6 Best Nootropics for GABA in 2024

Updated July 13, 2024 by | Reviewed by William Gallagher, MNeuroSci
(Estimated reading time: 11 minutes)

γ-Aminobutyric acid (gamma-aminobutyric acid, GABA) holds a paramount position as the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in the mature mammalian central nervous system (CNS). It plays a critical role in reducing neuronal excitability across the nervous system, ensuring a balance with glutamate, the principal excitatory neurotransmitter.

Imbalances in GABA concentrations can lead to significant neurological issues such as seizures or comas, making it essential for maintaining neurological homeostasis. Despite its natural occurrence in the body, GABA is also available as a dietary supplement, commonly utilized for its potential to alleviate anxiety and stress, enhance sleep quality, and promote the production of alpha brain waves.

Clinical research underscores the importance of maintaining optimal GABA levels for ensuring focus, relaxation, and stress relief. This article delves into the intricate roles of GABA within the nervous system, its application as a dietary supplement, and the clinical evidence supporting these uses.

According to clinical research, the 6 best nootropics for GABA are:

  • Mind Lab Pro
  • NooCube
  • L-Theanine
  • Bacopa Monnieri
  • Vitamin B6
  • Phenibut

Mind Lab Pro

Mind Lab Pro stands out as one of the leading nootropics for augmenting γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels in the brain, playing a significant role in reducing anxiety and enhancing cognitive function. It is meticulously formulated with key ingredients, each synergistically working to boost brain health and overall mental performance.

The efficacy of Mind Lab Pro lies in its comprehensive formulation. It incorporates natural ingredients known to augment GABA production and reception in the brain. The enhanced GABA activity facilitates a calming effect on the nervous system, alleviating stress and anxiety, and promoting improved focus and mental clarity.

Mind Lab Pro boasts a blend of potent ingredients such as Bacopa Monnieri, L-Theanine, and Rhodiola Rosea. Bacopa Monnieri is renowned for its neuroprotective properties and its ability to improve memory and cognitive function. L-Theanine promotes relaxation without sedation, optimizing GABA levels in the brain. Rhodiola Rosea further supports brain function and helps the body adapt to stress, enhancing mental resilience and focus.[1]


  • Comprehensive Formulation
  • Enhanced Cognitive Function
  • Safe and natural


  • Cost (not ideal for people on a tight budget)
  • Shipping times can vary
  • Not available over-the-counter

Mind Lab Pro stands as a prominent nootropic supplement for enhancing GABA levels, offering a myriad of benefits such as improved mental clarity, reduced anxiety, and enhanced cognitive function.

Despite concerns regarding cost and availability, its comprehensive formulation, emphasis on safety, and reported efficacy make it a worthwhile investment for individuals seeking to optimize their cognitive function and neurological balance.


NooCube represents another substantial name in the field of nootropics for GABA enhancement. It is carefully designed with a focus on boosting brain function and improving memory, mental speed, and concentration by optimizing GABA levels and other neurotransmitters effectively.

NooCube works by utilizing a blend of nootropics, vitamins, and amino acids that support and enhance cognitive function and neurotransmitter levels. The active ingredients in the supplement help in the release of more GABA, allowing for reduced stress levels and a calmer, more focused mental state.

Key ingredients in NooCube include Alpha GPC, Huperzine A, Cat’s Claw, Bacopa Monnieri, Oat Straw, and L-Theanine & L-Tyrosine. These ingredients have been chosen for their proven ability to positively affect brain function, supporting mental clarity, focus, and reducing anxiety by optimizing GABA levels.[2]

NooCube users may experience enhanced cognitive function, including improved memory, attention, and mental agility. The increased GABA levels contribute to the overall stability of mood and reduction in anxiety levels, leading to a more balanced and focused mental state.


  • Diverse Ingredients
  • Enhanced Cognitive Functions
  • Emphasis on Safety


  • Possible Sensitivity to Ingredients
  • Limited Clinical Trials

NooCube stands as a commendable option in the world of nootropics, with a diverse ingredient profile aimed at enhancing various aspects of cognitive function. Despite some potential concerns regarding ingredient sensitivity and limited clinical trials, its focus on safety, and reported benefits make it a considerable choice for cognitive enhancement and GABA optimization.


