L-theanine is a naturally occurring amino acid found in green tea that has been touted for it’s amazing effects on stress, anxiety, and sleep. It also improves cognition and attention, while maintaining a relaxed mind, delivering a uniquely calming yet alert feeling. L-theanine can mitigate over-activation or jittery effects when taken with stimulants such as caffeine or other nootropics. This article covers the recommended l-theanine dosage, L-theanine benefits, how to pair L-theanine with caffeine and when to take L theanine.
Have you ever wondered why the effects of Green tea leave you less jittery than a cup of coffee? This is because of an amino acid called L-theanine found in green tea. L-theanine is known for its incredible calming effects and ability to balance out stimulants such as caffeine.
L-theanine is used to improve the lives of many types of ranging from students to entrepreneurs. Some people may use to combat stress, focus on being productive yet relaxed, or use it to balance out the stimulating effects of their coffee.
In this video, I’m going to cover everything you need to know about L-theanine including L-theanine benefits, dosage, side effects and how to take it.
What is L-theanine?
L-theanine is a naturally occurring non-essential amino acid that is shaped very similar to the amino acids Glutamine which can be turned into neurotransmitter glutamate and GABA. Because L-theanine is structurally similar to both Glutamate and GABA, it binds to both glutamate and GABA receptors. It has been extensively scientifically studied for a number of benefits such as relaxation, reduction of anxiety, improved sleep, improving attention and cognition.
What makes L-theanine unique to other relaxation supplements?
Unlike many other relaxation aids, L-theanine does not typically sedate you as much as other things such as valerian, passionflower or even alcohol. In fact, L-theanine actually increases alpha wave activity In the brain which induces a mental state that is similar to meditation, where the person is both alert and relaxed simultaneously.
This unique ability for L-theanine to be both calming, without sedating makes it a great anxiety intervention because you feel relaxed yet still are able to focus and maintain alertness.
Pairing L-theanine with caffeine
L-theanine works synergistically with caffeine and other stimulants to balance out the jittery effects. This is likely due to the fact that L-theanine has a protective effect against toxic levels of dopamine, which may occur when using stimulants such as caffeine. In green tea, where L-theanine naturally occurs, the L-theanine eliminates a lot of the over-stimulating effects, and crashes that you may experience from caffeine. This is why drinking green tea versus coffee can be a much smoother experience.
L-theanine can also take the edge off of nootropic stimulants such as modafinil , L-tyrosine, or racetams. For this reason, it’s popular to include in nootropic stacks for balance.
L- theanine dosage
Generally people take 100-200 mg of L-theanine in a dose. I recommend L-theanine 1-3 times a day if you like, or just as needed. I personally only use it if I’m feeling anxious, have taken a stimulant, or need help relaxing at night for sleep.
Be mindful though, it does relax you quite a bit, so if you’re doing an activity that you want a little more fire to tackle, such as vigorous exercise or a high intensity cognitive challenge, you might not want to take too much incase it softens that edge.
If you plan to pair L-theanine with caffeine, You generally want to have a 1-2 ratio of caffeine vs L-theanine. So if you take 100 mg of caffeine, taking 200 mgs of L theanine is good for balancing it out.
L-theanine side effects
Luckily, most people don’t really report much in the way of side effects from L-theanine. That being said, everyone’s biochemistry is completely unique and on occasion someone may experience feelings of unease or nausea from it. In general, L-theanine is a pretty well tolerated supplement that works for most people.
What is the best form to take L-theanine?
Generally you can get L-theanine as is either powder form or in capsules. I personally prefer taking it in powder because I have more freedom with the dosage, however, sometimes pre-measured capsules can make measuring doses easier than using a scale to measure out powder. Another reason I prefer pure powder supplements in general is that I like to avoid and minimize how many excipients I am taking in supplements such as magnesium stearate or other fillers.
L-theanine powder has a mild, slightly sweet flavor, but is mostly tasteless, so it’s quite easy to just put some in your mouth or dissolve into water.
As I mentioned earlier, I tend to take L-theanine as needed and don’t have a specific time of day that I take it. Sometimes I take a small amount, such as 50 mg at night to help me sleep, but if I take higher doses of L-theanine, I find that sometimes it can actually interfere in my sleep, because it does increase those alpha brain waves.
My personal L-theanine review
Personally, L theanine is one of my favorite supplements and one that I make sure I always have hand, because it is consistently so effective. I find that often within 30 minutes of taking it, I’m already starting to feel better and feel more relaxed. Sometimes I’ll wake up in the middle of the night with anxiety, and l theanine is consistently the quickest and most effective way to calm me so that I can go back to sleep.
There’s nothing worse than experiencing anxiety when you’re out and about for various reasons. For that reason, I make sure that L-theanine is something that I always have stocked and with me on any weekend trip, just incase I need to shave the edge off. I also sometimes take a number of stimulating supplements to boost cognitive performance and productivity, but they can leave me feeling a little twitchy. L-theanine really helps me dial down and come back into balance so I don’t feel over-stimulated and shakey.
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