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L-Theanine is often referred to as the sidekick to caffeine — helping to provide a clear mind and reduce the chance of jitters and crashes, but did you know L-Theanine is a powerful amino acid all on its own?
L-Theanine is a compound that belongs to a family of nutrients known as amino acids. These compounds are made up of substances like nitrogen, hydrogen, and oxygen, and they serve as the building blocks for the proteins that make up the cellular structure of the human body.
Some amino acids are considered essential and some are not. Essential amino acids cannot be naturally produced by your body, so they need to be consumed in the form of foods or supplements. Some non-essential amino acids, such as glutamine, serine, and others, are naturally produced by your body, while others, such as L-Theanine, are not.
There are numerous non-essential amino acids, including glutamine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, L-Theanine, and more. These amino acids can be especially important when your body is fighting off illness or stress. Some amino acids, including glycine, proline, and more, are considered conditional amino acids – they are essential in some circumstances but non-essential most of the time.
While L-Theanine can be taken in higher concentrations as a supplement, the compound is also found in small amounts in green and black tea. These popular beverages also contain caffeine, a stimulant that is also found in coffee, cola, and energy drinks.
L-Theanine is sometimes called theanine, Gamma-glutamylethylamide, and N-ethylglutamine.
L-Theanine reaches your brain by crossing a threshold that is known as the blood-brain barrier. Once the amino acid has permeated your brain, it can have a calming effect. This effect has been linked to the compound’s positive impact on GABA activity, as well as its effect on alpha brain wave activity.
Tests of L-Theanine on humans have indicated that the compound may help to support mood and cognitive functioning. In addition, the amino acid seems to have specific effects when consumed as a constituent in caffeinated tea – the L-Theanine in the tea may cancel out some of the intense stimulating effects of the caffeine. We’ll further discuss the relationship between L-Theanine and caffeine later in this post.
L-Theanine has also been found to support the ability to switch between mentally demanding tasks while retaining focus and energy. This makes the supplement a valuable asset for anyone who struggles with attention and focusing.
There are two primary purposes for L-Theanine in the context of a daily supplement regimen – quality sleep and stress support. The amino acid can also be taken as a supplement to support focus and mental energy.
Below are a few of the key ways that L-Theanine can positively impact sleep quality and help you manage your stress.
Because L-Theanine is a compound found in caffeinated drinks, it is always important to be mindful of how much caffeine you consume in an effort to reap the benefits of L-Theanine. If you are someone who is highly sensitive to caffeine, taking an L-Theanine supplement may be a better option for you than drinking a few cups of caffeinated green tea.
In addition, L-Theanine supplements are not for everyone. While the amino acid is considered safe for adults, children under the age of 18 should not take L-Theanine without the input of a doctor or pediatrician. In addition, pregnant or breastfeeding women should also consult their doctor before taking L-Theanine.
Finally, L-Theanine has the potential to interact with some prescription medications. If you are currently taking medication for blood pressure issues, make sure to talk to your doctor before adding L-Theanine to your daily supplement regimen. Your doctor can offer input regarding whether L-Theanine is the right supplement for you.
When taking L-Theanine for reduced stress, the ideal dose falls somewhere between 100 and 400 mg of the amino acid. In comparison, a cup of green or black tea usually contains less than 40 mg of L-Theanine, making supplements the most effective way to get higher doses of the compound.
You don’t have to worry about putting yourself in danger when taking L-Theanine – the natural supplement is generally considered safe. However, it’s always wise to stick with the recommended dosage when taking an L-Theanine supplement. Taking a dose higher than 400 mg puts you at risk of experiencing uncomfortable side effects, including nausea and headaches. Nevertheless, even a high dose of L-Theanine is unlikely to cause severe side effects for most people.
You can take L-Theanine multiple times daily, including in the morning before work and at night before bed. Taking a daytime dose of L-Theanine may help you focus and maintain mental clarity as you go about your daily tasks. A nighttime dose, on the other hand, can help you wind down before getting ready for bed.
When taking L-Theanine at night, it’s best to take your dose between 30 minutes and an hour before bedtime. An L-Theanine supplement needs time to kick in, so it’s best to start your bedtime routine early and allow the calming effect of the supplement to slowly settle your mind.
L-Theanine is a helpful supplement that is worth considering for anyone dealing with stress, nighttime restlessness, or trouble focusing. You can get L-Theanine by enjoying a cup of green or black tea, but it’s best to take the amino acid as a supplement if you are looking to get a higher dose. In addition, the caffeine content in tea makes it necessary to carefully monitor your intake.
To learn more about L-Theanine and the other ingredients in R3SET’s Calm and Unwind capsules, make sure to visit the R3SET blog.
If you’re ready to pick up your first supply of R3SET capsules, which contain L-Theanine and a wide array of other beneficial ingredients, click here.
What You Need to Know About L-theanine
Effects of L-Theanine Administration on Stress-Related Symptoms and Cognitive Functions in Healthy Adults: A Randomized Controlled TrialThe combined effects of L-theanine and caffeine on cognitive performance and mood