Better than Green Tea?
You’ve probably read about the health benefits of green tea before. Heck, if you’ve been reading my blog for a few years you’d likely have seen me extol its health benefits.
That’s because green tea (as well as many other kinds of teas) are filled with numerous compounds known to support great health.
In particular, we like green tea (we being heb alth professionals, not just me and my imaginary friends) because of its numerous antioxidant properties.
I could go on and on about how green tea can help you – how compounds like catechins, EGCG, and polyphenols will help modify multiple pathways for amazing health.
BUT, I think I’d like to focus on the single amino acid that has given green tea it’s “health superstar” status.
And that would be L-theanine.
L-theanine is an amino acid that is found mostly in green teas, some black teas, along with mushrooms and other fungi.
What it can do for you is nothing short of miraculous, and its benefits are what owe it to being part of ancient cultures’ “medicine cabinets” for centuries.
Though they didn’t know exactly what green tea was doing, we know now L-theanine has the power to work on multiple components of brain function.
While L-theanine goes to work in the brain it can do several positive things for you, mostly relating to how it helps support healthy cognition and makes it so your brain maintains normal levels of neurotransmitters for perfect emotional health.
And while green tea is a superior, natural source of L-theanine…there are better ways to get this into your life – at much higher and more effective doses, too.
My favorite way is through supplements like Life Extension L-theanine.
This formulation delivers 100mg of laboratory-grade L-theanine for maximum benefit.
I’ll go into the details of how it can boost factors that lead to great health in a moment.
Now, onto the details of how L-theanine can help you.
Powerful Ways L-Theanine Can Help Maintain Great Health
One thing I want to mention if you plan to add L-theanine to your supplement regimen, is how safe this product is.
There are no known safety issues with this product, which means you can take it without fear. As it’s an amino acid, your body is perfectly designed to assimilate it into its standard processes for improved health.
I’d imagine if you took a whole bottle of it at once you wouldn’t feel great, but it’s probably not going to hurt you. I also don’t anticipate anyone doing that since it wouldn’t make you any smarter and would be a waste of money.
With that being said let’s get into the mechanisms L-Theanine works on for helping improve factors that lead to great health.
1 – It Improves Neurotransmitter Activity:
If you want to feel your best, mentally, then focusing on neurotransmitter function is a great place to start.
Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that dictate what happens in the brain. These messengers tell your body what to do, from eliciting fear responses that produce adrenaline in a stressful situation, to causing you to feel warm and cuddly while watching a romantic comedy.
If neurotransmitter function is impeded, then you may not feel your best.
An article from Integrative Psychiatry’s website shows just how effective it is at influencing neurotransmitters.
- L-theanine directly mimics the calming effects of your natural GABA
- L-theanine also helps you make more of your own GABA
- It is believed that L-theanine’s effects are due to its ability to block glutamate receptors, thereby dampening the ravages of excessive glutamate activity
- By blocking glutamate receptors, L-theanine indirectly supports GABA activity by freeing it to perform other important duties
What all can that lead to?
So many different things, honestly.
With L-theanine in the mix you may find that you finally sleep the way you always wanted, or that stressful situations don’t bother you the way they once did.
You may also feel like the days of moodiness and sadness you occasionally experience are fewer and far between.
Many people who take L-theanine supplements report that they generally have a more sunny disposition and that their mental health and mood are incredibly healthy.
Regular L-theanine supplementation with products like Life Extension’s version could very well be the path to feeling better emotionally and mentally than you have in ages!
Plus… there are other ways it could help to influence your brain in a positive way.
2 – Can Help Cognitive Function:
There are studies that show L-theanine may be a difference maker in how well you think. Or, rather, how clearly you think and how focused you are on the tasks you’re doing.
Dr. Alison Smith writes this about how L-theanine can help to improve focus:
“L-theanine crosses the blood-brain barrier and influences neuronal activity within 30-minutes following ingestion. Research has demonstrated that (L-theanine) improves mood, cognitive and mental performance3,8, stress9, alertness, and alpha brain waves without any adverse side effects.
Essentially, 50-200 mg of L-theanine promotes a relaxed yet alert mental state by stimulating the production of alpha brainwaves and gamma-amino-butyric acid (GABA): a neurotransmitter that relaxes the nervous system.
Alpha activity is associated with the ability to ignore distractions, which ultimately improves attention and focus. It also improves visual acuity and the ability to respond to visual stimuli faster.”
Additionally, if you take it with caffeine (remember, green tea contains both L-theanine and caffeine), it can have obvious effects on how well you think.
A study showed that if you take the equivalent of 1 pill of Life Extension with just a few sips of coffee it could help you focus on the completion of demanding tasks better than without either in your body.
And while L-theanine is known for how it helps your brain… you may be surprised to realize it may also be a difference maker in immune health, too!
3 – Supports Immune Health:
Over the past few years we’ve come to realize how important it is to have a strong immune system. Supporting immune health is clearly one of the best ways to ensure pathogens don’t take us down with ease.
L-theanine may have some ability to assist your body with warding off bad bugs.
Studies show that if you take it, you have the ability to fight off upper respiratory tract infections better than most others as well as being a great weapon for battling influenza.
There’s even research to suggest L-theanine is helpful for supporting inflammatory responses within the gut. As the digestive tract serves as the seat of your body’s immune system, this is a tremendous boon to your immune health.
And while all these studies aren’t robust enough to make unilateral declarations about L-theanine as an immune booster (the same way we talk about vitamin D and C), preliminary research is encouraging to say the least.
Shockingly, we don’t know how it supports immune health, but I’d guess it has something to do with inflammation and neurotransmitter support.
Drink Green Tea or Take This
I’ll be honest, if I were to make a broad recommendation about L-theanine, I’d say you should try and get it from green tea.
Green tea is a dietary source of not just L-theanine, but a host of other awesome compounds known for helping support your health.
However, green tea isn’t always practical, nor is it desirable. It takes time to prepare and enjoy, and some people don’t like the taste.
That’s why L-theanine supplements are crucial, and why I could safely say Life Extension L-theanine capsules are better than green tea.
1 capsule delivers more than you’d get in a cup of tea and is easy to swallow for immediate benefit.
Plus, it’s an affordable supplement to take.
Less than 36 cents a capsule.