January 23, 2017

Stressed? Anxious? L-Theanine in green tea is a top-notch health drink

Help the body stay calm, focused, and decrease stress

L-theanine may sound unfamiliar, but there’s a good chance you have consumed it before. For example, in the last cup of green tea you drank.

Researchers are studying L-theanine, a type of amino acid, and its beneficial effects for those suffering from anxiety, stress, poor brain health, and sleep disorders.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the potential benefits of taking L-theanine for your anxiety.

L-theanine is an amino acid that stimulates the production of dopamine and serotonin. These are neurotransmitters responsible for boosting mood and enhancing memory, thus helping with improved concentration. Not only that, these chemicals fight depression, stabilize moods, and calm you down. Looking for increased clarity during the holidays? Since green tea is a great source of L-theanine, you might want to try green tea to help achieve that calming effect.

L-Theanine for Stress and Anxiety

L-theanine is proven to help you relax without sedating you.[1] This is important when you want to relieve stress without going to sleep. Also, L-theanine is non-addictive and carries none of the nasty side-effects of Xanax or Klonopin, pharmaceutical copycats of L-theanine.[2]

Recommended dose is 50–200 mg for therapeutic benefits.

L-Theanine for Brain

Dr. Anna Nobre at the esteemed Oxford University conducted brain scans before and after a single 50 mg dose of L-theanine.[3]

As you can see, L-theanine caused the subjects’ brains to go from dull to bright with the key memory and focus centers of the brain lighting up and becoming active. “These data indicate that L-theanine, at realistic dietary levels, has a significant effect on the general state of mental alertness or arousal.”[4]

Just think of what you could accomplish with a brighter, more active brain!

L-Theanine for Better Sleep

Whether you hurt too much, worry too much, or your leg sometimes has a mind of its own, certain nutrients can help you keep these common problems from stealing your slumber. For starters, if you’re feeling stressed or anxious, you’ll want to take one of my favorite calming nutrients: L-theanine.

Researchers in Japan found that subjects were able to achieve pre-sleep relaxation with L-theanine. That’s because L-theanine raises levels of serotonin and GABA in your brain. This allows it to boost alpha waves in your brain and promote relaxation.

Relaxation is a very important precursor to being able to fall asleep. The researchers also concluded that L-theanine enabled participants in the study to obtain a better night’s sleep. They woke up feeling refreshed and fully rested.[5]

A total of 400 mg, 200 mg of L-theanine in the morning and 200 mg again in the afternoon, was found to significantly improve sleep quality. [6]

The best part about L-theanine is that you can often feel a difference in a matter of minutes, not days or weeks. Have a cup of green tea to feel less anxious… you don’t have to leave your desk to feel its calming effects.

Safe L-Theanine Products

L-theanine is a supplement worth trying. It’s inexpensive, you can find it anywhere, and it works quickly. The following L-theanine supplements have been tested for quality, purity, contamination and solvability. All are approved and safe for consumption:

  • Bluebonnet L-Theanine 150 mg
  • Country Life® L-Theanine 200 mg
  • GNC L-Theanine 200 mg
  • Jarrow Formulas® L-Theanine 200 mg
  • LifeExtension® L-Theanine 100 mg
  • NOW® L-Theanine Double Strength 200 mg
  • Puritan’s Pride® L-Theanine 100 mg
  • Solgar® L-Theanine 150 mg
  • Source Naturals® L-Theanine 200 mg
  • Swanson Ultra® Suntheanine 200 mg
  • Thorne Research Theanine 200 mg
  • TwinLab® L-Theanine Dots – Natural Tangerine Flavor 50 mg

Naturalists would recommend drinking tea over taking supplements for a number of reasons. Primarily, tea contains more than 200 bioactive compounds. Also, the body is able to assimilate L-theanine more rapidly in liquid form (tea).

The tea with the highest levels of L-theanine depends less on the tea and more on the leaves. Young tea buds contain the highest concentration of L-theanine. But use only organic whole-leaf green tea. Oolong is the variety highest in L-theanine. In general, high quality green tea is described as “delicate,” or “sweet.” Sweetness is attributed to amino acids, especially L-theanine. Put another way, tea that tastes sweet and fresh will be L-theanine rich.

how-to-choose-l-theanine-rich-green-tea
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Steeping leaves for a minute or two extra will ensure you’re getting the most L-theanine you can in each cup of green tea. But leave out milk or cream as it lowers L-theanine content.

Whether taken as a supplement or in cups of green tea, L-theanine is safe and helps many people reduce stress and anxiety. Research shows that L-theanine induces relaxed thinking states, reduces your fight-or flight response to stressful events and helps protect the mind from stress-linked thinking and memory deficits.

Research shows that L-theanine induces relaxed thinking states, reduces your fight-or flight response to stressful events and helps protect the mind from stress-linked thinking and memory deficits.

L-theanine, the amino acid in tea, may be just what you need to feel less anxious, more alert, and get a good night’s sleep.

 

Anxiety takes a major toll on your mind and body—the right breathing techniques can be majorly therapeutic. And if you’re struggling, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your mental health is seriously important, and deserves attention and care.

 

 

 

Sources:
[1] Examine.com, “Theanine,” nd., https://examine.com/supplements/theanine/.
[2] Sean Russell, “How to Use L-Theanine to Crush Anxiety Naturally,” MenImprovement.com, August 3, 2013, http://www.menprovement.com/l-theanine-bye-bye-anxiety/.
[3] PubMed, “L-theanine, a natural constituent in tea, and its effect on mental state,” 2008, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18296328.
[4] PubMed.
[5] Terri Mitchell, “Theanine,” Life Extension Magazine, January 2006, http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2006/1/report_theanine/page-01.
[6] http://www.altmedrev.com/publications/16/4/348.pdf.

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