What is l-theanine, and how to use it?
L-theanine is an amino acid that is naturally found in green tea leaves. It has a mild taste and is often used as a food additive. Theanine is also a dietary supplement to promote relaxation and mental focus.
The chemical structure of l-theanine is similar to that of caffeine, but while they both stimulate the central nervous system, theanine works to improve mood and promote relaxation. It is also unique in that it crosses the blood-brain barrier and is found in significant amounts in the brain. Usually, dissolved substances in the blood cannot pass through the blood-brain barrier.
L-theanine is believed to have several health benefits, including promoting relaxation and mental focus, improving sleep quality, and reducing anxiety. L-theanine is a natural supplement used in Asia for centuries to promote relaxation and improve mental health. While it is not currently regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), l-theanine is generally considered safe for consumption.
The unprefixed name theanine usually implies the enantiomer L-theanine, the form found in tea leaves and the ingredients of food additives. While tea is the most common source of L-theanine in the diet, this compound is also found in certain types of mushrooms. While green teas are generally high in the potent compound called L-theanine, other types of teas are also high in this amino acid.
What Does it Do?
L-Theanine has been shown to promote relaxation and improve cognitive function. L-Theanine can be found in supplements, foods, and beverages. It can also be obtained through dietary supplementation.
How to Consume L-Theanine Safely
If you are looking for an amino acid that has been shown to improve focus and concentration, l-theanine may be the right fit.
L-Theanine is available as an over-the-counter supplement or can be found in some dietary supplements. The American Dietetic Association recommends that adults consume no more than 200 mg daily. For best results, taking l-theanine before engaging in activities that require mental focus, such as studying or working on a project, is recommended.
To consume l-theanine safely, it is essential to understand how it works and what precautions to take—first, l-theanine functions as a relaxant on the brain by enhancing alpha waves. Alpha waves are associated with relaxed states of mind and are commonly used during meditation and relaxation exercises.
How to Take L-Theanine for Better Mental Alertness and Performance
There are a few ways to consume l-theanine, including taking it as a standalone supplement, mixing it into your morning coffee or tea, or using it in conjunction with other accessories such as caffeine or GABA.
While L-theanine is not a psychoactive substance, it can still produce mild euphoria and stress relief.
To use L-theanine:
- Take it before bedtime.
- Start with a low dose and increase gradually until you find the amount that works for you.
- For best results, bring it on an empty stomach or with water.
L-theanine can be stored in the freezer for up to six months.
How Much L-Theanine is Enough?
L-Theanine can be seen as a standalone supplement or as a component of some tea blends. The recommended dose of l-theanine is usually between 200 and 400 mg daily.
Side Effects of L-Theanine
Some common side effects of l-theanine include:
- Nausea and vomiting
Research suggests that L-theanine can produce alpha brain waves, commonly generated by relaxing activities like meditation. Research has also shown that L-theanine improves sleep quality - not by acting like a sedative but by decreasing anxiety and encouraging relaxation.
L-theanine is a safe, effective way to lower anxiety and promote relaxation. If you are taking L-theanine to help you relax, taking L-theanine with melatonin can help you sleep better.
With its ability to promote relaxation and reduce stress, L-theanine may aid sleep in several ways. L-theanine may help lower pressure, and the decrease in stress and increased relaxation may reduce your heart rate.
Research suggests that the L-theanine in green or black tea can promote such feelings of relaxation by decreasing the persons resting heart rate. Research indicates that supplements with L-theanine may help reduce stress's effects on blood pressure.
When taking L-theanine to help with your sleep, it is best to opt for a supplement with a combination of ingredients designed to help encourage healthy sleep cycles. Taking these two supplements together, like the Melatonin L-theanine combo, may help you sleep well at night. If you are drinking caffeinated tea, combining caffeine and L-theanine helps boost alertness and improve focus, so have that first thing in the morning.
When the potent compound called L-theanine is combined with caffeinated tea, it allows the tea to produce the sensation of increased concentration for a certain amount of time (compared with caffeine alone). At the same time as boosting chemicals that contribute to feelings of tranquility, L-theanine also decreases chemicals in the brain associated with stress and anxiety.
The decrease in pressure probably also leads to better sleep quality, thanks to deeper sleep, but whether or not L-theanine is effective at improving insomnia overall is unclear. Meanwhile, L-Theanine is an amino acid with calming effects and may help the body produce serotonin, which is converted to melatonin.
You might probably guess that a cup of green tea contains far fewer amino acids than supplements containing L-theanine. Therefore, supplements, available as pills, capsules, tablets, and powders, are likely the best sources of L-theanine if you are looking to supplement your everyday diet.
You do not need to be a tea drinker to benefit from its calming effects - and even if you are already enjoying a regular cup, you might find an L-theanine supplement helps with relaxation, stress, and sleep. People have relied on L-theanine's stress-relieving, sleep-promoting powers for centuries through their consumption of tea -- mainly green tea.
One study found that a powerful L-theanine compound may help reduce upper respiratory tract infections. Another found antioxidant found in green tea, doubling as L-theanine, may be effective in helping to stave off influenza.
Another found that green tea catechins--antioxidants--and theanine may effectively prevent the flu (7, 8). Some animal studies have suggested that L-theanine can boost the efficacy of a chemotherapy drug called doxorubicin.
What are benefits of L-theanine?
L-Theanine is a natural and efficient method of boosting both your mental and physical wellbeing. It can help you feel calm and relaxed even when you are overwhelmed or anxious. Oct 30, 2020
When should I take L-theanine morning or night?
l-theanine is one of the best nootropics for cognitive improvement during the day. If you're taking l-theanine capsules or pills, you should consume them about 30 minutes prior to your morning coffee. You can also add the powder to your cup of coffee.
Alternatively, you can take l-theanine with melatonin 30 minutes before bed to aid in restful sleep.
How effective is L-theanine for anxiety?
A 50mg daily L-theanine dose is thought to be an effective treatment for anxiety, which is equivalent to just over 2 cups of tea per day, based on a regular 20mg dose per cup. The calming effect is typically noted within 30 to 40 minutes after taking L-theanine, with doses of 50 to 200 mg.