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L-Theanine is an amino acid commonly found in black or green tea (camellia sinensis). It is partly responsible for the teas mood enhancing benefits. L-Theanine boosts levels of various neurotransmitters, producing a calming effect that helps counter the stimulating action of caffeine. At the same time, there are many studies showing how L-Theanine works synergistically with caffeine to promote concentration, reduce the jitteriness of caffeine and generates a calm alertness.
As a result of the effects associated with L-Theanine, it is marketed as a supplement to help promote relaxation and reduce stress.
Most research on the basic actions of L-Theanine has been conducted in animal studies. However, preliminary human studies, typically using doses between 100mg – 500mg, have shown benefits and customers continue to mention the relaxing benefits noticed at these dosages anecdotally.
One study looked at college students who consumed L-Theanine experienced less anxiety and had smaller increases in blood pressure when under psychological or physical stress than when they took a placebo1. Similarly, another study found that graduate students who took L-Theanine experienced less anxiety when they were assigned stressful work, compared to a placebo2.
In a Canadian study, L-theanine improved some aspects of sleep quality in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)3.
Based on the research and anecdotal reports L-Theanine has application in a number of supplements:
Summary: L-Theanine may be incredibly helpful at reducing stress, anxiety and panic (PTSD). It may also help you stay calm and alert. If used before or during training L-Theanine may enhance the benefits of caffeine and other stimulants while simultaneously increasing vasodilation and blood flow to your working muscles.
If used before bed or after a workout L-Theanine may help lower cortisol and minimise the impact that physical or mental stress is having on your recovery and rest. It may help support brain function, reduce age related mental decline and enhance cognition.
As a highly researched and naturally occurring amino acid, L-Theanine is worth consideration to help improve your performance and mental wellbeing.
Dosage: Suggested use is between 100mg – 500mg 1 to 3 times daily. If you are using it before bed less is more. Doses above 200mg may keep users too alert.
Switch Nutrition™ Disclaimer: The above article is merely a guide and opinion. It is in no way a recommendation or a treatment protocol for any health conditions or diseases. You should always consult with a qualified health care provider before changing your supplement, training or nutritional strategy. Supplementation should only be attempted by pregnant or breastfeeding women, anyone on prescription medication or children under the age of 15 when advised and monitored by your qualified health care provider.
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