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L-theanine - The Thousand Year Old Cognitive Booster

What exactly is L-theanine?

L-theanine, also known as Theanine, a non-dietary amino acid found in tea leaves, can induce relaxation. L-theanine is being studied for its potential ability to reduce mental and physical stress, improve cognition and boost mood.

Theanine (also known as r-glutamyl ethyl amide), impacts brain nerve activity and the production of neurotransmitters, such as GABA.

It is called natural and anxiolytic since it has a soothing, sedative effect on the body and mind without causing drowsiness — which is why it's commonly used to alleviate anxiety, behavioral issues, and sleep-related difficulties.(1)

The most common way to get theanine is through dietary supplements, typically not included in people's diets. However, because it isn't found in many commonly eaten foods, most individuals don't obtain a lot of theanine from their diets. It’s also an uncommon amino acid because it isn't used to build proteins — unlike other amino acids such as phenylalanine.

The most significant L-theanine sources in our diets are green, black, and white teas, although L-theanine supplements may be helpful since most people do not consume substantial quantities of tea daily.

L-Theanine: A Brief History

You've probably noticed L-Theanine showing up on various supplements and drinks, as well as being advertised by wellness companies as the most recent excellent brain booster on the market. However, the latest innovation isn't really all that new!

The chemical is thousands of years old, hiding in plain sight within the chemical composition of green and black tea and various mushrooms.

Catechins are a type of OTC vitamin. They're naturally found in green tea leaves and were first isolated from Gyokuro leaves in 1950. It has a structure comparable to glutamic acid, which a Japanese scientist discovered in 1949. (2)

With the approval of its usage in essentially all foods and beverages in 1964, L-Theanine supplements became fashionable. As a result, it was permitted for almost unrestricted use as an ingredient in meals and drinks, except for infant foods, in Japan.

The FDA granted it GRAS (generally acknowledged as safe) status in the early 2000s. As a result, it is steadily gaining popularity in the United States as a safe and effective supplement with many applications backed up by decades of scientific study and clinical trials.

L-Theanine: How Does It Work?

The modern era's work-life balance (or lack thereof) is exhausting. There are many supplements, drinks, and shots on the market to help you fight tiredness and power through your day, but few that improve cognitive performance while also relaxing you. L-Theanine may even cause physiological stress reduction.

It's one of the unusual substances that checks two boxes - cognitive performance, and relaxation.

L-Theanine is a unique "wonder drug" that affects a range of brain neurochemicals. It provides remarkable contradictory advantages: greater attention, concentration, and focus while simultaneously inducing extraordinarily calm and peaceful mental states — similar to what scientists would observe during deep REM sleep or focused Zen meditation. The tranquil mood is due to the decreased activity of cortical neurotransmitters and the production of alpha brain waves. (3)

L-theanine improves relaxation and promotes sleep by influencing several brain processes, including:

  • Enhance levels of GABA and other calming brain chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin. When present in higher amounts, these calming brain chemicals can help with sleep and relax you.
  • L-theanine inhibits the production of "excitatory" neurotransmitters, helps to preserve neurons against age-related stress damage, and
  • Promotes alpha brainwave activity. In addition, one of L-theanine's benefits is that it can help to relax without being sedative. Therefore, L-theanine could be a good alternative for individuals who want to improve their "wakeful relaxation" without becoming sleepy and tired throughout the day.

L-Theanine supplements are popular today, but you want to get a high-quality product. Vital Mind is a supplement that may assist in the benefits listed below because it contains this sometimes called "wonder drug" in its ingredients.

What are the Benefits of L-theanine?

Improving Sleep

L-theanine seems to improve sleep in several ways. For example, L-theanine's ability to enhance relaxation and reduce stress might assist individuals in falling asleep faster and more easily at night. According to research, it may also improve sleep quality by lowering anxiety and promoting relaxation.

There's a lot of evidence that L-theanine can help children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) sleep better. The research looked at the effects of L-theanine on boys' sleep quality of boys aged 8 to 12 and found that the supplement improved their sleep quality while also helping them fall asleep more quickly. (4)

Reducing Stress and Anxiety

L-theanine is an anxiolytic, which means it helps to alleviate anxiety. Soothing herbs include valerian and hops. L-theanine, on the other hand, promotes relaxation without sedating. L-theanine can assist in establishing a calm, attentive state of wakefulness.

L-theanine reduces mental and physical stress symptoms, such as lowering blood pressure and heart rate.

L-theanine has been found in studies to help with anxiety in people with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder.

