All About L-Theanine
L-theanine is a naturally occurring amino acid, which are the chief building blocks of proteins. According to Mindnutrition.com, theanine has been shown in various studies to improve mood, lower physical stress and emotional turmoil and also to improve mental acuity. But how it does it, and why, requires yet more study and discussion. Mindnutrition.com states that theanine increases GABA levels in the brain naturally and without outside chemical inducement.
According to WebMD, GABA (gamma-aminobutric acid) is a neurotransmitter that blocks signals between the brain cells from reaching one another. GABA plays a role in regulating neuronal activity and in sleep cycles. GABA has often been prescribed to help with anxiety and various other mood disorders. GABA is found in fruits, vegetables and the aforementioned tea. Unlike with other supplements, theanine increases the brain’s GABA levels naturally and without artificial additives.
According to WebMD, theanine’s chemical structure closely resembled glutamate, which is a naturally occurring amino acid that helps transmit nerve impulses in the brain. It is thought to be the active ingredient in green teas and may, although it does not in fact contain any actual caffeine, be responsible for the calming feeling that often overcomes drinkers of the tea.
Drugs.com recommends a dosage of 200 mg to 250 mg. The site maintains that although longitudinal studies on theanine’s effects are lacking, some reports show that the anti-anxiety effect of theanine can be seen with as little as a single dosage. Even this modest amount can affect positively the cardiovascular system and may even play a preventative role against cancer.
So next time you’re relaxing after a tough workout with some green tea in your lap, you can thank theanine for that delightful feeling of post-gym well-being!