L-theanine is an amino acid found in tea leaves and specific types of mushrooms. Studies show that L-theanine relieves stress and promotes calmness without causing any drowsiness. L-theanine helps eliminate the jittery feeling associated with caffeine sources by increasing serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels.
Here are 5 benefits associated with L-theanine:
1. Improved Mental Focus
L-theanine helps to boost neurotransmitters that brain cells use to communicate with each other. Serotonin, dopamine, and GABA, some of the most important neurotransmitters, are linked to increased L-theanine consumption. These hormones help to improve recall, learning capabilities and promote a positive mood.
Research shows that caffeine and L-theanine can have synergistic effects. When combined, caffeine and L-theanine help improve focus during stressful or demanding tasks. They also increase the ability to stay focused over a long period of time.
2. Sleep Quality
L-theanine has proven to reduce resting heart rate. This aids in its ability to promote relaxation and improve sleep quality. Unlike most natural sleep aids, which make you drowsy, L-theanine doesn't put you to sleep. Instead, it helps you sleep better and longer.
A study conducted on children with ADHD saw those who took 400mg of L-theanine daily improved sleep quality and quantity within six weeks.
3. Reduces Blood Pressure
L-theanine has proven abilities in helping to reduce stress. A reduction in stress and increased relaxation can help to lower the heart rate. In turn, this aids in lowering blood pressure.
L-theanine lowers blood pressure by increasing nitric oxide production. Nitric oxide helps to relax the inner muscles in your blood vessels, causing the vessels to widen. The more nitric oxide your body produces, the higher the blood flow rate, which helps lower blood pressure.
4. Boosts Immune System
L-theanine has been shown to strengthen the innate immune system, our body's first defensive line in fighting off pathogens. L-theanine works by boosting the activity of immune T cells, which protect against infection. This boost in activity makes you less likely to catch a common cold or flu.
A study found that combining L-theanine and L-cystine (another amino acid) resulted in an improved immune response to the flu vaccine.
5. Anxiety and Stress Relief
L-theanine helps lower "excitatory" brain chemicals while also increasing chemicals that promote calm and relaxation feelings. This is how L-theanine can protect brain cells against stress and age-related damage.
L-theanine's effects on the brain resemble the effects caused by meditation. It increases alpha brain waves associated with a state of "wakeful relaxation," selective attention mechanisms, and mental alertness.
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