Enhancing Attention, Focus, Memory, and Learning

When stressed, the body increases hormone production, notably cortisol and corticosterone. These hormone changes interfere with memory and spatial learning by interfering with some brain activity. L-theanine helps reduce the stress hormone corticosterone levels while avoiding memory and cognitive impairment.

L-theanine may help improve other cognitive abilities. For example, studies have found L-theanine to improve attention span and reaction time in anxiety-prone people. In addition, it may aid in the improvement of accuracy, according to one study, which found that taking L-theanine decreased the number of mistakes made during a test of attention.

L-theanine is sometimes used in tandem with caffeine to improve cognitive functions. According to studies, combinations of L-theanine and caffeine have enhanced attention span, enhanced visual information processing skills, and boosted accuracy in switching from one activity to the next.

Helping to Maintain a Healthy Weight

L-theanine's anti-anxiety and sleep-promoting effects may assist individuals in maintaining a healthy weight. After all, getting enough sleep and controlling stress are essential to maintaining a nutritious diet and avoiding weight gain.

L-theanine has been found to help maintain weight loss by reducing cortisol and adrenaline, two hormones that can cause appetite stimulation. L-theanine may also function as a more direct weight maintenance aid. In addition, there's scientific evidence suggesting that L-theanine can assist in the prevention of obesity by limiting fat accumulation and weight gain.

Help to Support Cardiovascular Health

L-Theanine may inhibit blood pressure surges in response to stressful situations and helps control nitric oxide, a chemical produced by our bodies that improves cell communication. As a result, blood pressure management through dilating arteries, inflammation reduction, immune system support, sleep quality improvement, and more.

L-Theanine Reduces Stroke Impact

When blood flow to a part of the brain is suddenly blocked (ischemia), a stroke occurs, causing widespread chemical stresses, huge excitotoxicity, and final cell death. L-theanine has been shown in recent studies to have antioxidant activities that may help prevent strokes and reduce the damage they cause. (5)

Does L-Theanine Work?

There is some evidence that L-Theanine can aid with anxiety reduction and enhance attention span and reaction time in persons prone to anxiety. However, it's critical to contact your doctor first and ensure that you don't rely on them alone when taking these pills. In addition, always make sure any supplement or therapy is used in conjunction with other lifestyle changes.

Grab your athletic shoes and go for a walk or a jog around the neighborhood or park. Grab a mat and meditate; this will relax your mind and body. These are things that people who don't suffer from anxiety, stress, or have a hard time focusing will tell you to do. But, even if you push yourself to do these things, it would be nice to have some help. Vital Mind can help with these issues.

When Should L-theanine be taken, morning or night?

When taking L-Theanine at night, it's best to do so between 30 minutes and an hour before bedtime if you are taking it to help calm you to sleep through the night. Because L-Theanine supplements take time to work, it's recommended that you start your bedtime practice early and allow the relaxant effect of the pill to permeate throughout your body.

L-Theanine can be taken on an empty stomach or with meals.

How much L-theanine should you take daily?

Most adults can safely consume up to 200 milligrams every day (usually split into two to three doses), although higher dosages of up to 400 milligrams have been used without issue.

If you want to try L-theanine as part of your daily wellness routine, start with 100-400 mg and gradually increase until you feel the effects.

Side Effects of L-Theanine

According to studies, it is safest when taken for a short time, around several weeks to four months. It's usually taken once per day by mouth for three to 16 weeks. (6)

L-theanine can interact with several prescription medicines, notably those used to manage high blood pressure (also known as antihypertensive drugs). Because theanine lowers blood pressure, don't use it before consulting your doctor if you're already on medications that lower blood pressure.

There isn't much data on L-theanine supplementation during pregnancy, so pregnant women may want to avoid taking L-theanine. However, most women can safely consume two cups of green tea during pregnancy.

Is L-Theanine Addictive?

L-theanine does not cause the release of high amounts of dopamine and, as a result, is nonaddictive. However, it has been shown to produce low dopamine levels in lab tests on rats and (more limited) tests on human participants that have not been linked to compulsive seeking or addictive behavior.

Final Thought

There is a lot of green tea consumed each year worldwide, so chances are you're already taking an L-Theanine dosage on a semi-regular basis. Even so, by taking a few more precautions, L-Theanine may become an essential component of your relaxation and sleep regimen.

L-Theanine is a great supplement to consider if you’re looking for better focus and concentration. It can also help with relaxation and stress relief, making it a valuable tool in your arsenal against anxiety.

If you're looking for an all-natural way to boost your health and well-being, consider adding some L-Theanine supplements to your daily routine.

Our Neuro Calm Supplement

You can also find L-theanine in our Neuro Calm supplement which has been specifically designed to support cognitive function and memory enhancement.