Exploring The Impact Of L-Theanine On Anxiety And Wellness

Updated March 1, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

While mental health therapies and medications are available for those with anxiety, other measures, such as L-theanine – a natural supplement derived from tea- may help lessen the intensity of this disorder by calming the mind.

In this blog post, we will examine what role L-theanine plays concerning stress and well-being, exploring its potential benefits and side effects so you can make an informed decision when considering using it as part of your wellness plan!

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What Is L-Theanine?

If you’ve ever enjoyed a cup of tea, chances are you’ve experienced the calming effects of L-theanine. This amino acid is found in tea leaves, and for centuries it has been used to reduce anxiety and improve cognitive performance.

L-theanine is an amino acid found naturally in tea plants that are responsible for brewed green tea's unique flavor profile. It also has relaxing and anti-stress effects on those who drink it.

Some studies suggest it can reduce anxiety levels by up to 60 percent! Besides lowering stress levels, L-theanine has improved sleep quality, executive function, and cognitive performance.

How Does It Work? 

Although scientists aren’t sure exactly how L-theanine works in the body, they believe it increases serotonin and GABA levels in the brain, which helps relax the nervous system and reduces stress hormones like cortisol.

Studies suggest that consuming 200 mg of L-theanine daily can help reduce stress levels significantly within eight weeks or less with no known adverse side effects. 

In addition to its calming properties, research has also suggested that L-theanine may offer other benefits, such as improved concentration and alertness, when combined with caffeine consumption. 

L-Theanine And Anxiety

L-theanine is a unique amino acid that works differently than other anti-anxiety supplements, such as CBD or kava. It does not directly work on the central nervous system or brain like these alternatives.

Instead, it helps balance out the neurotransmitters in the brain related to anxiety and stress, namely dopamine and serotonin. When these neurotransmitters are balanced, they can help reduce feelings of anxiety while promoting overall mental clarity and focus. 

A placebo-controlled trial conducted suggests that L-theanine can effectively reduce anxiety symptoms.

This study gave participants either L-theanine or a placebo pill for eight weeks. At the end of the study period, those taking L-theanine had lower levels of cortisol (a hormone associated with stress) and higher verbal fluency than those in the control group. This suggests that L-theanine can be an effective way to reduce anxiety symptoms. 

Can It Be Taken Safely? 

While more research is needed to understand how L-theanine works on a molecular level fully, it is generally considered safe when taken as directed.

Some people experience mild side effects such as drowsiness or restlessness when they first start taking L-theanine. These side effects typically dissipate after continued use. Always consult your doctor before adding any supplements or medications to your routine. 

L-Theanine And Wellness

L-theanine is also known for its positive effects on overall wellness. It has increased alertness and focus and reduced stress and fatigue. Taking L-theanine may help improve mood, reduce stress, and boost energy levels, improving overall wellness.

Mood Support

L-theanine has also been shown to support positive moods by increasing dopamine levels in the brain. It can even work similarly to an antidepressant because it helps balance certain brain hormones linked with depression. As a result, taking L-theanine can help improve your outlook and make you more optimistic about your future.   

Improved Focus And Energy Levels 

Finally, L-theanine has been found to increase focus and energy levels without causing side effects like jitteriness or agitation that some other energy supplements may cause.

It works by stimulating the release of alpha waves in the brain, which control alertness without overstimulating it like caffeine. This makes it great for anyone who needs an extra boost during long hours at work or school without feeling overstimulated or anxious afterward. 

L-Theanine And Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a disorder that impacts millions of people worldwide. It can cause difficulty in focusing, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.

Recent research has shown that using L-theanine, an amino acid found naturally in tea, can potentially help manage the symptoms of ADHD.

These studies have found that taking L-theanine may help improve focus and reduce impulsivity in those with ADHD.

In one study, participants were given either 200 mg of L-theanine or a placebo before completing a task designed to test their attention span and focus.

The results showed that those who took the L-theanine performed better than those who took the placebo.

Another study found that taking 400 mg of L-theanine daily improved scores on tests designed to measure attention span, impulsivity, and hyperactivity among adults with ADHD over eight weeks compared to those who took a placebo.

