The compound L-theanine is naturally occurring in several different types of teas, the main ones being both black tea and green tea. On top of that, it is also available in different varieties of supplement form as well. While there has been a huge growth in the amount of interest that L-theanine has received over the past couple of years, it is mainly due in part for the health benefits that this compound can provide you. The main health benefits including a higher quality of sleep, as well as an improved amount of mental focus throughout the day. Here is an overview of everything that is L-theanine, including all of the potential benefits that is will provide you with, as well as the risks that you will face when taking it too. But before you can really understand how L-theanine can provide its health benefits for you, you must first understand what L-theanine really is.
L-theanine, what is it?
In essence, L-theanine is one of the thirteen amino acids that exist within your body. The L-theanine compound is actually one of the amino acids that your body does not naturally produce, meaning that in order to get it into your body, it will have to be through the foods and drinks that you consume. What this essentially means, is that this compound is a non-essential one when it comes to humans. If you are looking to get some of this amino acid into your body, your best chance of doing so will be to drink black tea, green tea, and eat certain types of natural mushrooms.
What has made L-theanine so popular over the past couple of years, is that studies have revealed that this compound may potentially affect some of the levels of certain chemicals within your brain, the main ones being serotonin and dopamine. Both of these chemicals play a huge part when it comes to your mood, emotions, and your sleep, as well as your cortisol levels, which actually help your body to deal with the stresses that it encounters every single day.
If you were to change this very delicate chemical balance, it would easily be able to make your stress level and mood go into a gigantic swing, that swing not necessarily being for the better.
With that being said, there have been numerous studies that have been conducted that have proven that L-theanine may potentially provide a wide range of health benefits when it comes to these areas. While experts agree that taking an L-theanine supplement (or drinking extra amounts of green and black tea) are completely safe, there is actually not very much research that has been done on humans to verify that these claims are actually true and the potential benefits will really help improve your mood, sleep and emotional state.
Now that you know exactly what L-theanine really is, here is exactly how it will be able to benefit your health.
The Health Benefits of L-theanine
Here are some of the main health benefits that L-theanine is expected to provide you with when you take it on a regular basis.
- An Increased Mental Focus
There are many people out there who think that they are able to drink either green or black tea while at work and it will help to boost their mental focus. According to a study that was done in 2012, this is exactly what will happen if you drink these teas during your work day.
Researchers have discovered that people who were able to take in at least 100 milligrams of the compound L-theanine, made fewer errors while at work and had an increased amount of attention to detail when compared to those who were in a placebo group. Drinking a minimum of 50 milligrams of caffeine or even combining L-theanine with caffeine also showed an increase of focus in the test subjects.
While much more research is going to be required in order to determine how big of a role L-theanine actually plays in a person’s ability to pay attention and focus, the initial studies show that this compound may be the best way to go if you have trouble focusing or paying attention.
- An Improved Sleep
Several of the recent studies that have been done have shown that L-theanine is able to potentially help you relax, especially right before bedtime. On top of that, it has also been shown to help you fall asleep much more easily, as well as get into a deeper type of sleep, meaning that you will wake up feeling more refreshed and energized than you would without taking L-theanine.
It is thought that these specific benefits may be due.to a direct result of L-theanine having an effect on your brains chemicals and how you go to sleep. A study that was done in 2018 actually found that people who reported taking a dose of L-theanine between 450 and 900 milligrams on a daily basis for at least 8 weeks had a much better quality of sleep and sleep satisfaction. The participants in this particular study all had some type of generalized anxiety disorder and were using some type of antidepressants. This means that the L-theanine was able to help them improve their quality of life as it would help to improve their quality of sleep.
With that being said, the people reporting the study also noted that there was pretty much no change in the amount of anxiety or insomnia that the test subjects were experiencing, if any.
- L-theanine Helps you Relax
When you are trying to relax, there is a good chance that you will do so with a nice cup of tea or even a cup of coffee or some other hot beverage of choice. Recent studies have shown that L-theanine that is in both black and green teas, may actually contribute to your feeling of being relaxed, as it is going to reduce your resting heart rate. This means that you will feel much calmer and be able to finally take an ‘AHHHH’ moment.
- L-theanine Increases Your Cognitive Performance
A study that was done in 2016, entailed having researchers reviewing all of the previously claimed benefits of taking L-theanine as a supplement, the results which stated that they concurred with the previous study, meaning that L-theanine is able to help improve your physical and mental health. The researchers would take not that L-theanine tends to have some effect on your neuroprotective, which helps to improve your brain function.
When taken on its own, L-theanine has the potential to help improve your reaction time and ability to pay attention. When you partner this ability with caffeine though, it can potentially lead to some improvements in your number skills, as well as your alertness. Now you must keep in mind that caffeine is considered to be a stimulant, one of which will naturally help improve your alertness and ability to remain focused.
While the benefits of taking L-theanine on a regular basis sounds amazing, you must keep in mind that not all of the research that has been done on this amino acid have found that L-theanine will actually help improve your cognitive abilities. The fact of the matter remains, much more research is required before a definitive statement can be given about the health benefits that L-theanine can provide you in regard to your mental function.
- L-theanine Will Aid in your Weight Loss
When you are trying to maintain a calorie-controlled diet, by replacing a regular snack with a glass of green or black tea, you can potentially be aiding in your body’s ability to lose weight. The L-theanine that is contained in black and green teas, helps to create a very savory taste, one of which has become much more commonly known as a umami flavor. Much research has been done on these umami flavors, all of which have come to the conclusion that they are going got help you reduce your appetite, one of the main reasons that help make people obese. What this all means is that L-theanine is going to prevent this from happening and your will subsequently lose weight because of it.
- It Boosts Your Immune System
Several studies have revealed that taking L-theanine on a daily basis can help improve your body’s ability to fight different illnesses. In fact, these studies even suggest that taking L-theanine is able to improve your immune system, helping to prevent you from coming down with the flu or even common colds.
With all of the research that has been done on L-theanine, all of the experts agree that it is generally a safe supplement to take. While there is much more research is going to be required in order to pinpoint all of the health benefits that this particular compound provides you with, all of the information that is known about it points to the same conclusion, that conclusion being that L-theanine is safe for you to take on a daily basis.