L-Theanine is a natural amino acid found in green tea famous for its relaxing and de-stressing properties. It is perfect for people working under pressure and is sustainable; you can take it every day.
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A relaxing amino acid found in green tea that you can take every day.
L-Theanine is the part of green tea that makes drinking it relaxing. It's an amino acid which has been well documented to de-stress, help with anxiety, and be sustainable to take for the long-term.
It works by increasing the production of the relaxation neurotransmitter GABA. People who are low in GABA tend to be restless or anxious because their brain-cells are over-communicating thoughts of stress. GABA is the inhibitory neurotransmitter, tasked with preventing over-excitement.
L-Theanine does not cause sleepiness. Instead, it has been seen to replicate the effects of meditation; a sense of calm as indicated by Alpha-brain waves during brain-scans. For people needing to relax, we can think of no better supplement to take every day.
Benefits: Relaxation, Focus, Stress, Creativity
Actions: Stimulates Alpha-brain waves, reduces stress response and anxiety, increases dopamine and serotonin levels.
Who should take it: Creatives, networkers, marketers - anybody who could benefit from a relaxed, creative state of mind.
Quality of studies: Good amount of human research mostly from Japan. 130 studies published on Pubmed.
Time to effect: Within 40 minutes.
Combines well with:Caffeine or Rhodiola Rosea for an energy and productivity boost (while staying relaxed thanks to L-Theanine).
Recommended dose: 200-300mg per day.
Cycling: Not needed - it's fine to continuously take L-Theanine.
Studies on Relaxation and Anxiety:
L-Theanine is a great relaxation aid to take every day because it (1) increases the the production of the relaxation neurotransmitter GABA (2) without causing your body to desensitise to increased levels of GABA.
GABA is the neurotransmitter responsible for inhibiting over-excitement (e.g. stress responses and anxiety). People with low GABA levels are typically anxious, overly excitable and stressed.
Unlike a lot of pharmaceutical drugs which artificially "lift" your GABA levels to deal with stress, L-Theanine does not cause desensitisation. This makes it a sustainable and natural solution that you can take every day of the week, if you like.
Within just 40 minutes of taking L-Theanine, human volunteers produced alpha brain waves, "signifying relaxation without causing drowsiness". (The University of Shizuoka - link to study)
Alpha waves are associated with a relaxed, attentive and calm state of mind. (Technical University of Graz - link to study)
400mg of L-Theanine daily for 8 weeks saw human volunteers "able to reduce anxiety and activation symptoms without significantly affecting quality of life or general functioning." (Israel Institute of Technology - link to study)
A double-blind human study found that "L-Theanine reduces psychological and physiological stress responses." (Nagoya University Department of Psychology - link to study)
A group of 56 healthy young physicians saw improvements in mental fatigue, concentration and memory (Armenian State Medical University - link to study)
A group of 18 "high stress" university students were given L-Theanine and produced Alpha waves. improved in reaction times and had decreased heart rates (University of Shiga Prefecture - link to study)
"Animal neurochemistry studies suggest that L-theanine increases brain serotonin, dopamine, GABA levels" - in other words, it increases the release of the pleasure, motivation and relaxation neurotransmitters. (Monash University, Australia - link to study)
Studies on Attention and Memory:
L-Theanine is not a "powerful" memory enhancer like the Acetylcholine supplements Alpha GPC or CDP Choline. Nonetheless, it's ability to de-stress and relax people has been seen to improve their attention and ability to recall information.
A human study stated: "Results evidently demonstrated that l-theanine clearly has a pronounced effect on attention performance and reaction time response in normal healthy subjects prone to have high anxiety." (University of Shiga - link to study)
Combining L-Theanine with Caffeine "led to faster simple reaction time, faster numeric working memory reaction time, and improved sentence verification accuracy." (Northumbria University - link to study)
Improved delayed recognition and immediate recall scores when combined with green tea extract (Park SK et al. - link to study)
Instructions on How to Take L-Theanine:
Recommended dose: Most people take between200-300mg of L-Theanine per day. If you are taking it with Caffeine, maintain a 2:1 ratio e.g. Combine 100mg of caffeine with 200 mg of L-Theanine.
PS: A typical cup of coffee has about 95mg of Caffeine in it. A single expresso shot is roughly 63mg of Caffeine.
What combines well with L-Theanine?
Stimulants (Rhodiola Rosea or Caffeine) - Combining L-Theanine with a stimulant such as Rhodiola Rosea or Caffeine is a great way to stay "in the focus zone" without getting over stimulated. L-Theanine negates the downsides of stimulants (e.g. irritability) while taking advantage of their energising effects. We sell Rhodiola Rosea here and we also sell ready made Caffeine + L-Theanine 2-in-1 capsules here.
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Matcha Green Tea - Matcha tea also contains L-Theanine (about 46mg per cup) and is a potent antioxidant with neuroprotective properties. We sell Dream Matcha Green Tea here, which we import from Japan.
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