L-Theanine is a naturally occurring amino acid, predominantly found in tea leaves. Unlike other nootropic supplements, it singularly contributes to enhancing cognitive function and optimizing GABA levels in the brain. Its growing popularity can be attributed to its ability to provide relaxation without sedation, making it a favored choice for individuals seeking natural remedies for anxiety and stress.[3]

L-Theanine facilitates increased production and release of GABA in the brain. It promotes the balance of neurotransmitters, effectively aiding in stress reduction, improvement of sleep quality, and enhancement of cognitive functions. Its unique ability to cross the blood-brain barrier allows for direct action on brain chemistry, contributing to its efficacy.[4]

L-Theanine's notable feature lies in its ability to increase alpha brain waves, associated with relaxation, creativity, and focus. Its natural occurrence ensures minimal adverse effects, establishing it as a safe option for individuals seeking to enhance their mental wellness.[5]

Users of L-Theanine can expect to experience enhanced relaxation, improved sleep quality, increased mental focus, and reduced anxiety levels. The increase in GABA levels facilitates a calm and balanced mental state, improving overall cognitive function and emotional well-being.


  • Natural (derived from tea leaves)
  • Enhanced Relaxation
  • Minimal Adverse Effects


  • Can cause drowsiness
  • Limited to Relaxation (unlike the nootropic blends)

L-Theanine stands out as a natural and effective choice for individuals seeking enhanced relaxation, improved sleep quality, and balanced GABA levels in the brain. Despite its limitations in broad cognitive enhancement, its proven safety and efficacy in promoting relaxation and mental balance make it a favorable and reliable supplement option.

Bacopa Monnieri

Bacopa Monnieri, also known as Brahmi, is a traditional Ayurvedic herb recognized for its potent cognitive-enhancing properties. Rich in potent compounds called bacosides, Bacopa Monnieri is celebrated for its capacity to enhance memory, learning, and overall cognitive function, while also positively affecting the GABAergic system.[6]

Bacopa Monnieri operates by influencing brain chemicals involved in thinking, learning, and memory. It assists in increasing the production of certain brain chemicals that are involved in thought processes, learning, and memory. Furthermore, it also exerts a beneficial effect on the brain's GABA receptors, leading to reduced anxiety and enhanced cognitive clarity.[7]

Bacopa Monnieri's significant features include its neuroprotective attributes and the ability to promote neuron communication. The herb enhances the growth and proliferation of dendrites, which are nerve cell extensions necessary for effective neuron communication.

Utilizing Bacopa Monnieri as a nootropic brings forth various benefits including improved memory recall, increased focus and attention, reduced anxiety, and heightened cognitive processing.


  • Herbal & Natural Origin
  • Boosts Cognitive Enhancement
  • Neuroprotective Properties (adaptogenic)
  • Cheap


  • The effects can take months to kick in

Bacopa Monnieri is a respected and effective herbal nootropic, well-suited for those seeking both cognitive enhancement and a natural approach to balance GABA levels in the brain. Its pros decidedly outweigh the cons, rendering it a worthy consideration for individuals aiming to bolster their cognitive function safely and naturally.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, plays an essential role in brain development and function. It assists in the production of neurotransmitters, including gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), thereby contributing to mental health, brain function, and mood regulation.[8]

Vitamin B6 is crucial for the synthesis of neurotransmitters, supporting the nervous system's health and functionality. It helps in the production of GABA and other neurotransmitters, ensuring optimal brain function and mental well-being. It also plays a vital role in amino acid metabolism, further supporting neurological activity.

One of the significant features of Vitamin B6 is its role in the synthesis of hemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen in the blood. It also contributes to the body's energy production, making it an essential nutrient for overall health, including brain and nervous system function.


  • Essential nutrient
  • Contributes to improved mood
  • Supports hemoglobin synthesis


  • High doses can lead to nerve damage
  • May have varied effectiveness

Vitamin B6, while a fundamental nutrient for overall health and well-being, provides distinct advantages for brain function and mental health by enhancing GABA production and other neurotransmitters. Despite potential risks associated with overdosage, its crucial role in various bodily functions solidifies its position as a beneficial supplement for cognitive and overall health support.


