GABA tea is a type of tea processed to be rich in gamma-aminobutyric acid, which can benefit those with stress, anxiety, insomnia, hypertension and other conditions. While scientists aren’t completely sure whether GABA can cross the Blood to Brain Barrier, drinking GABA tea can help promote overall health, and its fans claim the tea helps them achieve a calm state of being and a sense of clarity.
GABA and GABA Tea
GABA is an amino acid naturally occurring in the brain that helps neurons communicate effectively. It’s also a health supplement that can be taken to help the brain function optimally. GABA tea is made from freshly picked tea leaves that are processed and fermented in anaerobic conditions. This leads to a high accumulation of GABA in the tea leaves, resulting in a tea with a distinct flavor that’s tangy and umami when brewed, and includes a number of purported health benefits.
Where is GABA produced?
GABA naturally exists in tea leaves containing camellia sinensis, but the fermentation process developed in Japan in the 1980s actually increased the levels of GABA in the leaves. The harvested tea leaves are placed in a sealed chamber for several hours and pumped with nitrogen to displace any oxygen. The glutamic acid in the leaves convert to GABA over time. The tea leaves are then traditionally processed and packaged as usual.
Since the 1980s, GABA teas are mostly produced in Japan and Taiwan. Most GABA teas sold in the international market are GABA oolong teas from Taiwan. Production is strict — GABA teas must include 150 mg of GABA per 100 grams of tea leaves.
Caffeine in GABA tea
GABA tea contains a medium amount of caffeine, since it’s made from Camillia Sinensis, the tea plant. The addition of nitrogen preserves the catechins found in the leaves, so GABA tea has approximately the same levels of caffeine as the tea from which it’s made.
Benefits of GABA Tea
There are many ways to benefit from GABA tea, but the tea alone cannot treat major health conditions and diseases. If you have any concerns, stay on the safe side and speak to a licensed physician.
Helps with depression and anxiety
Consuming high levels of GABA can enhance the GABA receptor in the brain and may improve symptoms of depression and anxiety. According to studies, it’s possible that low GABA levels in the blood are linked to depression. A lack of GABA in the body could lead to an increase in related conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, sugar cravings, memory disorders, sensory disturbances, and other illnesses.
Calms the nervous system and relieves stress
It’s possible that GABA tea inhibits nerve activity, which could help with sleep problems and promote relaxation. The amino acid GABA functions as an inhibitor in our bodies, and having a more balanced level can lower the activity of the central nervous system and reduce stress.
Helps manage insomnia
GABA tea can act as a natural sedative without being addictive. The GABA receptors in our brains favor sleep, and when there is less GABA in our bodies, we’re more likely to have trouble sleeping. That’s why GABA, especially when mixed with L-theanine (found in green tea), helps with insomnia, and encourages a deeper, longer, better quality sleep.
Affects the body in positive ways
Some studies have shown GABA can enhance mental concentration and physical performance. The alanine in GABA can stimulate the growth hormone Somatropin and trigger rapid muscle building, fat burning and more. GABA may be able to reduce sensitivity to pain as well, and there are some studies on how it may help people with diabetes, Parkinson’s and epilepsy. However, it’s important to note that consuming high levels of GABA may have adverse effects, so it’s important to talk to a doctor if you have any known medical conditions.
Reduces high blood pressure
GABA is known to reduce high blood pressure or hypertension. Research from Japan shows that the levels of theanine present in the tea can help support the balancing of blood pressure and the heart and circulatory system. Scientific studies have shown that patients treated with GABA significantly lowered their blood pressure in a short amount of time.
GABA interaction with CBD
Cannabidiol (CBD) can stimulate our brain’s GABA receptors, which are responsible for calming the nervous system. CBD interacts with the GABA-A receptor in the brain, meaning that it can reduce anxiety in a way that amplifies GABA’s natural calming effects. It seems that GABA and CBD interact positively with one another in terms of helping us relax, reduce stress, and balance moods, though more research is needed before coming to a definite conclusion, and each individual’s situation varies.
Safe Amounts of GABA tea
According to Japanese researchers, you can take 10 to 20 mg of GABA per day up to a certain amount of weeks to improve general health or mild or preventable concerns, but it depends on your condition and its severity. 100 to 200 mg is recommended for sleep, stress and anxiety but again, individual dosing and lengths vary. Excess intake of GABA can lead to a few side effects, like nausea, digestive issues, breathing difficulties or tingling in the extremities. Always consult your healthcare practitioner if you're unsure how certain supplements can affect you.
How to make GABA tea
It’s usually best to drink GABA tea in the evening before bedtime or before meditation. The amino acids are highly soluble and steep time doesn’t need to be very long, especially if you're treating sleep problems.
Feel free to use these instructions as a guide or starting point for brewing this tea.
GABA tea ratio
gaba tea 6 grams
water 237 ml
Add a generous teaspoon of high quality, medium oxidized GABA tea leaves into your favorite brewing cup. Pour the water heated at 212°F (Boiling) and steep for 1 – 2 minutes. Enjoy!
Check our step-by-step tea brewing guides for a more detail explanation.
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