L-theanine is an amino acid (a building block for proteins) that is naturally occurring in green tea leaves. It is renowned for its excellent nootropic properties such as improving memory, enhancing the ability to learn, and providing a calming effect.
L-theanine has a very similar chemical structure to glutamate, an amino acid in our bodies that assists in the transmission of nerve impulses in the brain, and as a result has a whole host of benefits as a natural supplement for brain health.
Benefits and Effects
Nootropics are supplements, drugs, or functional foods that enhance cognitive functions. L-theanine is often recommended as a supplement for people who are suffering from memory diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia however it has been demonstrated that individuals with healthy brains benefit highly from its positive effects on the brain. It also has the remarkable ability to cross the blood-brain barrier which means that L-theanine is able to reach the brain directly.
L-theanine also has positive effects on stress levels and shown to increase dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain, which are some of the brain’s feel-good chemicals. This is why teas containing L-theanine, such as green tea and oolong tea, are effective at helping people relax.
L-theanine is usually taken with caffeine for best results. A typical dose would be 200 mg L-theanine and 100 mg caffeine. If you’re not a coffee drinker, it may be better to start with a lower dose such as 100 mg L-theanine and 50 mg caffeine while maintaining the 2:1 ratio.
A little experimentation is recommended to find what works best for you.
Particularly anxious individuals may still want to leave out the caffeine completely.
L-Theanine has the ability to boost focus and enhance relaxation on its own but is most effective when combined in a stack with other nootropics.
L-Theanine and Caffeine Stack
L-Theanine has been shown to have even more impressive positive effects when “stacked,” or combined, with caffeine. A combination of L-theanine with caffeine has been shown have synergistic that promote enhanced cognition and attention. For that reason, stacking L-theanine with caffeine is one of the most popular choices for nootropics users for its simplicity, low cost, and effectiveness.
- Improved memory
- Enhanced focus
- Increased motivation
- Boosted mood
- Reduced anxiety
Caffeine, a stimulant that most people are very familiar with, is primarily found in coffee but can also be found in tea, sodas, and chocolate. This popular chemical is known for its energy boosting properties which is the reason why so many people love to start their day with a cup of coffee, helping them get them kick start their brain. Caffeine’s stimulatory properties stir the brain into an activated state, firing off processes one after another.
However, when caffeine is combined with L-theanine, the benefits of each are multiplied. Not only that, L-theanine nullifies caffeine’s negative effects which include feeling jittery, anxious, and diminishing sleep quality.
The effects of stacking L-theanine with caffeine include:
Supplementing with L-theanine is considered extremely safe and has been designated as a GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) ingredient by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States. There are some people who report side effects when taken with caffeine but is not a widely reported occurrence.
Where to Buy
If you’d like to buy L-theanine, here are our recommendations:
L-Theanine is a natural and safe amino acid that has many benefits and is a popular choice for including in nootropic stacks due to its calming effects.