L-Theanine: A Secret Big Pharma Doesn’t Want You Knowing

L-Theanine: A Secret Big Pharma Doesn’t Want You Knowing

With the exclusion of water, tea is the most consumed beverage worldwide. Around the world, 2 billion people will drink tea every morning, that’s over a quarter of the global population.  This statistic makes a lot of sense when you realise that tea is the national drink of both China and India. 

Within black, white, and green tea contains this unique amino acid known as L-Theanine. L-Theanine has been found to affect aspects of the human brain. Specifically,  L-Theanine is a non-dietary amino acid, meaning that it’s not required to sustain human life. However, while L-Theanine is not an essential amino acid, this doesn’t undermine the immensely beneficial properties that it can induce in the human body.

History of L-Theanine:

Tea consumption has been traced back thousands of years, all the way to Ancient China when civilisations were utilising the benefits of tea leaves. However, L-Theanine itself was only discovered as a component of green tea in 1949, in which it was then extracted from the tea leaves a year later and used to supplement. 

L-Theanine Green Tea


Benefits of L-Theanine:

Studies conducted have found that L-Theanine can effectively cross the blood brain barrier. When L-Theanine reaches the brain, it further emphasises communication between brain cells, which can enhance cognition. Studies also link L-Theanine to have the ability to increase one’s awareness, improve mood, and promote relaxation.
L-Theanine affects numerous neurotransmitters, such as Gamma-Amino Butyric acid (GABA) and glutamate, creating desirable effects. GABA induces a calming feeling within the body when released. When taken, L-Theanine mimics these calming effects of the naturally produced GABA and also increases the amount of GABA produced in the body. It is said that L-Theanine blocks glutamate receptors, which indirectly supports GABA, further creating that calming effect.
Furthermore, L-Theanine promotes the release of neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, both of which are directly linked to one’s mood.
Numerous studies have been published on the benefits of taking L-Theanine, as well as taking it with caffeine in tandem. Researchers have found an increase in memory and attention; reduction in stress responses in the human body; and an increase in cognition and mood.


A standard cup of green tea contains approximately 20 mg of L-Theanine. This is a real drawback of obtaining L-Theanine from tea, and thus is one of the main reasons people will tend to buy a supplement containing a bigger dose of the amino acid, to attain the desired effects.

At Kaizen Age, we don't like to drink over 5 cups of green tea per day, this is why L-Theanine is one of ten ingredients we've included in our formula for Vita MIND, and as you've found, it's easy to see why.


  1. Haskell, C. F., Kennedy, D. O., Milne, A. L., Wesnes, K. A., & Scholey, A. B. (2008). The effects of l-theanine, caffeine and their combination on cognition and mood. Biological Psychology,77(2), 113-122. doi:10.1016/j.biopsycho.2007.09.008

  2. Juneja, L. (1999). L-theanine—a unique amino acid of green tea and its relaxation effect in humans. Trends in Food Science & Technology,10(6-7), 199-204. doi:10.1016/s0924-2244(99)00044-8

  3. Kimura, K., Ozeki, M., Juneja, L. R., & Ohira, H. (2007). L-Theanine reduces psychological and physiological stress responses. Biological Psychology,74(1), 39-45. doi:10.1016/j.biopsycho.2006.06.006

  4. Park, S., Jung, I., Lee, W. K., Lee, Y. S., Park, H. K., Go, H. J., . . . Rho, S. S. (2011). A Combination of Green Tea Extract andl-Theanine Improves Memory and Attention in Subjects with Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Study. Journal of Medicinal Food,14(4), 334-343. doi:10.1089/jmf.2009.1374

  5. Parnell, H., Owen, G., & Rycroft, J. (2006). Combined effects of L-theanine and caffeine on cognition and mood. Appetite,47(2), 273. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2006.07.051

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