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.
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.
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- 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