More and more people are discovering the power of L-theanine, a natural amino acid that is mainly found in tea leaves, but also in small amounts in certain mushrooms. L-theanine helps us with stress, anxiety and concentration, but it also has less obvious benefits. In this article you will find information about L-theanine. Expect some information on the effect, dosage, side effects and safety of L-theanine in adults and children. You will also find information about Suntheanine, that might be even better.
What is L-theanine?
L-theanine is an amino acid found mainly in tea leaves. We find it in both green and black tea. L-theanine is also available as a pill, powder or tablet at many drugstores. It is known as an amino acid with a relaxing effect, but it is also said to have a positive influence on the brain and cognitive functioning of us interesting human beings. L-theanine is therefore the perfect natural aid for people with ADHD or ADD, but also for people who find it difficult to relax in general. Those who would like to increase their resistance or have difficulty with concentration & focus might also benefit from L-theanine.
L-theanine: how does it work in our body?
Research indicates that L-theanine promotes relaxation without drowsiness. Many people take L-theanine to reduce stress and to unwind. L-theanine not only promotes rest and relaxation, but also has a positive influence on our memory and attention. Perfect for people with ADHD! This wonderful substance has also shown positive results in mice that had Alzheimer's (Reference: Ortho Health Foundation) . It may also help with anxiety, boost our immune system, and there have been promising results in studies of L-theanine's use in the treatment of cancers, such as ovarian and pancreatic cancer (more research is needed) (healthline, 2020).
Optimal dosage of L-theanine
Because no conclusive research has taken place, there is little information about a safe dosage for L-theanine. But no reports of L-theanine overdose or side effects have been published, and drinking tea is generally safe for most people (except for pregnant women and cancer patients, they have to be more careful). Follow the general guidelines for consuming caffeine and when taking supplements, stick to the recommended dosage as stated in the package insert. Consult your doctor when (desired) use of large amounts of L-theanine, for example in the form of supplements.
The risks and possible side effects of using L-Theanine
In general, it is safe to take an L-theanine supplement and drink tea that contains L-theanine. No side effects have been noted.
However, teas containing amino acids such as L-theanine may contain other ingredients that are harmful to people with cancer. For example, the polyphenol EGCG, found in green tea, may decrease the effectiveness of some chemotherapy drugs (Healthline 2020). If you are undergoing chemotherapy, it is recommended to consult your doctor before drinking large amounts of green tea.
Pregnant or breastfeeding women should also limit the amount of tea they drink because of the caffeine. The same advice applies to children.
When you take large amounts of L-theanine, you may experience minor problems such as nausea, upset stomach and irritability.
On our article about different supplements for ADHD, we received comments from people who share their experience with L-theanine. But L-theanine is also discussed in the Dutch Wandering Minds Community. Readers describe their positive experiences with taking L-theanine or a supplement that contains L-theanine; LT03.
L-theanine for ADHD
Whether L-theanine helps with ADHD has yet to be researched. It is known that it helps with symptoms of ADHD, such as insomnia, focus, concentration, restlessness and anxiety. L-theanine can help to manage ADHD symptoms, especially because it promotes sleep and relaxation. Without enough sleep and relaxation, our body cannot rest, recharge, repair and renew. Sleep is often overlooked, but a lack of a good night's sleep can have serious negative health consequences.
If children or adults with ADHD do not get enough sleep, this has a negative influence on the rest of their lives. Think of school and work performance, missed classes, hyperactive and impulsive behavior and moodiness. When we sleep better thanks to L-theanine, we will feel & function better.
If you are going to buy an L-theanine supplement, it's wise to pay attention to a number of things, so you can make an informed choice. You can ask yourself different questions. For example, do you opt for a capsule, or for L-theanine in powder form? And do you go for a cheap variant of L-theanine, or do you choose quality? Is the supplement produced locally, or did it come from far?
Then you can ask yourself more questions. For example, how much L-theanine does each dosage offer? Is it an organic product? What is added to the L-theanine, or is it just pure L-theanine? For example, does it contain fillers or gluten? Has the packaging been developed in an environmentally friendly manner, and is made of, for example, BPA-free plastic? Is the supplement suitable for vegetarians or vegans (and therefore without gelatin or other animal products)? How is the product rated? Is the webshop reliable? Depending on what's important to you, you can buy the L-theanine that suits you best.
What is Suntheanine?
Suntheanine is a patent name for a form of L-theanine that is 100% pure. Suntheanine doesn't contain the less active D-theanine, which is found in many L-theanine supplements. Because Suntheanine is produced through a natural fermentation process, a 100% pure form of L-theanine is created. Suntheanine is a little less easy to get and more expensive to buy, but the quality is higher. Suntheanine contains no allergens and is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
Suntheanine actually works the same as L-theanine, just in a purer form. It provides relaxation (without drowsiness) and focus.
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