While these results are promising, more research must be done before drawing any concrete conclusions about the effectiveness of L-theanine in treating ADHD symptoms. 

It's important to note that while some studies show potential benefits from taking L-theanine for managing ADHD symptoms, no scientific evidence suggests it will cure or eliminate them.

That said, there is potential for further studies which could lead to new treatments for those living with ADHD.

Key Features Benefits Of L-Theanine

This unique amino acid is derived from the tea leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, which has been used in traditional medicine for centuries.

Its positive effects on physical and mental health have been gaining traction recently among holistic health enthusiasts due to its potential to positively influence sleep quality, performance under stress, cognitive functioning, and mood control.

  • L-theanine is a naturally occurring amino acid found in green tea.

  • It is often sold as a supplement and is available in pill, powder, or liquid form.

  • Studies suggest that taking L-theanine can help improve cognitive performance, reduce anxiety symptoms, and promote better sleep quality.

  • L-theanine has been found to increase verbal fluency, which can help people communicate more effectively in stressful situations.

  • Studies have also shown that it can help to reduce the physical symptoms associated with anxiety, such as muscle tension and increased heart rate.

  • Research suggests that L-theanine can also help improve executive functions such as planning and decision-making, which can benefit mental health and productivity in general.

Potential Negatives Of L-Theanine

L-theanine is generally well tolerated, with no significant adverse health effects associated with its usage. However, certain medications may interact with L-theanine, so it is well worth consulting a doctor before taking any supplement that contains this ingredient.

When considering adding L-theanine supplements to your daily routine, remember those doses recommended by your doctor or product manufacturer; a too-large dosage can lead to headaches, nausea, and other side effects.

Safety is key when taking any dietary supplement, and erring on caution for dosage size is of the utmost importance when consuming L-theanine. It’s always advised that you consult with your physician before beginning any supplementation plan so you are aware of potential risks or allergic reactions which could arise.

Ultimately, understanding the correct dosage amount and being mindful of your body's reaction will ensure a safe and successful addition of L-theanine supplementation into your health plan.

Long-Term Uses Of L-Theanine

While the short-term benefits of L-theanine have been well documented, the lack of research on the long-term effects makes it difficult to draw any conclusions.

It's, therefore, essential to proceed with caution if you plan to take L-theanine supplements frequently, particularly at higher doses or over a more extended period than recommended.

Whether you are taking L-theanine supplements as prescribed by your healthcare provider, long-term safety needs to ensure that you only use them as directed and in moderation when needed.

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Benefits Of Pairing L-Theanine And Online Therapy

Online therapy can provide various benefits for people with mental health issues. While this type of therapy is often successful, many have discovered an extra boost when using L-theanine.

This amino acid has been found to reduce stress and even help improve sleep quality, both integral aspects of good mental health. Additionally, it helps to promote a sense of calm in those who take it, making it an ideal complement to traditional online therapy sessions.

The combination can yield more positive results by allowing patients to better clear away negative emotions during their appointments by providing greater peace and relaxation.

Effectiveness Of Pairing L-Theanine And Online Therapy

Studies have recently been conducted to measure the effectiveness of pairing L-theanine, an amino acid most notably derived from tea leaves, and cognitive therapy. The results indicate the combination of these two treatments may be more beneficial than either alone.

In particular, these studies found that using L-theanine in conjunction with cognitive therapy reduced existential depression among patients.

Additionally, researchers observed increased neuroplasticity due to this combination treatment, which could further support improved mental health outcomes. However, it is essential to note that L-theanine and therapy should be used under medical guidance for the best possible results.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, while the potential benefits of L-theanine in decreasing stress or improving overall well-being may look promising, it's still essential to have an open dialogue with your physician and do your research before adding anything new to your wellness plan.

Some potential side effects need to be considered when exploring any supplement. Still, this supplement could be a safe and beneficial option for those looking to reduce anxiety or improve their mental state.

Ultimately, it's best to make an informed decision based on all available information to determine whether or not L-theanine is the right choice for you. Its ability to support healthy moods, manage stress levels, and help brain function are all points worth considering before trying this supplement.

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