Supplements that contain L – theanine have become widely popular these days due to their ability to decrease stress, boost up sleep, concentration, awareness, alertness and to encourage relaxation. But can these supplements really turn off your mind and bring it in the state of nirvana?
L-Theanine is an amino acid that can be found in the black and green tea and it’s the main cause why this beverage has strong calming effect and improves the mood while being consumed. Studies have shown that this type of substance has an influence on different kind of neurotransmitters, creating a smooth effect that helps the consumer to absorb the caffeine from the tea. On the other hand, the caffeine has the ability to impose concentration while performing mental tasks. People who enjoy in this beverage like to call this phenomenon alert calmness.
Mostly because of its structure, L – theanine has been related to dietary supplements and it has been promoted as the main ingredient in relaxation and stress reduction. It is often used as an additive in food and beverages.
In order to determine a type of action of L – theanine, scientists conducted most of the researches on the animals. Some preliminary research conducted on humans (the dose that has been consumed is 10 to 20 percent stronger than the one that can be found in one cup of tea):
In Japan, college students have been submitted to the research, one group received L – theanine and the other took a placebo. The group that received L – theanine claimed decreased anxiety, the blood pressure was in normal range right before the upcoming exams and tests and those kind of satiation were highly stressful for young population.
Another study that took place in Japan only this time it involved graduate students who took L – theanine. They have reported less anxiety when they got a job in pharmaceutical industry, then those who took the placebo.
In Canada a research has been made and the results regarding a L – theanine showed that it improved the quality of sleep to boys who suffered from ADHD. And in Israel, a research showed that L – theanine helped with patients who suffeedr from schizophrenia in a way that decreased anxiety.
Most of these studies haven’t been large or long – term and they were always performed on children and young adults. Also, they showed many methodological lacks.
L – theanine based on the promotion claims has the potential ability to reduce stress and anxiety, but the scientific evidence is lacking. Consumers should be especially aware when combining this supplement with other types of medicines. Over the time, this supplement may cause an addiction. Some of the supplements may contain D – theanine, which is a different form and does not have the same effects as a L – theanine. The appropriate dose of supplements that contain L – theanine and its long – term side effects are still unknown. The final advice would be: it is better to drink tea than to take supplements in any case.