Phenibut, a derivative of GABA, is a central nervous system depressant with anxiolytic and stimulant effects for cognitive enhancement. It was developed in Russia and continues to be used there as a medication for anxiety, insomnia, and various other conditions. Beyond prescribed use, it’s sought after for its potential to enhance cognitive function, reduce anxiety, and improve sleep quality.[9]

Phenibut functions by binding to the GABA receptors in the brain, similar to alcohol and benzodiazepines. It is believed to have a calming effect on the brain, alleviating feelings of anxiety and stress, promoting relaxation, and improving sleep.

Phenibut’s prominent feature is its dual action of providing anxiolytic effects and cognitive enhancement. It may enhance the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with mood and pleasure, further contributing to its anxiolytic and mood-enhancing effects.

Though it can be effective for anxiety and cognitive enhancement, Phenibut should be used cautiously due to potential side effects and the risk of dependence and withdrawal.[10]


  • Offers significant potential for reducing anxiety
  • Contributes to enhanced cognitive function
  • Improves sleep quality and duration


  • Continuous use may lead to dependence and withdrawal symptoms
  • Can only be bought online

While Phenibut holds promise for anxiety relief and cognitive enhancement, the need for cautious use is paramount. Users should be acutely aware of the dosing guidelines and potential risks, ensuring that usage is moderated to avoid dependence and adverse effects.

The balance of potential benefits and risks should be thoroughly evaluated, with a focus on ensuring overall health and well-being.

How Do Nootropics for GABA Work?

gamma aminobutyric acid

Nootropics for GABA, known for their ability to enhance the brain’s inhibitory neurotransmission, play a critical role in promoting mental calmness, improving sleep, and boosting cognitive functions.

Understanding the mechanism of action of these nootropics provides insights into their benefits and potential risks, ensuring informed and safe utilization for cognitive enhancement and mental well-being.

GABA and Neurotransmission

Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) is a primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in the human central nervous system. It serves to reduce neuronal excitability and regulate muscle tone. An imbalance in GABA levels can contribute to various neurological disorders and psychological conditions, including anxiety, insomnia, and epilepsy.

Nootropics targeting the GABAergic system work by either enhancing the production of GABA or mimicking its action, leading to increased inhibition of neuronal activity and resultant calming effects.

Enhancing GABA Production

Certain nootropics enhance the brain's production of GABA. Ingredients like L-Theanine and vitamin B6 contribute to increased synthesis and release of GABA in the brain, helping to calm the nervous system, reduce anxiety, and improve sleep quality.

Binding to GABA Receptors

Some nootropics, like Phenibut, function by binding directly to GABA receptors in the brain. This binding enhances the inhibitory action of GABA, leading to increased relaxation, reduced anxiety, and enhanced sleep quality.

Inhibiting GABA Reuptake

Certain nootropics inhibit the reuptake of GABA, increasing its availability in the brain’s synaptic spaces. This prolonged presence enhances the inhibitory action of GABA, contributing to a calm and relaxed mental state.

What Are the Benefits of Nootropics for GABA?

By enhancing GABAergic activity, nootropics for GABA contribute to a range of benefits:

  • Improved Focus and Concentration: Enhancement in mental clarity, improved cognitive function, and increased productivity.
  • Boosted Memory and Learning: Aids in enhancing memory and learning abilities by providing a balanced and calm mental state optimal for learning and memory retention.
  • Reduced Anxiety and Stress: Helps mitigate overexcitation of neurons, leading to increased relaxation and reduced anxiety levels.
  • Improved Mood: Contributes to enhanced mood and overall mental stability by balancing neurotransmitter activity in the brain.
  • Promotion of Healthy Sleep Patterns: Contributes to improved sleep quality and duration by calming the nervous system and regulating sleep patterns.
  • Reduced Insomnia and Sleep Disorders: Provides relief from symptoms of insomnia and other sleep disorders, ensuring consistent and restorative sleep.
  • Protection Against Neurological Disorders: Offers neuroprotective benefits, guarding the brain against various neurological disorders and supporting overall brain health.
  • Balanced Neurotransmitter Activity: Maintains a balance in neurotransmitter activity, safeguarding the nervous system's health and functionality by ensuring optimal GABA activity.

