L-Theanine is a naturally occurring amino acid that has been shown in research studies to improve energy levels and reduces stress. Its effects have been backed up by thousands of years of use in Chinese and Japanese medicine as well as recent clinical studies.
This natural nootropic was first isolated from Green Tea in 1949. Since then, it has been researched for its ability to support brain health and enhance focus.
L-Theanine’s cognitive enhancement effects are most apparent when combined with caffeine, either in a nootropic stack or a natural nootropic like in green tea. Caffeine and L-Theanine work synergistically: caffeine increases your level of alertness, while L-Theanine may reduce some of the anxiety and nervousness that can occur when stimulants are used.
Before deciding whether to use L-Theanine, you might be curious about what it is, the relavent studies that have been published about it, its benefits and any potential side effects.
What Is L-Theanine?
L-Theanine (gamma-glutamylethylamide) is ananalog of glutamine and glutamate that is capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier. It is a form of L-Glutamic acid which is able to help increase and modulate alpha brain waves. Alpha brain waves famously help produce a feeling of calm, relaxed alertness.
In addition to occurring naturally in Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea), L-Theanine is present in certain types of mushrooms.
The chemical structure of this substance is similar to that of L-Tryptophan. This is a precursor to the neurotransmitter Serotonin (which helps to influence sleep cycles and feelings of relaxation).
You have L-Theanine to thank for some of the characteristic flavor you enjoy on a regular basis if you drink Green tea. It is known to contribute flavor that is savory and the umami taste to green tea and other foods.
In the USA, L-theanine is a legal dietary supplement and is included in a number products either as a nootropic or a natural flavoring additive.
There have been a true number of studies which substantiate the benefits of Theanine. The first was from a paper published in 1999 by Food Science and Technology. Researchers observed people who were given 50-200 mg of Theanine weekly.
Their brain waves were then measured and it was determined that those who received the highest doses of Theanine produced the alpha brain waves that are most. This allowed them to be more relaxed and yet alert enough to perform tasks that are complex.
Animal studies have shown that this supplement leads to higher levels of Dopamine in the brain. A 2004 study conducted by Harvard medical school determined that this supplement also acts as an immune booster and helps increase the body’s resistance to colds and flu.
There have even been studies regarding chemotherapy that took L-Theanine. These results show that the supplement appears to help concentrate the chemo drugs towards the cells that are unhealthy keep them away from healthy ones. It also may help reduce the side effects of chemo treatment due to the calming and effects that are relaxing.
How L-Theanine Works
Although the specific mechanisms of action for L-Theanine are not fully understood, the ability is had by this substance to cross the blood-brain barrier. It is very quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and is very fast-acting.
It begins by targeting a true number of different neurotransmitters. These include Serotonin, Dopamine, GABA, and Norepinephrine. These are all powerful brain chemicals which have a number of effects upon cognitive processes, sleep and relaxation cycles, and even pleasure and the reward system that is brain’s.
Side Effects & Usage Of L-Theanine
There are no known side that is specific associated with this supplement. However, a users that are few reported over the internet that they encountered diarrhea when using high doses of Theanine.
This supplement is not recommended for use in combination with high blood pressure prescriptions; the combination could actually reduce blood pressure too much.
*Statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. Consult your healthcare professional before taking this or any new supplement. Do not exceed recommended dose.