What Is L-Theanine?
L-Theanine is most commonly found within the leaves of black, green, and white tea leaves. It can also be found within a species of mushroom known as Xerocomus badius, which is most commonly found in Europe and North America.
Besides water, tea is the most commonly consumed beverage worldwide. Both black, white, and green tea contain a unique amino acid known as L-Theanine. This amino acid has been found to affect aspects of the human brain. With a rich history and new advances in modern science, we’re unlocking the benefits of this amino acid. As mentioned, L-Theanine is an amino acid, which is a non-dietary amino acid. This means that is is not required within our diet to support human life. In comparison, essential amino acids are those that are responsible for building protein molecules. Although L-Theanine is not an essential amino acid, it still plays a beneficial role within the human body.
In terms of its structure, L-Theanine is similar to the neurotransmitters glutamate and GABA. It has been found to have various benefits including improvements in cognition, mood, and relaxation.
History of L-Theanine
Tea itself dates back thousands of years. Ancient China utilized the benefits of tea as far back as the 3rd century AD. Tea has made it’s way into various cultures, across thousands of years. Green tea is a known component within the culture of Buddhism. Buddhist monks have long consumed green tea in order to stay awake and calm during long hours of meditation.
It has been used for its health benefits, religious practices, as a symbol of wealth, but when did L-Theanine begin impacting the world of cognitive neuroscience?
In 1949, L-Theanine was discovered as a component of green tea. A year later, L-Theanine was successfully extracted from a gyokuro leaf within a Japanese lab. Its origin began in tea, but was authorized to be included in all foods except for baby food items in 1964.
Today, it’s popularity is increasing. Many are enjoying the positive benefits in which this compound offers. If you have any questions or concerns, approach a health professional.
How to Use L-Theanine
L-Theanine is generally taken orally, reaching the brain within an hour. The effects of L-Theanine peak at approximately 5 hours, then levels begin to decrease. After 24 hours, no concentration of L-Theanine will be present. More importantly, no chemical dependence will result from consuming this substance.
L-Theanine is effective on its own, but many users prefer to take L-Theanine in a stack with other known enhancers; caffeine and Piracetam for example. A ratio of one part caffeine to two parts L-Theanine is believed to work best. The caffeine increases alertness and attention, while the L-Theanine combats the negative side effects associated with caffeine.
How L-Theanine Works
Through medical studies, it has been found that L-Theanine effectively crosses the blood brain barrier. This means that a supplement or medication can interact directly with the brain. Once L-Theanine has reached the brain, it allows communication between brain cells to improve. In turn, cognition is improved. It has also been shown to increase one’s awareness, improve mood, and create a sense of relaxation.
L-Theanine affects various neurotransmitters creating desirable effects. GABA for example, creates a calming feeling within the body when released. L-Theanine helps to increase the amount of GABA, which is why green tea is known to help reduce anxiety. Serotonin helps regulate one’s mood. The more serotonin present, the more control someone has over their mood.
When caffeine and L-Theanine are taken together, you can improve focus through caffeine, while decreasing levels of anxiety. It has been found that this great team creates enhanced memory while increasing cognitive function.
Benefits of L-Theanine
L-Theanine has various overall health benefits such as; a reduction in heart rate, decreasing blood pressure, and supporting immune function by increasing T-cells.
Through research, scientists have now discovered various benefits associated with brain function when consuming L-Theanine. Some of the possible benefits include:
- A positive affect on stress levels, both physical and mental. This is associated with an increase in relaxation, creating a calming eff
- Improving cognitive performance; improved memory and increased attention.
- Increased control over one’s mood.
- Improves learning, while increasing focus on critical tasks. Studies have shown that L-Theamine has the ability to decrease interference associated with outside stimuli. Therefore, participants were able to concentrate and focus more effectively.
- Promotes Alpha wave generation. Alpha waves are responsible for an awake, yet relaxed state.
There have been many benefits yielded through the combined dosage of both caffeine and L-Theanine. Not only have studies yielded benefits in terms of memory, mood, and attention, but L-Theanine is being treated as a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s.
L-Theanine and Caffeine Study
A study, published in the Journal of Nutrition found a correlation between L-Theanine and brain function. Sixteen participants took part, with ages ranging from 21-40. This study yielded a significant improvement in behavioral performance, regarding a combined treatment of L-Theanine and caffeine.
There have been numerous well-respected studies published regarding other positive results. There have been studies that have found an increase in cognition and mood; reduction in stress responses; and an increase in memory and attention just to name a few.
L-Theanine has been approved by the FDA, being safe for human consumption. Although you consume doses of L-Theanine in your tea, positive effects were seen through far larger doses than your average cup of tea in the morning.
There have been very few adverse effects reported. However, within human studies, there have been cases of tea extracts creating headaches and dizziness. At this point, L-Theanine consumption appears to be safe. However, research is still being done to discover the optimal dosage and if extended, frequent use is safe.
Just as any other supplement or medication, consult a professional regarding dosage and possible side-effects with any other medication you are currently taking. For example, those who are already taking medications to lower blood pressure. If L-Theanine is taken in large doses, this could potentially drop your blood pressure to dangerously low levels in conjunction with your pre-existing medication.
L-Theanine is generally taken in 100-200g doses, alongside Caffeine. Since L-Theanine is water soluble, it is not recommended that you take it while breast feeding. Once again, to find the appropriate dose for you, speak to a professional before you begin taking L-Theanine.
Order L-Theanine Online
Ready to add L-Theanine as a supplement to your daily diet? If you want to buy L-Theanine supplements online, we have some places where you can purchase it legally, safely and easily. As long as you have an internet connection, you’re going to be able to get your hands on this “smart drug” and see for yourself whether nootropics is going to be something that works for you. Prices are so low, you’re going to want to get at least a single month’s supply.