What is L-theanine?

L-theanine is an amino acid found in green tea leaves. It’s also available as a dietary supplement.

L-theanine has a calming effect and can help with anxiety. It’s also been shown to improve sleep quality. Some research suggests that L-theanine may enhance cognitive function.

L-theanine is generally safe and well tolerated. The most common side effect is gastrointestinal distress.

How does L-theanine work?

L-theanine works by crossing the blood-brain barrier and increasing levels of certain neurotransmitters, including dopamine and serotonin. These neurotransmitters are associated with calmness and relaxation.

What are the benefits of L-theanine?

L-theanine has a calming effect and can help with anxiety. It’s also been shown to improve sleep quality. Some research suggests that L-theanine may enhance cognitive function.

What are the side effects of L-theanine?

L-theanine is generally safe and well tolerated. The most common side effect is gastrointestinal distress.

Is L-theanine safe?

Yes, L-theanine is considered safe for most people. However, it can cause gastrointestinal distress in some people. If you have any concerns, talk to your doctor before taking L-theanine.

Research on L-theanine

L-theanine has been studied for its effects on anxiety, sleep, and cognitive function.

Anxiety

Some research suggests that L-theanine may help reduce anxiety. One study found that L-theanine was as effective as alprazolam (Xanax) in reducing symptoms of anxiety. Another study found that L-theanine may help reduce stress during times of high stress levels.

Sleep

L-theanine has also been shown to improve sleep quality. One study found that L-theanine improved sleep quality in people with insomnia. Another study found that L-theanine increased the amount of time spent in deep sleep.

Cognitive function

Some research suggests that L-theanine may enhance cognitive function. One study found that L-theanine improved task performance and increased accuracy during a attention-switching task in healthy adults. Another study found that L-theanine improved working memory and reaction time in young adults.

Dosages

The recommended dose of L-theanine is 200 mg per day. L-theanine is generally safe and well tolerated. The most common side effect is gastrointestinal distress. If you have any concerns, talk to your doctor before taking L-theanine.

Pharmacokinetics

L-theanine is rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and has a half-life of 3-8 hours.

Overdosages

There have been no reports of overdoses with L-theanine.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

There is no information on the safety of L-theanine during pregnancy or breastfeeding. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to your doctor before taking L-theanine.

Interactions

L-theanine may interact with certain medications, including:

Stimulants: L-theanine may reduce the effects of stimulants. If you take stimulants and L-theanine together, be sure to monitor your blood pressure and heart rate.

Blood pressure medications: L-theanine may lower blood pressure. If you take blood pressure medications and L-theanine together, be sure to monitor your blood pressure closely.

Antidepressants: L-theanine may increase the effects of antidepressants. If you take antidepressants and L-theanine together, be sure to monitor your mood and anxiety levels closely.

Alternatives to L-theanine

If you’re looking for an alternative to L-theanine, there are many other options available. Some other supplements that have been shown to help with anxiety include:

magnesium

omega-3 fatty acids

probiotics

vitamin B6

passionflower

valerian root

chamomile

Talk to your doctor before taking any supplements, as they may interact with medications you are taking.

Are probiotics more effective L-theanine?

There is no direct comparison of probiotics and L-theanine, but both have been shown to reduce anxiety. Probiotics may also help improve gut health, while L-theanine has been shown to improve cognitive function. Talk to your doctor about which supplement may be right for you.

Mechanism of action

It is thought that L-theanine works by inhibiting the release of excitatory neurotransmitters in the brain. Excitatory neurotransmitters are associated with arousal and stress. Inhibition of these neurotransmitters may lead to a state of relaxation and well-being.