horie, K., Kim, M., Hatta, H., & Yokogoshi, H. (2006). Relaxation and immunity enhancement effects of γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) administration in humans. BioFactors, 26, 201–208.

[3] Yoto, A., Murao, S., Motoki, M., Yokoyama, Y., Horie, N., Takeshima, K., … Yokogoshi, H. (2012). Oral intake of γ-aminobutyric acid affects mood and activities of central nervous system during stressed condition induced by mental tasks. Amino Acids, 43(3), 1331–1337. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00726-011-1206-6

[4] Yamatsu, A., Yamashita, Y., Pandharipande, T., Maru, I., & Kim, M. (2016). Effect of oral γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) administration on sleep and its absorption in humans. Food Science and Biotechnology, 25(2), 547–551. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10068-016-0076-9

[5] Fujibayashi M., Kamiya T., Takagaki K., & Moritani T. (2008). Activation of Autonomic Nervous System Activity by the Oral Ingestion of GABA. Nippon Eiyo Shokuryo Gakkaishi, 61(3), 129–133. https://doi.org/10.4327/jsnfs.61.129

[6] Acs, Z., Szabó, B., Kapócs, G., & Makara, G. B. (1987). gamma-Aminobutyric acid stimulates pituitary growth hormone secretion in the neonatal rat. A superfusion study. Endocrinology, 120(5), 1790–1798. https://doi.org/10.1210/endo-120-5-1790

[7] Godfrey, R. J., Madgwick, Z., & Whyte, G. P. (2003). The exercise-induced growth hormone response in athletes. Sports Medicine (Auckland, N.Z.), 33(8), 599–613. https://doi.org/10.2165/00007256-200333080-00005

[8] Riggs, T. R., & Walker, L. M. (1960). Growth hormone stimulation of amino acid transport into rat tissues in vivo. The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 235, 3603–3607.