L-Theanine against Stress
Job pressures, family responsibilities, financial pressures, traffic, and time management are just a few of the stressors most of us face on a daily basis. Prescriptions for drugs that are supposed to improve anxiety, mood, and sleep are at an all-time high.
The problem is that these drugs come with significant risks. They are highly addictive and common side effects include dizziness, drowsiness, and impaired coordination. Driving or engaging in any potentially risky activities while on these drugs is dangerous, and consuming alcohol with these drugs could be fatal.
L-theanine, a unique amino acid found almost exclusively in tea plants (Camellia sinensis), is emerging as the premier natural way to relieve stress and anxiety. L-theanine comprises between 1 to 2 percent of the dry weight of tea leaves, available in a concentrated, purified form.
The effects of L-theanine are impressive. Clinical studies have shown it can reduce stress, improve sleep quality, ease symptoms of PMS, heighten mental acuity, and reduce negative side effects of caffeine. L-theanine does this by stimulating production of alpha brain waves (which improve relaxation and greater mental focus and alertness), as well as reducing beta waves (associated with nervousness, scattered thoughts, and hyperactivity).
L-theanine is fast-acting, generally producing effects within 30 minutes that may last up to 12 hours. For the best results, I recommend L-theanine chewable tablets as they seem to produce the quickest results.
At typical dosages, for example 100 to 200 mg, L-theanine does not act as a sedative but it does significantly improve sleep quality and calm the nerves. A dosage of 200 mg was shown in a double-blind trial to produce statistically significant improvements in sleep efficiency (actual sleep time enjoyed between the time of falling asleep and night time awakenings). It is also an excellent synergist to melatonin and 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) in promoting sleep.
Good Supplement News
L-theanine fills the need for a safe, natural alternative to addictive prescription drugs. The scientific merits of the product and its ability to relieve mild anxiety and improve sleep quality have been well established. Studies of L-theanine’s effectiveness also show that it only affects people who are experiencing some degree of nervousness. People who were relaxed and alert did not experience any change. So, those who feel the full effects of L-theanine are those who truly need it.
L-theanine may become a stellar natural product for North Americans. Clinical studies now in progress, such as a double-blind, placebo-controlled study on boys diagnosed with attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity, hold great promise.
If the results of this trial are as impressive as existing case histories and preliminary studies, L-theanine could emerge as a safe, natural alternative to the pharmaceuticals currently prescribed for ADHD, and that would be wonderful news for all of us.