L-theanine is an amino acid that can be found in various types of tea. Two common varieties of tea that contain this element are green and black tea. You can also include it in your diet through supplements. The most documented and supported role of L-theanine is its capacity to fight against stress and anxiety. However, there are many other conditions you can mitigate with this amino acid. Here is a quick overview of this element ‘properties.
Reduces stress and anxiety
L-theanine is a powerful mood booster, that is, it helps us unwind. Do you usually find it hard to cope with stressful periods or suffer from anxiety? L-theanine supplements or teas which contain this element will help you feel more relaxed and detached. L’theanine can generate these effects because it can it enhances the levels of Dopamine. This is an organic chemical that is naturally produced by the human body. It is the key element that induces positive feelings like pleasure and relaxation. It is believed that theanine might also increase Serotonin levels, another chemical that causes good mood. However, this topic is still under discussion.
Consolidated studies concluded that people with higher levels of L-theanine in the body are less prone to stress and anxiety disorders. Besides mental stress, this wonder element can also mitigate physical stress symptoms like muscular pain.
L-theanine is a good booster when you feel worn out and can’t respond well to external stimuli. Especially in combination with caffeine, it can increase the level of alertness significantly.
It will improve your focus capacity due to its tonic effects. This result is achieved because L-theanine boosts the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin and Gaba that support attention and thinking.
Brain health benefits
L-theanine can help achieve the right chemical balance in the brain. The biochemical effects caused by stress or depression can lead to multiple cognitive issues like lack of concentration or memory impairment. When we are stressed out, our body generates more glucocorticoids. These chemical affect the brain in the long term causing mood and cognition problems. L-theanine counteracts these chemicals by increasing the levels of glutamate. This is also an organic chemical present in the human brain. Recent findings have concluded that this substance can have the same effect as antidepressant medication. Glutamate is also believed to offer protection against neurodegenerative diseases.
It is especially beneficial for patients who suffer from degenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer’s disease
Improved sleep cycle
Many people face sleep disorders usually as a side effect of stress and anxiety. Drinking a cup of tea that contains L-theanine on a regular basis before bedtime can be useful. This will help you neutralize the effect of the caffeine you drank during the day. It will help you relax, fall asleep easier and enjoy a deeper sleep.
A study conducted on people showed that regular intake of 200 mg L-theanine induced better sleep. Although patients didn’t sleep more than usual, they felt like they had been enjoying longer sleep hours and felt fresher.
Another documented effect of L-theanine is liver protection. This substance can counteract the effects of alcohol consumption which damages the liver. It helps our body process alcohol easier and avoids its harmful effects.
When we drink alcohol, our body converts it into a toxic chemical called acetaldehyde. Theanine helps the body break down this substance. It is also beneficial as it blocks the toxic action of free radicals in the alcohol. L-theanine supplements and regular tea consumption support our liver’s function and detoxification.
Uses and side effects
As a supplement, L-theanine is usually given in doses that range from 200 to 400 mg per day. Like any other supplement is shall only be taken according to a doctor’s indications and prescription.
As a tea component, here are the amounts: black tea contains 14-18 mg of L-theanine, while green tea provides 9-14 mg. A dose of 50mg is enough to help your brain benefit. Positive effects are registered within 30 minutes after intake.
There are no documented contraindications. There is not much evidence regarding side effects.