L-Theanine for Anxiety: Does it Really Help You Feel Calm?

Updated October 19, 2020

Anxiety is a term commonly used to indicate feelings of stress, being anxious, nervous and the likes. However, it’s not just a casual term and is also used clinically as a term and medical diagnosis. Some of the symptoms of anxiety are restlessness, sleep deprivation, unmotivated irritability, panic attacks, nausea, heart palpations, and even sweating. There can be number of different reasons for a person suffering anxiety.
But, whatever reasons they may be, you don’t have to be the victims anymore. Researchers and users have found different supplements like L-theanine highly effective in taking care of anxiety, including other conditions like panic attacks, mood disorders and depression.
Almost everyone experiences anxiety at one point or the other. There is just no escape from it. Whether it’s a tough childhood, social factors or any other reasons, there are different chemical processes occurring in the mind for anxiety to occur. Using natural supplements like L-theanine have been known to be effective in stopping the source of the symptoms leading to anxiety. L-theanine has been popular as a remedy for depression, stress, and anxiety.

How L-Theanine Works

L-theanine is an amino acid first discovered by Japanese scientists in green tea in 1949, although it’s lately been discovered that humans have been benefiting from this fascinating substance for centuries. It is an analog of glutamate and with plenty of benefits.
It’s also capable of modulating and increasing alpha brain waves being a form of L-glutamic acid. Alpha brain waves are electric impulses which produce feeling of calmness and relaxed alertness. Higher presence of these waves helps to control the over-activity of beta waves. Larger presence of beta waves creates a sense of fear and anxiety. Because of its ability to keep beta waves in check, it’s often supplemented for general anxiety disorders, social anxiety, and depression.
Another way L-theanine helps to fight off anxiety is by increasing the secretion of joy hormone known as dopamine. Increase of dopamine in the brain automatically improves the mood.
Other neurotransmitters such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and GABA are also targeted by this substance, all of which are responsible for treating anxiety. These neurotransmitters regulate different actions of the sympathetic nervous system, such as the “fight or flight” response. A sense of calmness is achieved as an inhibitory effect of this substance on the mind.
The effects on different neurotransmitters also help with other cognitive processes such as sleep and relaxation cycles, pleasure, and the brain’s reward system.
L-theanine has a unique ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, which allows it to be absorbed into the bloodstream faster, causing the substance to show results faster. This allows all effects of L-theanine to be seen at a faster rate. One huge benefit of L-theanine being able to break the blood-brain barrier is found when paired with GABA.

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L-Theanine and GABA

GABA is one of the amino acids that is found to occur naturally in the body. This amino acid works to keep neurons in the brain from over-working. GABA also has other purposes, like boosting muscle growth, but its main function is to work as a neural calming agent. It is classified as an anxiolytic, which is the term given to any supplements that is capable of reducing anxiety symptoms. GABA supplements have also been created by scientists in an attempt to fight anxiety symptoms. However, there is one small problem. When GABA is taken orally as a supplement, it fails to cross the blood-brain barrier, thus limiting its effects compared to natural GABA.
But, L-theanine and GABA can work harmoniously. We have already discussed that L-theanine is psychoactive, which means it can break the blood-brain barrier and be absorbed in the bloodstream fast. GABA can then do its job, and the L-theanine also stimulates GABA production. This is one of the major reasons why L-theanine is so effective in fighting off anxiety and depression.

What is the Right Dosage of L-Theanine?

While L-theanine is really helpful in treating anxiety, taking this supplement in the right amount is extremely important. The dosage isn’t the same for everyone. Various factors like body weight, sensitivity, symptoms of anxiety, etc., are the factors that matter when determining the right anti-anxiety dose of L-theanine.
You will want to start with a small dose of somewhere around 50 mg to 100 mg. This is the same dosage used in the supplement Cognishield. The effects of L-theanine are generally felt somewhere around the 60-minute mark. Don’t jump through the dosage amount too quickly. You must properly assess your physique and your health status in order to decide just how much L-theanine your body requires. Regularity of this supplement is the key to maintaining proper brain health. So, your best bet is to take low doses, but at a regular time interval for maximum effects. Doing so will equip your brain with the right neurochemicals and your neurotransmitters will be stimulated regularly. Taking this supplement in a proper way means you don’t have to worry about the risk of side effects, also you can avoid having to spend your hard-earned money on prescribed medications.

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User Reviews

While L-theanine has been proven to be highly effective for anxiety, users have expressed different opinions on what the effects of this supplement are. Many users have expressed that taking higher doses of L-theanine, around 400mg produces a more relaxing effect, and can even encourage feelings of sleepiness and fatigue. However, it’s not to say that lower doses aren’t effective, in fact, there are plenty of users who are happy enough taking lower doses. Those who take higher doses for extra relaxation also agree that even lower doses help them to concentrate better and for longer hours without the feelings of panic and nervousness. It can be stacked with either Phenylpiracetam or Noopept to help bring a feeling of calmness to balance the intensity of these nootropics.

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