There’s a lot of talk these days about functional drinks, but what does that really mean?
To get technical for a moment, a “functional drink” is a mood altering substance which does not rely on ethanol. To you and me, that’s just a non-alcoholic drink that actually makes you feel good. You drink it, you enjoy it, you feel good—and hopefully it doesn’t taste like alka-seltzer—that’s the basic idea.
The market for alcohol alternatives has been growing a lot over the past decade—the days of Kaliber being the only non-alcoholic go-to are long gone, because today’s consumers are different. They’re a far more savvy and health conscious bunch than their parents, but they still prize the positive social interactions that alcohol can bring. While many alcohol alternatives try to recreate the taste of alcohol, without, you know, the alcohol. Functional drinks are offering something else, on their own merit—because the taste of alcohol has yet to be successfully mimicked, if it can be at all.
If the phrase “functional botanicals” isn’t on your radar—if you’ve fallen through a hole in the internet and ended up here by mistake—it soon will be, because the alcohol alternative market is now exploding. With functional drinks you can do better than be “free from” alcohol, you can be free to choose and feel better.
How It Works
But alcohol has host effects on the brain, and replicating those effects is a difficult business—if it wasn’t, we’d have probably been hangover, liver disease and Saturday night street brawl free some time ago.
The team at GABAlabs have taken several lifetimes worth of expertise in psychopharmacology, neuroscience, bioprospecting and biochemistry and put it to the problem of creating an alternative to alcohol that actually works.
For a drink to attempt to recreate some of what is going on when you drink alcohol three key components are needed: GABA activators, GABA enhancers, and Bio-enhancers.
GABA activators cause the release of GABA in the brain, which leads to feelings of relaxation and sociability—you’ll know the feeling if you’ve ever had a couple of pints or a large glass of wine. GABA enhancers boost the effects of the GABA released by your brain, while Bio-enhancers facilitate both the release and effect of GABA by aiding the uptake of activators and enhancers.
This is all a complimentary process. It starts in the intestine, transfers to the blood, and from their enters the brain, crossing what is known as the BBB, the blood-brain barrier.
A GABA Drink with no GABA
Some drinks—and a host of foods and supplements—claim to contain GABA as an active ingredient, and, perhaps contrary to what you’d assume, Sentia doesn’t.
But Sentia doesn’t “contain” GABA in that sense, because getting GABA down your throat, on to your intestinal tract and then into your bloodstream isn’t going to get it into your brain—that’s not how this works.
GABA, which is present in, well, all living things, isn’t an active ingredient in and of itself. GABA in—say—a drink, a fruit, a grain of rice, or a blade of grass, can’t get from there into your brain, because GABA can’t pass through the BBB.
Sentia contains compounds that pass from your intestines and into your blood—and compounds that help that happen. The real magic is how these substances then trigger the release of GABA in your brain. It’s your brain that creates the GABA that matters.
What Sentia is Made From
The team at GABAlabs have scoured humanity’s extensive pharmacopeia and identified a plethora of naturally occurring GABAergic plants, plants that enhance the effects of GABA release, and plants that enhance the uptake of these from your gut to your bloodstream and then to your brain. That’s what Alcohol does.
But Alcohol does a whole lot more than that—which is the problem. It is at present perhaps the only mind altering substance that produces such a wide range of effects, able to stimulate and sedate at the same time.
Sure, it triggers the release of GABA, but when drunk in excess, it comes with a host of rather unfriendly side effects—manic rages in kebab shops, repeated professions of undying love for strangers, lost shoes, trousers… pants. Sentia, on the other hand, is designed to act in a more precise and less harmful way.
By targeting GABA activity in the brain specifically, Sentia is a functional botanical drink that balances relaxation and sociability, it gives you the feeling of the first few rounds, and holds the feeling right there..
In GABA Veritas
The idea behind Sentia was to approximate some of the effects of alcohol in a more controlled way, so that you too, can be in control.
There’s feeling just right and feeling just right—when it comes to functional botanicals, the only choice is Sentia.