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So today is the day you want to improve your health with supplements.
I’m chuffed for you.
There’s just one (rather large) problem.
You have hundreds of different supplements to pick from. So how do you decide?
Well, in my Supplement Comparison Guide, I take 2 supplements and put them against each other on their benefits, cons, cost, side effects and much more.
Rather than choosing a “winner”, the goal is to help you decide which one is best for you.
Up next, we have GABA vs L-Tyrosine.
Let’s get to it.
What is GABA?
GABA (Gamma-Aminobutryic acid) is an amino acid that’s made naturally in the brain.
It works as a neurotransmitter, so it facilitates communication among brain cells.
GABA’s main role is to suppress the neuron activity in the brain and CNS, which results in a range of effects like:
- Lower stress
- Enhanced mood
- Improves sleep quality
- Increased feelings of calmness
Interestingly, popular anxiety medications like Xanax and Valium work by increasing the effects of GABA. (Source)
What is L-Tyrosine?
Like GABA, L-Tyrosine is a naturally produced amino acid that’s derived from phenylalaline.
It’s also found in many high protein foods like fish, chicken, turkey and cheese.
(Interestingly, Tyros translates to Cheese in Greek.)
L-Tyrosine helps your body make important neurotransmitters like Serotonin, Dopamine and Adrenaline.
And a lot of the benefits L-Tyrosine provides comes from an increase in these neurotransmitters.
Benefits of GABA
GABA may reduce anxiety and stress
Wanna know a shocking fact?
Anxiety-related disorders affect over 40 million US adults.
The good news is that research supports the use of GABA to help lower anxiety and stress.
In one study, the subjects’ stress levels were measured during a challenging task.
After taking GABA, they had a smaller reduction in slow brain waves, which may have helped them stay calm during the task.
Another study had 13 subjects take GABA.
An hour after taking it, they had increases in slow brain waves which helped them relax and reduced their anxiety.
(Related reading: Does Phosphatidylserine Work For Anxiety?)
GABA may reduce high blood pressure
According to research, GABA may be able to help reduce high blood pressure.
A study looked at the effects of Chlorella on blood pressure levels.
(Chlorella is a type of algae that’s rich in GABA.)
In the study, the subjects with medium-high blood pressure took Chlorella for 12 weeks.
GABA may help improve sleep quality
Research shows that people with insomnia have lower levels of GABA than the rest of us.
Perhaps the low GABA levels make it harder to relax at night, which may contribute to their insomnia.
According to this study, 100mg of GABA reduces the time it takes to fall asleep by 5.3 minutes.
(Related reading: Is California Poppy Good For Sleep?)
Benefits of L-Tyrosine
L-Tyrosine may help improve focus
When under stress, your Norepinephrine stores deplete rapidly.
When this happens, your focus and memory suffer.
Research shows that L-Tyrosine helps your brain perform under stress and improves your focus during challenging tasks.
L-Tyrosine may improve your mood
L-Tyrosine helps increase Dopamine, which controls pleasure, reward and motivation.
(You know that awesome feeling you get when getting a promotion? Well, that’s Dopamine doing its job.)
Dopamine influences Serotonin too, and both are thought to play a vital role in regulating mood.
Interestingly, research supports the use of L-Tyrosine if you’re feeling down in the dumps.
In one study, L-Tyrosine improved the mood of women with depression.
But when they switched to a placebo, this improvement disappeared!
This strongly implies that L-Tyrosine improved their mood.
L-Tyrosine may help increase exercise endurance
Thinking about taking part in the Boston Marathon anytime soon?
If so, you need to give L-Tyrosine a try.
A study of 8 cyclists showed that L-Tyrosine supplementation improved their endurance by giving them a boost of energy.
Scientists believe that this boost can be credited to increased dopamine activity, which improves your exercise tolerance in the heat.
GABA is usually sold as a powder or in capsules.
Standard prices for these are:
- Powder: $20 for 1lb
- Capsules: $22 for 100
L-Tyrosine is normally sold in capsules.
For a mid-range L-Tyrosine supplement, you can expect to pay around $22 for 100 capsules.
GABA Side Effects
Most people tolerate GABA supplements with ease, but the following side effects have been reported in some cases:
- Muscle weakness
- Reduced appetite
- Fatigue and drowsiness
L-Tyrosine Side Effects
L-Tyrosine is generally recognised as safe by the FDA, but it may interact poorly with certain drugs and medications.
So if you’re uncertain, then please talk to a doctor before using L-Tyrosine.
My GABA Recommendation: Thorne Research PharmaGABA-100
High quality. High strength. High price.
Thorne Research PharmaGABA-100 is the Rolls-Royce of GABA supplements.
What I like about it
Some of the best supplements I’ve ever used have been from Thorne Research.
I credit this to their quality control process, which clearly shows how much they care about making top quality supplements.
Now, the interesting thing about this supplement is that it’s made from PharmaGABA.
In other words, it’s produced naturally with bacteria.
(The majority of GABA supplements are made from synthetic/artificial GABA in a lab.)
PharmaGABA is believed to be more effective than the synthetic version, which is hardly surprising as nature knows best, huh?
The reviews are epic too, which shows that this is a trusted GABA supplement that’s used and loved by many other people.
The obvious drawback of a supplement of this quality is its price.
But I’m confident the price is worth the increase in quality, compared to other GABA supplements.
My L-Tyrosine Recommendation: NOW L-Tyrosine
A reasonable quality L-Tyrosine supplement from a reputable brand.
NOW L-Tyrosine gets the gold star.
What I like about it
It’s pleasing to see that NOW use pharmaceutical grade L-Tyrosine in their capsules.
This just means the L-Tyrosine is over 99% pure and has no binders, fillers, dyes or other rubbish added.
Also, NOW are GMP certified which means each step of their manufacturing process has been observed for quality purposes.
So, it’s not surprising that NOW are one of the most trusted and respected supplements brands in the world.
I like that each bottle provides 120 capsules too, as each purchase will last you many months to come.
There’s not much to complain about here, but it would be nice if there were more user reviews for this product.
You’ve made it to the end of this GABA vs L-Tyrosine comparison guide.
And you should now have a solid idea of which of the 2 supplements you’re going to take.
If not? Then this high-level guide should help:
You might prefer GABA if:
- You have trouble sleeping
- You want to reduce anxiety
- You want to lower your blood pressure
You might prefer L-Tyrosine if:
- You want to improve your focus
- You want to enhance your mood
- You want to boost your exercise endurance
Hope this helped!