L-Theanine (also referred to as Theanine) is an amino acid found in green tea. Technology has now made it easier to extract L-Theanine from the tea than it has been in the past. Even though technology has made this extraction easier than it was this amino acid can be on the expensive side.
Research has shown that L-Theanine brings on a feeling of relaxation approximately 30 – 40 minutes after taking it. It works well for sending you off to a good night’s sleep. This feeling of relaxation can also be of benefit if you are under a lot of stress or a bit depressed. It also helps with cognitive skills. It is “Generally recognized as safe (GRAS)” by the FDA.
There’s lots of scientific jargon that can be used to explain what this amino acid does so suffice it to say that L-Theanine effects the chemicals in your brain that keep you jazzed up. It helps calm them down so you can focus and concentrate during the day and relax enough to let you sleep at night.
L-Theanine comes in various doses. You can get 100 mg tablets quite reasonably. 200 mg tablets are a bit more expensive and, of course, the higher the dose, the more expensive it gets. Some beverage makers are now including it in their products and they are being marketed to help with focus, concentration, and relaxation. (I think I need some today).
As with most anything you take L-Theanine has some side effects if you get it from a dietary supplement. Using it regularly in doses of 800 mg and more can make you feel MORE tired all of the time. There have not been enough studies done on it to give many details on side effects so it is suggested that you get this amino acid by drinking green tea until further studies have been made.