Nicole Avery, Founder @ Adapt Drinks
How L-theanine Can Help Improve Your Well Being And Productivity
L-theanine is a naturally occurring amino acid that is not common in the diet that promotes relaxation without drowsiness. It is found primarily in green and black tea and some mushrooms. It can also be taken as a supplement in pill or tablet form. In the last few years, L-theanine has become a popular ingredient in functional beverages due to the number of studies showing the positive impacts it can have on your well-being and your productivity at work.
How Does L-theanine Work?
We will get a little bit geeky here for just a short minute to explain how L-theanine works! It works by crossing the blood-brain barrier and increasing levels of a neurotransmitter called Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Your brain is full of cells called neurons. When one neuron wants to communicate with another neuron, it sends a chemical message. Neurotransmitters function as chemical messengers in the brain. GABA is considered to be an inhibitory neurotransmitter because it blocks, or inhibits, certain brain signals and decreases activity in your nervous system.
L-theanine And Stress
When you are under stress it can cause an imbalance of neural circuitry in the brain which can impact how you think, how you feel, and your decision-making ability. One of the most thoroughly researched aspects of L-theanine is its ability to help you cope with stress by restoring balance. As we discussed above, L-theanine increases the levels of GABA, which can block or inhibit some of the changes that stress has on the brain, making us feel calmer.
In a 2019 placebo-controlled study, results showed L-theanine had positive effects on stress-related symptoms and cognitive function in a healthy population. The study found that people who took L-theanine had less stress and better cognitive function than those who took a placebo. You can read the complete study here.
L-theanine And Focus
Studies have shown that L-theanine can help with focus as well. In one study participants performed the Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART) over a two-hour session on each of four days, on which they were administered caffeine (50 mg), theanine (100 mg), the combination, or placebo in a double-blind, randomized, cross-over fashion.
SART is a task where people have to pay attention to numbers appearing on a screen for a long period of time - and most of us are looking at screens for long periods of time and needing to focus so we know how hard this can be!
The study found that when people were given caffeine or theanine, they made fewer errors on the task than when they were given a placebo. The study also found that taking both caffeine and theanine together did not provide any additional benefits over taking just one of them. You can find the study here.
So if it has hit 3pm and you have to focus but don’t want to have any caffeine so late in the day, it would be the perfect time to have an Adapt Drinks Relax. One can of Adapt Drink Relax contains 132mg of L-theanine and can give you the boost you need to maintain your focus.
L-theanine and sleep
L-Theanine has anxiolytic effects - this means it has been shown to reduce anxiety via the induction of brain waves without any of the traditional side effects that come along with most sleep aids. As the brain is in a more relaxed state, it is easier to fall asleep and a higher quality of sleep is achieved.
In one study, 30 healthy adults were given either L-theanine or a placebo daily for four weeks. Those participants which took theanine daily had better sleep, they took less time to fall asleep and had fewer wakeful moments through the night. And those participants who were using sleep medications could reduce the amount if they received L-theanine.
If you have been experiencing issues falling asleep or staying asleep then consuming some L-theanine late afternoon or early evening may just be the natural remedy you need. A can or two of Adapt Drinks Relax can be a delicious way to introduce this amino acid into your daily routine.
L-theanine And Caffeine
Combining L-theanine with caffeine has been shown to achieve specific and different changes in to taking L-theanine on its own. In a randomized controlled trial, the combination of L-theanine and caffeine significantly improved attention on a switch task as compared to the placebo. Task switching is a cognitive function involving the ability to shift our attention between one task and another.
Sometimes your work requires deep focus so L-theanine on its own can help, but if your work requires you to be juggling multiple tasks at a time, having a combination of L-theanine and caffeine may assist your performance. A drink like Shine Charged is perfect for this as it contains natural caffeine from green tea and coffee bean and L-theanine. Having your L-theanine and caffeine 30 minutes before you need to perform your switch tasks should have you ready to go and perform well.
Have you tried using L-theanine to improve your well being and productivity?
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: All content provided here is of a general nature only and is not a substitute for individualised professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and reliance should not be placed on it. For personalised medical or nutrition advice, please make an appointment with your doctor, dietitian, or qualified health care professional.
Nicole Avery, Founder @ Adapt Drinks