A pinch of GABA makes whey a more effective muscle builder
According to a Japanese trial, strength athletes who already take a protein shake with whey isolate every day can accelerate their muscle growth if they combine that shake with 100 milligrams of GABA.
Japanese researchers, affiliated with the functional ingredients producer Pharma Foods International [Link] and Ritsumeikan University, got 21 healthy men aged 24-48 to train their main muscle groups twice a week for 12 weeks with basic exercises such as the leg press, the leg extension, leg curl, chest press and pull down.
The researchers did 3 sets of all exercises with a weight that allowed about 12 reps.
The researchers divided the men into 2 groups. One group drank a shake containing 10 grams of whey isolate every day. The other group drank the same shake, but it also contained 100 milligrams of GABA. The amino acid was a product of Pharma Foods International.
On the days that they worked out, the test subjects used the shake around the strength training. On the other days, they took the shake just before going to bed.
During the first 8 weeks of the trial, the researchers found significantly more growth hormone in the blood of the subjects who used GABA + whey. At week 12 there was no difference between the growth hormone concentration in the blood of the two groups.
Before the supplementation period started and on its last day, the Japanese measured the subjects' fat-free mass using scans. They found that total lean body mass increased by about a kilogram more in the GABA+whey group than in the whey group.
The researchers found no effect of GABA supplementation on fat mass.
"Daily supplementation with GABA may be a useful addition to whey protein for enhancing exercise-induced muscle hypertrophy", summarize the Japanese.
"Nevertheless, further studies are needed to validate our findings, to determine whether GABA directly promotes muscle protein synthesis, and to investigate the mechanism through which GABA enhances lean mass."
J Clin Med Res. 2019;11(6):428-34.
Animal study: acerola [which contains GABA] inhibits growth of fat tissue 20.03.2015
GABA: body fat inhibitor and insulin booster 30.12.2014
GABA quadruples post-training growth hormone production 09.06.2010
Unusual Muscle Building Strategies
Nutrition & Strength Training