This is Part 1 in my new series “Secret Supplements That Work.” I want to make more people aware of extremely beneficial supplements that their body actually needs to function at its best. They are amino and fatty acids, minerals and other necessary compounds. Ditch cheap mostly-filler supplements that GNC carries, with my help you will find out about these secret helpers and what they can do. Today’s topic: relaxing with L-Theanine.
Now, I only recommend using any of these supplements when your diet is under control. Throwing even the highest quality products at a body with unhealthy eating habits is a complete waste of money. I tell anyone who seeks fitness advice from me to first solidify a consistent eating plan. In my earlier articles, I thoroughly explain what the Paleo diet is and a sample of how to use it. This information can be found here and here.
What is L-Theanine? It is an amino acid found in green tea that produces chemical reactions that make you feel relaxed. Theanine increases GABA production which is our brain’s natural sedative. It also increases levels of the feel-good chemical dopamine. Besides that L-Theanine has shown to lower blood pressure and raise our immune response by raising T cells. By using all these mechanisms, this amino acid promotes Alpha brain wave activity which creates a meditative state instead of Beta waves, which are neurotic and anxious. In a study done in 2008, L-Theanine was found to significantly increase the alpha activity versus a placebo. This plays a great role in relieving anxiety, in addition to meditation and breathing exercises.
Another benefit of L-Theanine is that it works well in combination with caffeine. It can reduce caffeine jitters by positively affecting our brain chemistry and also improve effectiveness of caffeine. This study shows that combined efforts of caffeine and L-Theanine significantly improved performance.
It is certainly a handy little supplement in a family of stress-fighting adaptogenic herbs. I will revisit this category later, but I wanted to highlight this particular one because it’s effects can be felt almost immediately. I usually take 100-300 mg a day and I trust NOW foods brand for this particular product. Give it a try and combine it with other relaxation methods for the best results!