L-theanine. It has a funny ring to it. It almost sounds fake, but it’s real and has many benefits. This amino acid derives from black tea, green tea, and certain mushrooms. Unfortunately, it’s not produced by the body naturally. It was discovered in Japan around 1949 in tea and has been used ever since.
It elevates levels of GABA (natural brain relaxant), serotonin, and dopamine. This is why it is known for helping people relax and manages mood, sleep, and emotions, but it has other benefits.
What are the benefits of l-theanine?
Dopamine, the “feel good” chemical, increases in response to L-theanine. This chemical plays a significant role in your overall mood and motivation. It is typically released when your brain is expecting a reward. Excitement can be induced by food, shopping, or anything you enjoy, but including L-theanine in your diet can slightly boost your mood.
Immune System Boost
Research also suggests that L-theanine can also improve the body’s immune system. It can also improve inflammation in the intestinal tract. Antioxidants, catechins, and L-theanine found in green can also have an impact on the immune system.
Improved Focus and Increased Cognitive Performance
Researchers have found that people who took 100 mg of L-theanine made fewer errors in an attention task than people in a placebo group. It is believed to improve concentration because of its stress-relieving and neuroprotective effects. It lowers the primary stress hormone corticosterone, which interferes with memory and learning information.
Some people have even mixed L-theanine and caffeine to increase focus as well. Studies have also shown that this combination can enhance attention span, the processing of visual information, and increase accuracy when switching between tasks (Psychology Today 2017).
Better Sleep and Relaxation
L-theanine is connected to help people relax before going to bed, supporting deeper sleep. This amino acid plays a significant role in sleep. L-theanine boosts GABA, the brain's natural relaxant and chemical levels. People received better sleep after taking 450-900mg of L-theanine daily for eight weeks (NIH 2018).
These chemicals regulate emotions, mood, focus, sleep, appetite, energy, and other cognitive skills (Psychology Today 2017). However, it doesn’t induce sleepiness like if you were to take one of our Snooze Lozenges, but it makes you feel at ease to fall asleep faster.
Disclaimer: The information stated in this article is for educational purposes only. The information stated is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure any disease, condition, or other physical or mental ailment of the human body. The desire to make any changes to one's dietary habits or supplementation should be consulted and discussed with a licensed medical professional.