Health benefits of L-Theanine

Drinking tea is almost customary among all social strata today. However, little did the person who was documented to have first drunk tea back in 300 A.D at the Yunnan province of China know how important it would become in the centuries to come. So, what makes a hot…


Drinking tea is almost customary among all social ong all social strata today. However, little did the person who was documented to have first drunk tea back in 300 A.D at the Yunnan province of China know how important it would become in the centuries to come. So, what makes a hot cup of green tea so special? It is the presence of a vital compound called L-Theanine, which makes it an antioxidant. To begin with, let us first learn what L-Theanine is.  

What is L-Theanine? 

L-Theanine is a kind of amino acid that is not produced by the human body. It is possessed naturally by black tea, green tea and some specific types of mushroom. So, yes, all that green tea you have consumed to cut down body fat does yield other benefits as well! L-Theanine is known to affect the presence of some definite chemicals like dopamine and serotonin in the brain. Both these compounds are known to influence emotion, cortisol, mood and sleep, all of which greatly help the human body deal with stress. An alteration in the balance of these two chemicals can majorly affect your stress levels or mood and make you feel like a nut. A few tests conducted on animals and small studies indicate that L-Theanine might offer a wide range of benefits to the human body. L-Theanine enhances your cognitive functions through a reduction in NMDA-dependent CA1, a long-term potentiation.

Benefits of L-Theanine

Sleep deficiency, anxiety disorders and a loss of focus are some common problems that most people, especially millennials experience in today’s time. People even tend to get stressed over the right choice of clothes! Well, L-Theanine is the solution for most of these problems. 

Diminishes Stress & Anxiety

Anxiety feels like being strapped to a chair while you stare out of an open door. It feels miserable. A steaming cup of tea can help you feel at ease. But according to research, it is mostly beneficial for people battling high levels of anxiety. A total of five randomly controlled-trials comprising a total of 104 participants deduced that L-Theanine was capable of reducing anxiety and stress in people experiencing depression. Another study found that it could enhance relaxation without making you feel drowsy. So, basically it relaxes your mind without you drooling off on your armchair.

Improves Memory, Focus & Attention

In some cases, stress and anxiety might not be your focused area that needs improvement, but your focus might be. If so, surrendering yourself to the qualities of L-Theanine might help you. Some human studies have found out that L-Theanine can increase focus, attention, memory and even visual processing. Long-term consumption of the compound protects the brain neurons from death and injury. Not just that, L-Theanine has proven a significant aid in improving cognitive dysfunction in Alzheimer’s disease by reducing oxidative damage.

Possesses Strong Antioxidant Properties

Antioxidants are great when it comes to removing excess free radicals from the human body. Free radicals cater to a range of greater issues and invite diseases like diabetes, cancer and heart problems. L-Theanine protects your brain cells against this oxidative damage and acts as an antioxidant. Apart from enhancing the production of antibodies, it provides protection against neurotoxicants. 

Improves Sleep

A good night’s sleep can do wonders for your body. However, given the lifestyle of individuals in this stressful, competitive world, a lot of us are sleep-deprived. You may have experienced sleepless nights spent tossing and turning in beds, which made you wonder if you were eventually transitioning into a night owl. However, research has found that L-Theanine can greatly help enhance sleep in both humans and animals. About 200 mg of it can reduce the heart rate and help you relax.

Maintains Body Weight

Did you just figure out that you were a bit oversized for the amazing new dress you bought last month? That must have been heartbreaking! So, if you wish to get back into shape, it’s time for you to follow a calorie-controlled diet. You can replace your oily snacks with a large cup of green tea or some other hot low-calorie beverage that will help you lose weight. However, green tea is a great choice, given the presence of L-Theanine which creates a flavour known as the umami flavour. This particular flavour helps reduce appetite, thereby aiding weight loss.

Side Effects and Risks Associated with L-Theanine 

L-Theanine is considered to be safe when consumed in the form of green tea. The National Institutes of Health (NIH), however, advise against the consumption of more than five cups. Most avid green tea drinkers, owing to their biased love for the beverage tend to gulp down several cups throughout the day without really keeping a count. But, that can be bad. Owing to the caffeine content, too much green tea consumption can lead to diarrhoea, heartburn, headache, irritability and even insomnia. It is also not a great idea to intake L-Theanine in combination with lipid lowering medicines, chemotherapy drugs and sedatives. Pregnant women, children and nursing mothers must steer clear of the overconsumption of L-Theanine.

Our thoughts

While stress, anxiety and sleep disorders are common intruders in our happy space, L-Theanine has been proven useful for many. If you are someone seeking natural alternatives for health and wellness, then a good place to start is with a cup of hot tea.  

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