How GABA Helps Calm Anxiety

As a super villain, anxiety is impressive. It has a certain shapeless, facelessness to it, making it hard to pin down a strategy for combating it.

People who suffer from anxiety often describe its effects in similar ways, but the causes are so varied. For some people, walking up to a large gathering alone creates a panic others would only feel were they scaling Mount Everest.  For others, ordering coffee from a drive through feels like being trapped in a horror movie.

Anxiety's conformability to its host makes having one treatment plan for all comers completely unrealistic. But natural options to help the body regulate when anxious can be effective for some - depending on the severity.

What is anxiety?

Disorders like generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, social anxiety disorder (social phobia), specific phobias, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), have their own specific symptoms and diagnostic criteria.

But generally speaking, people with anxiety often experience both physical and psychological symptoms. Physical symptoms can include increased heart rate, sweating, trembling, shortness of breath, and gastrointestinal disturbances. Psychological symptoms may involve excessive worrying, irritability, restlessness, difficulty concentrating, and sleep disturbances.

And the severity of symptoms both physical and psychological varies widely, meaning a good strong pep talk works for some, while years of prescription medication makes little dent in others. In many cases, the exact causes of anxiety are not fully understood, but a combination of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors is believed to contribute to its development. 

Traumatic experiences, family history of anxiety or mental health disorders, brain chemistry imbalances, and certain life events or stressors can increase the risk of developing anxiety.

Why is anxiety triggered?

Anxiety triggers can vary significantly from person to person, as everyone has different sensitivities and life experiences. What may trigger anxiety in one individual may not affect another in the same way.

Snakes are a great example. In some people, a phobia of snakes brings on anxiety that’s so extreme, the sight of a snake on TV may cause them to change the channel. A snake appearance in real life may paralyze them in fear. The perceived realness and immediacy of a threat or danger in someone’s mind can dramatically ramp up or ramp down their anxiety around a fear.

One person’s snake may be another person’s public speaking. Or financial concerns. Or proximity to another person who has caused someone trauma in their past. As we noted before - anxiety has a way of conforming to your life and mind, in some people severely impacting their ability to live a fulfilling life.

If many of your choices are based on what will create the least fear or potential for regret - how can you make the best decisions?

It’s no wonder that the global market for anxiety and depression treatment products is valued over nearly $18 billion as of 2020.

But given the highly prevalent side effects found in so many prescription medications and data indicating that daily meditation may work as well as some popular drugs, what are good natural solutions for anxiety?

What is GABA?

That’s where a natural solution like gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) for anxiety can be beneficial. GABA is both a neurotransmitter and amino acid. It exists within the body and in nature.

Dr. Michael J. Breus, a Clinical Psychologist, refers to GABA as “the brakes of the brain” - it works to slow the activity of neurons and the central nervous system, which can reduce the physical effects and feelings of anxiety and stress. A reduction in activity in the central nervous system has benefits on both signals being sent to the brain and in feelings in the body.

GABA found in nature is trademarked as “PharmaGABA” and “GabaRelax” and is derived from probiotics produced via fermentation.  Clinical studies have shown that naturally derived GABA can work within 5 minutes of ingestion to increase Alpha brain waves, and induce a state of relaxation and mental alertness.

A study aimed to investigate the role of GABA intake on immunity in stressed individuals. Eight acrophobic (fear of heights) subjects were divided into two groups: a placebo group and a GABA group. Both groups were exposed to a stressful stimulus of crossing a suspended bridge.

The study demonstrated that GABA intake led to higher levels of immunoglobulin A (IgA) in saliva during a stressful situation, supporting the idea that GABA has beneficial effects on relaxation and anxiety reduction, and it may also have a positive impact on immune function during stress.

In the battle against anxiety, finding effective and natural solutions can make a world of difference. Anxiety's ability to adapt to each individual's unique experiences and triggers makes it a challenging foe to combat. While treatments may vary, exploring natural options can provide relief for some individuals, especially considering the prevalent side effects associated with prescription medications.

Our superfood latte mixes offer a delicious and convenient way to incorporate GABA into your daily routine. With clinically-effective levels of naturally derived GABA and other focus-enhancing, mood-boosting superfoods, these latte mixes are specially designed to help you better manage daily stress. Available in four delicious caffeinated flavors – matcha, chai, cacao, and golden milk – and an evening, sleep-inducing flavor – vanilla lavender. The mixes are all oat milk powder-based, ensuring a simple preparation process: just add two scoops of the powder to water, mix, and sip your way to a calmer, more relaxed state.

In a world where anxiety can shape our choices and impact our well-being, having a natural ally like GABA can be a game-changer.