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  • Top 3 Supplements to Help You Sleep, Boost Your Recovery

    Sleep: You know it's really important so then why does it seem so difficult to get in your 7 to 9 hours each night? The average person only gets between 5 and 6 hours of sleep. While it may not seem like a big difference, those missing hours add up. This may result in fatigue, slower recovery or a weakened immune response. It may also make you more susceptible to over training.

     

    If you have a hard time getting to sleep AND staying asleep, there are a few all natural supplements that may be able to help. Let's take a look at the top 3 supplements to help you sleep and boost your recovery.

     

    ZMA

    ZMA is marketed as a sports recovery supplement but it's no coincidence that you are directed to take it just before bed. ZMA is made up of Zinc, Magnesium, and Vitamin B6. You'll often see ZMA associated with bodybuilding and athletics but make no mistake about it: ZMA can be a valuable supplement for anyone looking to improve their sleep.

     

    Each individual ingredient in ZMA has been shown to promote sleep and when combined, the supplement has had incredible results. ZMA has been shown in numerous studies to improve deep sleep. This is when the body's heavy duty recovery happens. (1-4)

     

    Take the ZMA as directed. Just be sure not to take ZMA with a protein shake as protein will interfere with the absorption of Zinc.

     

    Want to pick up a high quality ZMA supplement? Click here to check out our ZMA collection.

     

    GABA

    When you wake up in the morning and that sunlight hits your face, your body immediately begins producing hormones that make you alert and ready to start the day. As you prepare for sleep, your body does just the opposite. It prepares to shut down. This is where GABA comes into play. GABA is short for Gamma Amino Butyric Acid. GABA is an inhibitor neurotransmitter that naturally helps you prepare for sleep AND helps you stay asleep during the night. It's no surprise that many nighttime recovery supplements have GABA as their number one ingredient.

     

    Looking for an excellent GABA supplement? Check out our collection of GABA here.

     

    VALERIAN ROOT

    Valerian root has been used a natural sleep aid for many years. The subject of a variety of sleep-focused studies, valerian root may be able to help promote restful sleep. What's more, it may help you stay asleep longer. How does it do this? It's all about GABA.

     

    Studies suggest that valerian root helps to promote the release of GABA, the compound we discussed above. Once released, valerian root helps to protect GABA from breakdown. This means it will stay in your system longer, allowing you to sleep better.

     

    Click here to check out our valerian root collection.

     

    Conclusion

    Getting more and better quality sleep is simple when you try one of these all natural herbal supplements. Taken as directed, these supplements may help to promote healthy sleep patterns.

     

    References

    1. Rondanelli M, Opizzi A, Monteferrario F, Antoniello N, Manni R, Klersy C. The effect of melatonin, magnesium, and zinc on primary insomnia in long-term care facility residents in Italy: a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2011 Jan;59(1):82-90. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2010.03232.x.
    1. Kordas K, Siegel EH, Olney DK, Katz J, Tielsch JM, Kariger PK, Khalfan SS, LeClerq SC, Khatry SK, Stoltzfus RJ. The effects of iron and/or zinc supplementation on maternal reports of sleep in infants from Nepal and Zanzibar. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2009 Apr;30(2):131-9. doi: 10.1097/DBP.0b013e31819e6a48.
    1. Nielsen FH, Johnson LK, Zeng H. Magnesium supplementation improves indicators of low magnesium status and inflammatory stress in adults older than 51 years with poor quality sleep. Magnes Res. 2010 Dec;23(4):158-68. doi: 10.1684/mrh.2010.0220. Epub 2011 Jan 4.
    1. Abbasi B, Kimiagar M, Sadeghniiat K, Shirazi MM, Hedayati M, Rashidkhani B. The effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia in elderly: A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Res Med Sci. 2012 Dec;17(12):1161-9.
    1. Gottesmann C. GABA mechanisms and sleep. Neuroscience. 2002;111(2):231-9.
    1. Lindahl O, Lindwall L. Double blind study of a valerian preparation. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1989 Apr;32(4):1065-6.
  • Understanding Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid or GABA

    We discuss the uses and benefits of supplementing with Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid, or GABA.
  • GABA (Gamma Aminobutyric Acid) - Supplement Uses and Benefits

    We have recently added GABA into our supplement store! However because we feel it imperative to provide objective information on supplements that are available for sale, within this article we will discuss GABA, and look at the benefits of GABA supplementation.

    What is GABA?

    GABA (the abbreviated term for Gamma Aminobutyric Acid) is a naturally occurring non-essential amino acid within the body. It is known as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. It is the most abundant inhibitory neurotransmitter within the human brain.

    What does GABA do?

    GABA is responsible for a number of functions within the human body, including:

    • Stimulating the anterior pituarty, thus leading to enhanced levels of human growth hormone (abbreviated to HGH)
    • As it is an inhibitory neurotransmitter, GABA aids to decrease neuron activity and thus prevents them from over-activity
    • GABA plays an important role in the formation of synapses within the brain, along with proper brain function
    • GABA helps in the regulation of embryonic and neural stem cells
    • GABA prevents stress by reducing anxiety related messages from reaching the brain

    What are the benefits of supplementing with GABA?

    Supplementation with GABA has been shown to be a safe practice, since it is a naturally occurring amino acid within the body.

    One very common benefit of supplementation is due to it's profound impact on growth hormone levels. Gamma aminobutyric acid, as mentioned above, enhances HGH levels naturally. HGH:

    • Aids in slowing down the aging process
    • Is important in fat oxidation (or lowering bodyfat), and maintaining lower body fat levels
    • Is important in muscle development

    Supplementation with GABA can help stimulate HGH levels naturally and in-turn, assist with the above three outcomes. In addition, growth hormone levels also decline with age, so GABA supplementation may be beneficial.

    Research conducted in one study (University of Milan) showed that ninety minutes after GABA ingestion, human growth hormone levels had increased by five times. The study had 19 subjects supplementing with GABA and compared these subjects to 18 who were consuming a placebo.

    Due to GABA's positive anti-anxiety effects, supplementation is often recommended as a form of treatment.

    GABA Supplementation Recommendations

    Gamma Aminobutyric Acid is most commonly taken orally and in capsule form. The Ultimate Nutrition GABA

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