Chemical formula of GABA

What is GABA?

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a naturally occurring amino acid that works as a neurotransmitter in your brain. Because of its relationship with alcohol, many people who want to stop drinking consider GABA supplements for alcohol withdrawal.

Neurotransmitters function as chemical messengers and are used by the nervous system to help neurons, or nerve cells, communicate with one another. They also help neurons transmit signals to other target cells throughout the body. 

GABA, as well as other neurotransmitters, are part of an incredible biotechnological function that can effectively reduce stress levels in the body. But, like all functions throughout the body, other chemicals can inhibit it. What if you were to consume high levels of alcohol?

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How can Alcohol Impact GABA?

Our body creates GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid) from glutamate through the help of certain enzymes, and alcohol is not directly involved in this process. Therefore alcohol does not immediately inhibit or encourage the production of GABA. 

Even though the consumption of alcohol does not directly affect the production of GABA, it can replicate the symptoms of GABA. How much alcohol you consume determines the severity of the replication process.

However, drinking too much regularly can trick your brain into thinking you have GABA levels that are too high. For example, someone who drinks a lot in one evening may experience overstimulated GABA pathways. In extreme cases, this can cause sedation of the central nervous system. In some cases, this leads to alcohol toxicity and overdose. 

GABA and Alcohol Abuse do not Mix

If, on the other hand, you are exposing yourself to alcohol on a regular, long-term basis, the effects can flip and begin desensitizing the GABA receptors.

In other words, alcohol will suppress the central nervous system, which will then cause you to feel stressed or anxious. This may encourage you to drink more frequently to suppress these feelings, which can easily lead to addiction. 

Also, desensitizing the GABA receptors over time through alcohol abuse is one of the main factors behind the experience of heightened anxiety during withdrawal.

Is it possible for my GABA receptors to heal once I stop drinking?

When the body abuses alcohol, the brain has to adjust by increasing GABA activity. However, if you suddenly stop drinking alcohol, the neurotransmitters are left out of balance.

This can be very stressful for the body, so it can encourage you to have another drink to form some regulation.

If you are coming off alcohol or are in the process of maintaining sobriety, getting all the help you can is important. Withdrawal symptoms can be intense, and seek assistance when needed from your support network, whether through family, friends, sponsorships, charities, or regular meetings.

But there are other aspects of support out there. Many foods and supplements could make your sobriety journey more comfortable. 

GABA Supplements

GABA Supplement for Alcohol Withdrawal

When it comes to what foods do what, there are many nutritional aids to GABA. We recommend researching thoroughly before moving on with any suggestions. Below we have started that journey for you by highlighting some of those foods. We strongly urge you to carefully consider these foods before integrating them into your daily diet.

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ACV Apple Cider Vinegar

Some may say that abusing alcohol is a direct act of self-medicating psychological issues. The consequences of such an act can be catastrophic for the body’s immune system and overall health. If you agree, you may want to try apple cider vinegar.

Apple cider vinegar is a fermented liquid used in a formula to alleviate the body when coming off psychiatric medications. Now, alcohol may not be a psychiatric medication, but many use it to self-medicate. 

Some nutritional advocates believe that apple cider vinegar may improve overall gut health through the diversity of bacteria through fermentation. So, if the gut-mind connection is accurate, then this acidic liquid has the potential to help the healing of GABA receptors.

This reduces the sensation of anxiety and stress. Why stop there? When you could go further and find complimentary ingredients that could soothe the recovery process even more. 

Bacopa Monnieri

Here are other dietary suggestions that could be essential allies in healing your central nervous system. Ever heard of bacopa monnieri?

Bacopa is rich in antioxidants which will help protect you by neutralizing free radicals in your body. This boosts overall health by slowing down the ageing process. It is a herb found around the world.

You can find this as a supplement as part of alcohol detox supplements, and it will more than likely merge with other ingredients relevant to the cause, such as MCT oil. 


MCT oil is not something you would see on many shopping lists, but MCT can be found in every supermarket in the form of coconut oil. Coconut oil is rich in MCT oil and can profoundly affect the body’s functionality. 

MCT oil is essential for the growth and repair of brain cells, which can help with memory loss and the function of neurotransmission. There are also benefits in reducing inflammation (more commonly of the pancreas) and high blood pressure, which is common in those abusing alcohol. 

There you have it – Your GABA can recover through small patient steps.

We have learned that neurotransmission can be hugely affected by alcohol abuse, and any long-term effects will linger unless there is encouragement from all angles.

One of those angles that are often underestimated is the angle of arranging a diet relevant to recovery from alcohol abuse.

Taking the responsibility to find a balanced diet of whole foods and supplements through research and advice is essential in pushing toward a healthier body. A body fit for moving on. 

Some alcohol detox supplements out there have all of the ingredients mentioned above and more.