Very often, you can hear about the content of tea and other popular drinks. But not everyone knows about L-theanine, what it is, what properties these substances possess, whether they are harmful or beneficial. L-theanine is an amino acid found in tea leaves, and it is a complex natural organic compound.
L-Theanine is an amino acid that can be found in nature in green tea. They have been shown to promote relaxation without causing drowsiness or reduced alertness. It is assumed that L-Theanine can increase certain neurotransmitters and alpha waves, which produce a calming effect in the brain.
For many years people have consumed green tea because of its relaxing properties. L-Theanine is the active ingredient in green tea that helps promote this feeling of relaxation and calm.
The amino acid L-Theanine has several beneficial effects, including its ability to promote relaxation. Preliminary research shows that L-Theanine can also; support cardiovascular function, improve the ability to concentrate, reduce nervousness, and potentially lower blood pressure. L-Theanine can also promote relaxation and encourage deep sleep.
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What is L-theanine, and why is it important to us?
L-theanine is a group of glutamate molecules. When we consume it, these glutamates enter our bloodstream quickly and in large quantities. Blood-brain barriers pass very quickly, sometimes within seconds. These molecules then stimulate the brain’s alpha waves measured on an EEG (electroencephalographic) test that measures the electrical activity in our brain (it is amazing how much electricity our brain produces).
The presence of alpha waves shows that we are awake and ready. There are no alpha waves when we are sleepy or napping. They are present only when we are present and aware. L-theanine stimulates these waves. That is why we feel focused and awake when we drink the sword. In contrast, we may feel awake when we drink coffee or a caffeinated pill. Still, that wakefulness is often accompanied by unpleasant side effects, including nervousness and even panic and paranoia, and usually ends in an energy “drop.”
Effects on GABA
The calming effects are produced by increasing GABA levels (gamma-amino-butyric acid), an important inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. GABA has been shown to reduce feelings of excitability, restlessness, and insomnia. Amino Acid L-Theanine can also increase the level of dopamine, another brain chemical that can improve mood.
Although it is found in green tea, it does not contain caffeine, often associated with “nervousness.” L-Theanine works on the offset hyper effect of caffeine which has a calming effect.
Most of us agree that we feel good after a cup of tea. A partial reason why we feel good is the placebo effect: you drink a creamy, bright green drink made from 100% young tea leaves, without artificial additives. It looks delicious and tastes even better. At some primal level, you know that something so green has to be good for you. And science agrees. Science actually sees no boundaries; there is enough evidence based on which we can definitely conclude that drinking teas have numerous health benefits. One of them is a specific amino acid – glutamate: L-theanine.
In neuroscience, glutamates are important neurotransmitters (a chemical compound that sends signals from one neuron to another). Although science has not yet said the final word, experts generally agree that glutamates play an important role in learning and memory. Let’s get back to the basics now: When we grow it in the shade, the thin leaves are full of specific glutamate or L-theanine. Swordfish contains as much as five times more L-theanine than ordinary green tea (20 mg vs. 4 mg), thanks to the technique of growing in the shade that Japanese farmers discovered and developed for centuries. The sun reduces the level of L-theanine, and the shade increases it.
Caffeine and L-Theanine
There is no doubt that after consuming it, you will be more alert, more productive, more capable of cognitively tricky tasks such as writing, coding, analysis – for anything that requires considerable use of brainpower. All thanks to L-theanine. And when you add a small dose of caffeine, things become even more enjoyable. You will get faster reactions, faster numerical working memory, and better and more accurate sentence composition. It’s what this compound does.
This is just part of the benefits of a mixture of L-theanine and caffeine. Use it before starting a project, before giving a speech, before any activity that requires the use of “small gray cells” often results in a much better effect.
You can find it also as a supplement on the market. You can safely take up to 400 mg daily for about 8 weeks. If you decide to take it in the form of a supplement, do not exceed the recommended daily dose. It is a dietary supplement and therefore not a suitable substitute for a varied diet. Keep in a dry and cool place, out of reach of small children.
L-Theanine is most often found in green and black tea and some mushrooms. They range from 15 to 30% of the composition – depending on the type of tea.
It can irritate the intestinal wall, and its large amount prevents the absorption of useful minerals, iron, which leads to the development of anemia.
There is an individual intolerance with allergies; avoid the products in which they are found.
The use of L-theanine-containing products is not recommended for people with unstable blood pressure and heart failure. Also, taking too much of it can upset your appetite.
L-Theanine content in tea
The concentration in tea is very high. But in some variants, it is higher than in others. This primarily applies to green varieties. Some species contain up to 30% of it. The concentration in tea leaves depends a lot on that. These are the natural conditions in which the product is grown and when the tea leaves are collected. The age of the tea bush is also important.
Experts believe that in Indian and Ceylon teas, they are higher, so they have more astringency. More substances in the tea are collected in August or July. More reminiscent of vitamin P, it helps strengthen blood vessels.
Interaction with other substances
Scientists are still studying this compound and its properties. It is crucial to analyze how they affect the human body, how they agree with other elements. The combination of caffeine and L-Theanine, as shown in teas, is the most interesting. Tea, despite a large amount of caffeine in it, has a relaxing effect. Research has shown that this is due to tannins. Combined with caffeine, it acts as a sedative and provides a good night’s sleep.
Also, L-Theanine may protect liver cells. After alcohol abuse, this amino acid may help your body recover.
To feel the taste of it, you can brew a cup of high-quality black tea. Insist a little longer than usual, and then take a sip. Severe dryness on the tip of the tongue, slight bitterness in the basic taste – it’s L-Theanine, and tea is just its aqueous solution. When choosing tea leaves, we should give preference to teas that are rich in this compound.
The chemical composition of black tea makes this drink useful. Most of these compounds are contained in the green variety. Vitamin P is not produced in the human body, but its deficiency is bad for human health. And polyphenolic compounds give tea the thirst-quenching property, creating a pleasant taste and color. Catechins are polyphenolics and are famous for preventing bleeding. They also strengthen the walls of blood vessels, having an antiradical effect.
The composition of black tea contains vitamin P, which improves vitamin C absorption, known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It can regulate blood pressure. Vitamin P is attributed to anti-edema and anti-allergic effects. In addition to vitamin P, tea also contains C, PP, B vitamins. It is present in this drink and folic acid. This is important for pregnant women – but any dosage abuse may lead to undesirable effects.
The effect of L-Theanine on the body
To date, not all effects of L-Theanine on the body have been studied. Interaction with caffeine causes healthy sleep, and it is a positive quality that distinguishes tea from coffee. Also, some studies have shown that L-Theanine helps protect the liver from the annulments caused by alcohol.
This amino acid showed certain qualities to which medical practitioners turned attention. The fact is that the compounds’ properties are similar in their orientation to antibacterial, hemostatic, and anti-inflammatory drugs. Also, the substance alleviates intoxication. However, any use of the drug must be carefully coordinated with your doctor. This is true for absolutely all patients.
Some of the research noted its ability to improve the process of assimilation of vitamin C.
The calming effects exist thanks to the GABA levels (gamma-amino-butyric acid), an important inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. GABA has been famous for reducing feelings of excitability, restlessness, and insomnia. L-Theanine is becoming more popular as a supplement and can also increase dopamine, another brain chemical that can improve mood.
Although it is primarily found in green tea, it does not contain caffeine, often associated with anxiety side effects. It is one of the most famous natural supplements with a calming effect you can find on the market.