Health Benefits | May 09, 2023

Surprising Facts About Alcohol & Stress

5 min read
Author: Rory Coulter

SUMMARY

Alcohol is known to have the reverse effect and actually decreases the activity of GABA in the brain because of how it alters GABA receptors. When alcohol is consumed more regularly, it dulls GABA receptors, leading to negative changes in GABA activity that has a harmful effect on your body and brain over time.

There’s nothing like a glass (or two) of heart-healthy red wine after a long day, but could it actually be making you more stressed out?

In the short term, alcohol is known to increase the activity of GABA in the brain, which contributes to its anxiolytic and sedative effects. When alcohol is consumed occasionally, it binds to GABA receptors in the brain, increasing the release of GABA and enhancing its effects. This leads to a temporary reduction in anxiety and increase in sleepiness, helping you relax after a stressful day. 

In the long term, though, alcohol is known to have the reverse effect and actually decreases the activity of GABA in the brain because of how it alters GABA receptors. When alcohol is consumed more regularly, it dulls GABA receptors, leading to negative changes in GABA activity that has a harmful effect on your body and brain over time. This leads to a vicious cycle of having to increase alcohol intake to experience the same effects, followed by increasingly severe withdrawal symptoms or hangovers. 

What it means for your health

In summary, while alcohol can increase the activity of GABA in the brain and have calming effects when consumed occasionally in small amounts, regular alcohol use can lead to negative changes in GABA activity and have increasingly harmful effects on your body and brain.

Our delicious bestselling Mellö Magnesium Superblend contains GABA and L-Theanine (another natural amino acid that helps ease anxiety and stress) and is a healthy long-term alternative to wine, offering a relaxing nightly ritual that helps you sleep well and wake up refreshed with less stress and more energy! Get our FREE Mellö Mocktail Recipe Book >

 
Regular alcohol use can lead to negative changes in GABA activity and have increasingly harmful effects on your body and brain.
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