EVER WONDER WHY green-tea drinkers never seem to get “hyper” that coffee drinkers get,
even when the green tea is fully caffeinated?
The answer in all likelihood is a nonprotein amino acid found in tea called theanine.
Theanine is helpful in improving mood and increasing a sense of relaxation. In fact, it’s used
in Japan for just that purpose. The calming effect of theanine is probably the reason that
drinking tea – even with caffeine-doesn’t produce nearly as “jittery” an experience as
drinking coffee. If you want to relax, a theanine supplement might be just the thing for you.
Historically, theanine has been used for its ability to reduce anxiety and its overall claming
effects. It is known to block the binding of L-glutamic acid-an excitatory neurotransmitter-
to glutamate receptors in the brain. If you think of the little glutamic acid molecules as lamps
and the receptors as wall outlets, theanine basically closes down some of those wall outlets so
fewer lamps get plugged in and there’s less bright light; the brain is then less “excited”.
A 1999 study measured that, the brain activity of volunteers after an oral dose of 50 to 200 mg
of L-theanine (also knownas just theanine) and found that the supplement helped generate alpha
brian waves, which are usully considered to be associated with relaxation. That may be another
way that L-theanine helps promote relaxation. theanine also seems to promote increased levels of
GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid), an inhibitory neurotransmitter that also has significant calming
effects in the brain. some supplements actually combine theanine with GABA.
Preliminary evidence shows that theanine might have the potential to reduce blood pressure.
(It certainly does in rats-at least rats that hypertensive.) And it seems to cause a significant increse
in dopamine, one of the “feel-good” neurotransmitters. In a 2007 study, it reduce heart rate during
an acute experimental stress task. Plus, in animal studies it improves performance on a bunch of
tests of memory and learning.
A man, who has one of the highest-pressure jobs in the United States – he’s a CIA agent. As you can
imagine, his wifehas a bit stress and anxiety inher daily life. (File that under “ya think?”) He told that
theanine has been a lifesaver in their home. His wife says that a 200 mg theanine supplement takes
the edge off anxiety, without making her the least bit drowsy. Maybe it can do the same for you.
Natural Prescription For Anxiety
Theanine: 200 mg
Foradded Effectiveness: GABA (200-500 mg)
or inositol 500-1,500 mg)
Note: All dosages are daily dosages and in pill or capsule
form unless otherwise noted.