Caffeine is beloved and despised. That first sip of coffee in the morning can be pure joy, and it can amp a workout (especially after a short sleep).
For calm and concentration, try drinking tea. It offers L-theanine along with caffeine.
We often need and crave a stimulant, which, in right-size amounts, can be a healthy motivator for working better, faster. The difficulty arises when a cup of joe does its job too well, heightening anxiety and causing sleep problems.
Here’s where tea can help.
GREEN TEA FOR MAXIMAL L-THEANINE BENEFITS
L-theanine is a non-protein type of amino acid, so it’s not essential, but it does cross your blood-brain barrier to boost your levels of neurotransmitters: Think dopamine, serotonin, and GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid).
It calms and provides focus, without making you too revved up. Almost all teas contain L-theanine along with lower amounts of caffeine than coffee. Green tea, which is unfermented, contains the highest amounts of L-theanine although it is also found in good amounts in black tea.
(Of course, green tea is also a great source of catechins, antioxidant polyphenol compounds that fight inflammation and aging.)
Because L-theanine increases alpha brainwave activity, it functions as a neural balm, centering and soothing.
L-THEANINE HELPS YOUR BRAIN, TREATS SLEEP ISSUES
Paired with caffeine, L-theanine acts synergistically to increase cognitive abilities like:
- Working memory
When you use L-theanine without caffeine, it treats anxiety and eases sleep problems, particularly insomnia. One study found that the mix of L-theanine and GABA is a good tonic for sleeplessness. Some supplements throw melatonin into this blend.
L-theanine may especially support sleep if you are depressed and anxious. Some research shows that it improves sleep in psychosis and schizophrenia.
When used with caffeine for calm and focus, the dosage of L-theanine ranges between 12 and 100 mg while the dosage of caffeine is 75 to 100 mg. This combination is often seen in energy drinks.
For sleep, the dosage starts at 100 mg and goes up to 400 mg per day. To reduce stress and anxiety, the amount varies from 200 to 400 mg per day
OTHER L-THEANINE BENEFITS
The primary areas of research on L-theanine are anxiety reduction, cognitive enhancement, and sleep. But it also shows promise for:
- Weight control and obesity
- Depressive disorders
- Psychosis, including schizophrenia
- Lowering blood pressure
Because it can reduce blood pressure, you should be careful with L-theanine if you already have low blood pressure and/or take supplements or medicines for hypertension.
(Garlic is another one to be careful with if you are taking medicines for hypertension. Read my post on Garlic Goodness for more information.)
Also, bear in mind that combining L-theanine with coffee may decrease its stimulant effect. You may not get the same jolt! ⚡
Copyright © 2020 Jani H. Leuschel