What is it? L-Theanine is a natural amino acid that is found in many tea leaves and a few mushrooms, but most commonly in green and black tea. Research tells us that it can be an effective stress & anxiety reliever. L-Theanine is not made in the human body, so therefore, it is considered a supplement.

The origination of green tea for example, goes all the way back to China, in 2737 B.C, when a Chinese Emperor drank water that had dead tea leaves in it. The emperor enjoyed the flavor, found it refreshing and from there tea has grown in popularity and used by many civilizations thousands of years later. Today, green tea is highly popular in Asian countries and in the United States it has a market value of $2.58 billion dollars.

tea
Glass teapot with Chinese tea, cup of herbal tea

How does it work? L-Theanine has a very similar chemical structure to glutamate, a compound that causes nerve impulses in the brain. L-Theanine may affect certain chemicals in this area, including serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals are responsible for different levels of mood, quality of sleep, and varying levels of the stress hormone – cortisol.

L-Theanine works synergistically with caffeine – as it creates a higher sense of focus without the “jitters.” Caffeine increases adrenaline and L-Theanine decreases it, so it creates a balance between the two, while still maintaining the productive effects of caffeine.

What are the benefits?

  • May improve mental focus
  • Improves quality of sleep
  • May reduce anxiety
  • It promotes relaxation
  • It may promote weight loss
  • It may reduce blood pressure
  • May improve cognitive performance
Assessing the effects of caffeine and theanine on the maintenance of vigilance during a sustained attention task
L-theanine, unique amino acid of tea, and its metabolism, health effects, and safety
Psychotropic effects of L-theanine and its clinical properties: From the management of anxiety and stress to a potential use in schizophrenia
L-theanine in the adjunctive treatment of generalized anxiety disorder: A double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial
Does L-theanine have health benefits?
What You Should Know About L-Theanine
What You Need to Know About L-theanine