Green tea is known and loved for its soothing properties. Only recently have researchers and scientists discovered that L-Theanine is the source of green tea’s relaxing qualities, but what exactly is L-Theanine, and how does it work?
Everything You Need To Know About L-Theanine
L-theanine is an amino acid that is found in tea leaves. Although all types of tea contain this powerful nutrient, it is most commonly associated with green tea.
Within around thirty minutes of consuming it, L-theanine crosses the blood-brain barrier, where it appears to smooth out brain waves without flattening them as visualized on an EEG. This effect improves cognition in interesting ways.
L-Theanine Promotes Alpha Waves
Believe it or not, L-theanine has been shown to significantly increase alpha waves and promote relaxation without sedation or drowsiness, making it an ideal state for, well, most things.
Alpha brain-wave production also happens during meditation, when sensory inputs are minimized, and the mind is generally clear of unwanted distractions or thoughts. Interestingly, stimulating alpha brain waves has also been shown to alleviate depression and boost creativity.
L-Theanine Has Been Shown To Boost Working Memory And Attention
Drinking green tea appeared to enhance performance on a test of working memory by increasing connectivity between frontal and parietal brain regions during working memory processing.
This is truly a scientific discovery because activity in the frontal region of the brain is correlated to executive function, while the parietal region handles sensory input. With that being said, L-theanine has a similar chemical structure to glutamate, which is a neurotransmitter related to memory.
L-Theanine Supports Cognitive Function and Overall Brain Health
Because of L-theanine's antagonistic effects on glutamate receptors and how it affects overall brain cognition, this powerful compound seems to have cognitive-supporting and neuroprotective abilities.
Researchers observed that elderly adults who consumed green tea rich in L-theanine had reduced cognitive decline, compared to the placebo group that didn't consume green tea.
L-Theanine May Improve Mood
By helping to support the production of the inhibitory relaxing neurotransmitter known as GABA, L-theanine plays a large role in mood. GABA is important for many nervous system functions, often used as a natural supplement to promote sleep, ease tension, and improve mood. L-theanine has also been shown to have a similar mood-boosting effect on dopamine levels as well as serotonin levels in the brain.
L-Theanine May Improve Sleep Quality
Many studies have suggested that L-theanine could help people relax more before heading to bed, get to sleep more easily, and sleep much more deeply. These benefits may result from the specific effects that the amino acid has on brain chemicals that play a role in sleep.
Studies show that just 200 to 400 mg of L-theanine can reduce your resting heart rate and encourage healthy relaxation, making it much easier to fall asleep.
L-Theanine Increases Resilience To Acute Stress and Balances Out Sympathetic Nervous Activation
There are numerous studies detailing that L-theanine supplementation prevents the abrupt rise in blood pressure and reduces salivary immunoglobulin A (s-lgA) - responses usually associated with high-stress situations. Not only does L-theanine reduce feelings of stress and tension in the first place, but it also attenuates the effects of a high-stress response right after the fact!
L-Theanine Can Support Healthy Weight Loss (When Paired with Diet and Exercise)
Psychological stresses do much more than destroy your ability to focus and be productive. Poor quality of sleep, combined with high cortisol levels from stress, can lead to weight gain in dangerous areas around your midsection.
By balancing a healthy blood pressure, supporting cognitive function, and improving your stress response, L-theanine can also support your weight loss efforts.
L-Theanine May Support The Immune System
Its ability to soothe and ease tension also helps support your body’s ability to fight illness in an indirect, holistic way.
What You Should Know About Combining L-Theanine And Caffeine
L-theanine and caffeine create a nootropic powerhouse.
We have all been there: You’re tired from a terrible night’s sleep, so you pound coffee through the morning. The next thing you know, you’re a ball of anxiety, jittery and twitching, and you don’t even feel awake or focused.
L-theanine is great because it can help balance the negative effects of caffeine intake.
You see, caffeine is a vasoconstrictor. Vasoconstrictors temporarily make blood vessels smaller, which raises your blood pressure as an effect. L-theanine works against caffeine’s vasoconstrictive tendencies, so you can focus on something other than the sound of your blood pumping in your ears.
Additionally, If you’re fighting a nasty headache from a notorious caffeine crash, taking L-theanine may help. According to one study, individuals reported fewer headaches and less tiredness when mixing the two compared to taking caffeine by itself.
So, rather than reaching for a cup of java in the morning, opt for a healthier energy drink like the ones found at Proper Wild for focus and productivity without the jitters or crash thanks to having 15x more L-theanine than a cup of green tea.
What Are the Side Effects of L-Theanine?
This powerful amino acid appears safe with no adverse effects in doses up to 1,200 mg per day, although we don’t suggest taking that much.
Most people take 100 to 200 mg of L-Theanine in capsules, or drink it in the form of a health shot like the ones found at Proper Wild.
Although there aren’t any known side effects of L-Theanine, you should still talk to your doctor before taking it as a dietary supplement, especially if you struggle with low blood pressure or take any current medications to lower your blood pressure.
Since L-Theanine can lower blood pressure, even during stressful moments, it could drop your blood pressure lower than desired if you are already taking medication that promotes the same effect.
The Bottom Line
More and more people all around the globe are supplementing with L-Theanine these days, and for good reason.
It also works synergistically with caffeine to give you a smoother energy source with no crash, and it further elevates mood and mental performance. That’s why here at Proper Wild, we created our 100% plant-based energy shots with 2x the caffeine of a shot of espresso and 15x more L-theanine than a cup of green tea.
If focus and productivity is your goal without the jitters or crash, give our Proper Wild Energy Shots a try. Made with zero grams of added sugar and absolutely nothing artificial, our clean energy shots are sure to give you sustainable energy all day long.
See the difference that clean energy can make and try Proper Wild today!