Products containing L-theanine are, more often than not, marketed as a relaxation aid. L-theanine is an amino acid used as a primary ingredient in green and black tea. How the beverages impact a person’s mood is attributed to L-theanine.
As opposed to caffeine that has stimulating effects, L-theanine is known to create a calming effect without making a person feel too relaxed. You’ll stay alert and will be able to function normally still.
Here are more of the health benefits that L-theanine offers.
- Reduces stress and anxiety. Stress seems a normal part of people’s everyday lives. But you need strength to counter the negative effects of stress, such as impaired focus and increased heart rate. With the help of L-theanine, you’ll feel more relaxed. You’ll be able to manage your stress and anxiety better. According to research, L-theanine increases activity in the Alpha frequency, which means it relaxes the mind without inducing drowsiness.
- Counters negative effects of caffeine. L-theanine and caffeine are often combined as they complement each other very well. When caffeine is given in high doses, it can result in increased blood pressure. Theanine counters this effects. Together, theanine and caffeine are found to significantly enhance alertness, minimize fatigue, and improve accuracy when switching from one task to another.
- Enhances focus. L-theanine can help improve your ability to focus. If you’re having troubles centering your attention, consider taking this nootropic. It can as well help you feel less exhausted and more relaxed. When paired with caffeine, L-theanine can help improve cognitive performance, as per the results of a study. It can also increase alertness.
- Helps strengthen immunity. There are studies suggesting that using L-theanine can help the body’s immune system function more effectively. It can help boost the body’s T cells, which serves as a line of defense against infections and tumors. Theanine can also help ease allergies and prevent flu and common cold. It can also be used to help patients recover faster after undergoing surgeries. In one study participated by patients who underwent distal gastrectomy for gastric cancer, it was found that oral intake of theanine helped alleviate inflammation in the intestinal tract.
- Helps reduce depression symptoms. Depression is an issue that can’t be taken lightly. If you’re starting to notice symptoms of depression, talk to someone you trust about it. Don’t let your thoughts control you. Consider the use of L-theanine too. This nootropic can help reduce symptoms of depression, such as anxiety. According to a study whose respondents are patients with a major depressive disorder (MDD), L-theanine is safe and offers multiple benefits on symptoms of depression, such as anxiety and difficulty sleeping. However, in this study, both researchers and participants are aware of the treatment or drug being administered to them. Hence, more studies are required to further investigate the effects of L-theanine.
- Aids in cancer and tumor treatment. There’s no concrete scientific evidence yet about the ability of L-theanine to counter cancer. However, there have been numerous studies that suggest tea drinkers are less likely to develop cancer. One study also showed a cancer patient who drinks tea regularly lived longer than those who didn’t. In another study conducted, results suggested that L-theanine content in Bay Bolete mushrooms helped enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy medications, such as doxorubicin and anthracyclines.
- Helps control blood pressure. Stressful situations can cause a person’s blood pressure to rise. This can be harmful especially when blood pressure reaches extreme levels. L-theanine can help keep blood pressure controlled, even in tough situations. In a study conducted in the University of Shizuoka, Japan, the effects of L-theanine on a person’s mental task performance and physiological activities when under stress were observed. Fourteen participants went through three separate trials. One group took L-theanine and placebo, the other took placebo and caffeine, and the last took placebo only. Results suggested that L-theanine can help minimize anxiety and also reduce blood pressure among stressed adults.
- Provides relief to sinusitis. If you’re battling sinusitis, taking L-theanine may offer some relief. Sinusitis or sinus infection happens when air cavities in the nasal passages are inflamed. It can be due to infection or allergies, among others. L-theanine can help provide relief by facilitating cilia activity and clearing up mucus.
- Enhances sleep quality. According to a study, L-theanine helps to relax a person’s heart rate and put him to sleep faster. A study also showed a group of respondents with ADHD getting better quality sleep after taking L-theanine. ADHD is associated with sleep problems. The results of the study also demonstrated that oral administration of L-theanine (400 mg daily) is safe and effective for the boys diagnosed with ADHD. Although these results sound tempting, more research is still needed to prove the safety and effectiveness of L-theanine in promoting good sleep quality.
- Helps with weight loss. L-theanine can help reduce fatty acid levels in the body. A study done on animals resulted in decreased body weight. It was also concluded that caffeine and theanine contributed to the suppression of body weight increase and fat accumulation. And that they also work together in anti-obesity activities.
- Functions as an antioxidant. In one study, four tea samples were investigated for their caffeine, polyphenols, catechin and L-theanine content, as well as their antioxidant activity. L-theanine was found to have the lowest caffeine content and also displayed the highest antioxidant activity. In another study, results revealed that L-theanine prevents liver injury triggered by ethanol. It does this by boosting antioxidant abilities in hepatocyte, cells that makeup 70-85% of the liver mass.
- Protects the heart. In a study conducted in Germany, green tea and black tea were both examined for their cardiovascular effects or effects on the heart and blood vessels. Results showed that consuming black tea may help prevent diseases involving the cardiovascular system.
L-Theanine Side Effects
Although L-theanine is generally safe, it still pays to exercise caution especially if you have existing medical conditions. Talk to your doctor whether taking L-theanine will be suitable for you. Should you be given the go signal, be sure to take it within the recommended dosage.
Nootropics for Enhancing Mental Performance
L-theanine is only one example of nootropic that can help boost your brain power. Learn more about the health benefits of other nootropics by following our blogs.