Suppose you're one of the millions of people faced with symptoms of anxiety. In that case, you know all too well how the nervousness, restlessness, rapid breathing and heartbeat, and fatigue that frequently accompany the condition can interfere with your daily activities. Although prescription medications are available for anxiety relief, you may feel hesitant to take them due to the cost or potential side effects. You may also wish to know how to reduce stress naturally due to your moral or ethical beliefs or enhance the effectiveness of anxiety medications. Whatever your reason for investigating natural ways to reduce stress, l-theanine could provide the solution for your needs. Read on to learn how l-theanine benefits people who are suffering from anxiety and stress.
What Is L-Theanine?
L-theanine is an amino acid found in the leaves of the plant that produces green tea. A small number of mushroom species also contain l-theanine. Unlike other amino acids, theanine is not essential to the human diet. Your body can function properly without the amino acid. As a result, people take theanine supplements because they believe the amino acid may have health benefits rather than to address symptoms of a nutritional deficiency.
Does L-Theanine Relax You?
There is some evidence suggesting that l-theanine may help calm the body and mind to help you relax. People who have experienced theanine's calming benefits report that the amino acid works without causing sedation. It's important to understand that while there is anecdotal evidence and a few small studies to support l-theanine stress relief supplements, more research is needed to prove that the amino acid effectively addresses any condition.
How Does L-Theanine Relax You?
Based on laboratory studies, scientists have developed a theory about how l-theanine stress relief benefits may work. When taken by mouth, l-theanine is absorbed by the body through the stomach and seems to have the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. Once inside the brain, l-theanine is believed to reduce chemicals that excite the brain and increase brain activity. By counteracting these chemicals, l-theanine may produce a sense of calmness.
What Does Science Say About L-Theanine and Anxiety Relief?
Results from early scientific studies suggest that l-theanine may:
- Reduce physical symptoms of anxiety. Some L-theanine anxiety studies showed that the amino acid slows a racing heartbeat and lowers blood pressure.
- Improve concentration during periods of anxiety and stress. Research shows that l-theanine may lead to reductions in corticosterone, a hormone that the body releases in response to stress. Because increased corticosterone levels have been linked to poor concentration, learning problems, and memory formation, some experts believe taking the proper l-theanine dosage may lead to cognitive improvements. One study showed that young adults who took l-theanine and caffeine exhibited greater accuracy when multitasking.
- Assist With sleep. Many people who suffer from anxiety have trouble sleeping. L-theanine sleep studies indicate that the amino acid's calming effects may help people fall asleep faster and enjoy better quality sleep throughout the night.
- Provide benefits for comorbid mental health disorders. People who experience anxiety and symptoms of other mental health disorders may benefit from l-theanine. One study showed that l-theanine combined with an antipsychotic medication reduced feelings of anxiety in people with schizophrenia. Another found that individuals with a major depressive disorder who took an l-theanine supplement reported a reduction in anxiety and insomnia symptoms as well as improved brain function.
How Much Theanine for Stress Relief?
Experts believe that the optimal l-theanine dosage for anxiety is 100 to 400 milligrams per day based on current scientific evidence. Generally, for anxiety, you should begin with the lowest possible theanine dosage. If 100 milligrams per day does not produce results, you can gradually increase the amount until you find an effective l-theanine dosage for relaxation. Should you decide to take l-theanine in combination with caffeine, the recommended dosage is 12 to 100 milligrams of l-theanine and 30 to 100 milligrams of caffeine.
What Is a Combination L-Theanine Calming Supplement?
Combination l-theanine supplements contain the amino acid theanine plus one or more ingredients that may complement its actions. L-theanine and melatonin products provide a dose of a hormone that helps regulate the body's natural rhythms and may help to improve sleep. GABA and l-theanine supplements supply the body with gamma-aminobutyric acid, a brain chemical that decreases nerve signaling and is frequently used to address symptoms of stress and anxiety. Supplements like Xeed Balance are an excellent choice to consume effective doses of both nutrients. Xeed Labs has formulated this supplement by using patented and well researched forms of these nutrients like PharmaGaba® and SunTheanine®.
L-Theanine and Stress Relief
Although research into the use of l-theanine for stress relief is promising, it is wise not to rely on the amino acid alone to manage anxiety symptoms. For best results, combine l-theanine with stress-relieving activities, such as exercise, self-journaling, deep breathing, and meditation. Before adding a theanine supplement to your diet, consult your medical provider to find out if the amino acid is a safe choice for your specific needs.