What Are the Side Effects of Nootropics for GABA?

Common side effects of nootropics for GABA include:

  • Gastrointestinal Issues: Nausea, vomiting, and digestive discomfort
  • Drowsiness or Fatigue: Excessive sleepiness and lack of energy
  • Headache: Mild to severe headaches
  • High-Dose Risks: Increased drowsiness, lower blood pressure, heightened risk of dependency
  • Potential Dependency and Withdrawal: Anxiety, insomnia, irritability upon cessation
  • Tolerance Buildup: Necessitates higher doses for the same effects, increasing risk of adverse reactions
  • Neurological Imbalance: Potential contribution to neurological and psychological issues over time
  • Enhanced Sedative Effects: Heightened drowsiness and reduced alertness when combined with other sedative medications
  • Altered Medication Efficacy: Decreased effectiveness or unexpected side effects when combined with other drugs

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

All of your questions about GABA answered.

Is GABA safe to take daily?

GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) supplements are generally considered safe for most people when taken as directed. However, the long-term safety of taking GABA daily has not been fully established in clinical research.

Can I increase GABA levels in my brain without supplements?

Yes, lifestyle changes, dietary choices, and certain exercises can naturally enhance GABA levels in the brain.

What foods should I eat to naturally boost GABA levels?

Consuming fermented foods like kimchi, miso, and tempeh, which are naturally rich in GABA, can help. Also, foods rich in flavonoids (berries, citrus fruits, and tea) and magnesium-rich foods (leafy greens, nuts, and seeds) may promote GABA activity.

Does exercise help in increasing GABA levels?

Yes, regular physical exercise, especially yoga and other mind-body practices, can increase GABA levels, leading to improved mood and reduced anxiety.

Can mindfulness or meditation practices enhance GABA levels?

Yes, mindfulness and meditation practices have been shown to boost GABA levels, providing benefits such as reduced stress and increased mental clarity.

How does sleep impact GABA levels?

Adequate and quality sleep is crucial for maintaining balanced GABA levels. Ensuring regular sleep patterns and creating a restful sleep environment can support optimal GABA function.

Are there natural herbs that can increase GABA levels?

Certain nootropics like L-theanine support GABA activity in the brain, leading to relaxation and reduced anxiety.

Is it safe to combine natural methods with nootropics for boosting GABA?

It's generally safe to combine natural methods with nootropics, but it's always best to consult a healthcare professional to ensure the combinations used are appropriate for your individual health needs.

My Final Thoughts on Nootropics For GABA

In the realm of neuroscientific studies, the quest for enhanced cognition and mental well-being is an ongoing journey.

A multitude of information is available regarding the role of GABA and GABA supplements in managing issues such as depression and anxiety by modulating neurological signals.

Amid the myriad options presented for mental health enhancement, researchers have continued to investigate the role of supplementation, especially GABAergic drugs, in mental health treatment.

These studies aim to provide a more in-depth understanding and solidify the link between GABA enhancement and mental well-being.

From pills to capsules, various forms of GABA supplements like piracetam and noopept, and other GABAergics, have been studied.

The study of these treatment options is driven by the aim to offer relief to patients struggling with various mental health challenges and neurological diseases. Each study is a step toward a more robust treatment framework, ensuring the many benefits of balanced neurotransmitter activity, especially serotonin and GABA, are maximized.

However, while many are seeking treatment through GABAergic drugs, it's crucial to approach treatment with a comprehensive understanding. Navigating the world of GABA supplementation, from pills to capsules, and understanding the nuanced effects of various nootropic compounds is essential.

Patients should be adequately informed about the benefits and potential risks associated with GABAergics and GABAergic drugs, ensuring the chosen treatment is aligned with individual health needs and medical guidance.

In summary, while GABA supplements hold significant promise for many, contributing to enhanced cognition and a balanced serotonin level, continued study and research into these treatment options is paramount.

Ensuring that the treatment of mental health issues and disease with GABAergic drugs is effective, safe, and tailored to individual needs will continue to be a priority for researchers and clinicians alike.

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