When it comes to achieving calm in the chaos that is the hustle and bustle of everyday life, few supplements can effectively help to target this key issue. But they do exist. That’s where L-theanine, a naturally-occurring, non-protein amino acid that is found in green tea, comes in and works to promote relaxation, focus, and cognitive performance.
In this explainer, we take a closer look at the calming ingredient, how it benefits mental wellness, and how you can seamlessly incorporate it into your daily routine.
The Science Behind L-Theanine
Although the research around the benefits of L-theanine is still emerging, the science is clear: L-theanine crosses the blood-brain barrier and can support the activation of alpha waves, increasing levels of neurotransmitters such as GABA and serotonin that are responsible for regulating mood and relaxation. By modulating these neurotransmitters, L-theanine reduces neuronal excitability, promoting a calm and focused state. It also stimulates alpha brain waves associated with a relaxed and focused mindset.
L-Theanine for Sleep, Focus, and Mood
L-theanine can help overall mental wellbeing, specifically when it comes to sleep, focus, and mood.
Having trouble sleeping or staying asleep? L-theanine for sleep is a recommended option because it supports high-quality sleep without the drowsy aftermath that’s so often associated with sleep-inducing supplements. L-theanine specifically enhances the transition to sleep and depth of sleep when taken nightly.
If you’re struggling to stay productive at work, you may want to swap your daily coffee for a cup of green tea—or L-theanine capsules. This is because L-theanine enhances focus without causing the jitters associated with caffeine, making it a must-have during the day as well.
Stress can feel unavoidable when you’re faced with long work hours and never-ending errands. Luckily, L-theanine can help make these days a little easier with its commitment to promoting relaxation and maintaining alertness, all while supporting healthy cognitive function. Plus, it helps reduce acute stress and anxiety.
Incorporating L-Theanine into Your Routine
While L-theanine is found in green tea, some people prefer to limit their caffeine intake or they may simply prefer taking capsules. That’s why we recommend Momentous L-theanine, which boasts an effective 200mg per serving.
Dr. Andrew Huberman, neuroscientist and host of the Huberman Lab podcast, is a huge advocate of L-theanine, saying: "100 to 400 milligrams of L-theanine taken alone...allows many people to fall asleep, sleep really deeply, and feel much more refreshed the next day."
All good things take time, and in the case of L-theanine, incorporating it into your daily wellness routine is key. Many people report experiencing the many benefits of L-theanine within days of consistently taking it. But, as is the case with supplements as a whole, everyone is different and it can have varying onset times. When it comes to dosage, we recommend taking 1 capsule of L-theanine 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime to support improved sleep.
Looking to enhance your healthy stress response? You may want to consider taking L-theanine in the morning to prepare your body and mind for the day ahead.