L-theanine, a naturally occurring amino acid most commonly found in matcha and green tea, is rising in popularity as science learns more about it and the many benefits it can provide.
How it works
The human body does not produce L-theanine on its own, nor is it essential for humans. But just because it’s not essential doesn’t mean it doesn’t have anything to offer—in fact, L-theanine has been shown to have some amazing benefits.
It starts with the brain. L-theanine bears a close resemblance to the brain-signaling neurotransmitter glutamate—but it has the opposite effect on the brain. Glutamate excites nerve cells, while L-theanine inhibits glutamate activity, meaning it has a calming, relaxing effect overall. It also helps to stimulate production of GABA, another neurotransmitter that has calming effects.
As a result, L-theanine can benefit the body in several ways.
L-theanine is most often tied to relaxation. Its calming effect on the brain makes it a natural relaxing agent. Even better, it calms without making you drowsy, which can be very useful when you have a busy day ahead of you.
Supports healthy sleep quality
People tend to sleep better when they’re relaxed. While L-theanine doesn’t make you tired per se, its calming effects can be a useful aid to soothe a troubled mind at night. One study found that four weeks of L-theanine supplementation improved sleep quality and other stress-related symptoms in healthy adults. It can help to slow down the heart rate too so you can fall asleep more quickly and sleep more deeply.
Green tea and matcha are popular go-to’s for people hoping to boost their mental focus, especially in the mornings and afternoons. When paired with caffeine, L-theanine has been shown to help improve focus and attention and help you feel less tired generally. Many people turn to energy drinks for the same reason, but have to deal with jittery effects and energy crashes in return. L-theanine helps you get that focus you need without the negative side effects.
Increase cognitive performance (including memory)
L-theanine’s mental support doesn’t stop with improved focus. It can also contribute to improved reaction times and overall alertness. Its neuroprotective effects can help improve brain function and support memory, too.
Immune system support
Early studies suggest that L-theanine may support the body’s immune system when paired with the antioxidants found in green tea and matcha. Learn more about the benefits of green tea and matcha here.
Matcha for go-getters
Most people get L-theanine from matcha and green tea, but it’s also available in supplement form. Like with all supplements, we recommend consulting with your doctor before you begin taking products containing L-theanine.
If you’re wanting to add more L-theanine to your diet, look no further than Matcha Energy. Unicity’s Matcha Energy is formulated with premium-quality matcha leaves. Its unique chi-oka blend—which includes L-theanine—is formulated to support not just physical energy, but mental focus, too. Visit Unicity Shop to try it today.