Meet GABA. Full name: gamma-aminobutyric acid. Tongue-twister is an understatement. Since we weren’t sure on the correct pronunciation of even the abbreviation of this ingredient, we asked our Chief Product Officer, Rob Bent, to weigh in. [Spoiler alert: GABA is pronounced like Swedish pop group ABBA. Yes, Dancing Queen will be playing on repeat for the rest of the day.]
What it is:
GABA is a neurotransmitter produced naturally in your brain that’s essential to your nervous system’s ability to function properly. We know what you’re thinking. What the heck is a neurotransmitter? Think of neurotransmitters as the carrier pigeons of nerve cells. They deliver messages between nerve cells in your body. Other neurotransmitters include dopamine, serotonin, and epinephrine (a.k.a. adrenaline).
What it does:
GABA helps inhibit the electrical activity of cells, decreasing the number of messages being passed back and forth within your brain. It also affects activity in your brain, working in conjunction with L-Theanine to increase alpha waves and promote relaxation. As a reminder, alpha waves occur when you’re relaxed and lying down with your eyes closed, but still conscious. We like to think of this as tuning the brain to a “sleep adjacent” state.
Why we use it:
We use GABA in the Som Stack™ to aid in facilitating the first step your brain naturally takes when you begin to fall asleep. It helps induce the transition from mostly beta to mostly alpha wave activity, readying your brain for sleep.