L-Theanine for anxiety

L-Theanine has been described by some as Nature’s Valium – a miracle natural anxiety cure. This is not a bad description, as L-Theanine increases levels of the Amino acid GABA, which works in the same way as drugs like Xanax and Valium to calm anxiety and panic.

GABA can, in some countries be bought over the counter, but it is not really known if it crosses the blood-brain barrier sufficiently to make a difference to stress levels, anxiety and panic attacks. By contrast L-Theanine does cross the blood-brain barrier and is known promote alpha wave brain state, the state in which the awake mind is at it’s best: relaxed but able to to concentrate.

Does It Work?

So does it work? My personal experience has revolved around taking the Solgar Brand although others are available. It is claimed that L-Theanine gets to work in 40 minutes, helping beat insomnia and promoting relaxation.

I must say, to me the results were very subtle. I have experienced taking Xanax and found L-Theanine to be quite different. I have also only ever taken one 100mg capsule (as per the instructions), but some people advocate taking much more, up to but not exceeding 600mg in 6 hours.

I am not sure if taking such a high dose is a good idea because like most supplements L-Theanine has not been thoroughly tested in the same way a new prescription drug would be. All in all, I would say for me the recommended dose provides some level of relaxation, but it isn’t revolutionary.

The supplement of L-theanine in capsules is expensive. Alternative sources are basically limited to tea, practically speaking. The problem with taking l-Theanine in tea form is that you have to drink a lot of tea to get enough, and there is no way of knowing how much there is in the tea, so it is much harder than getting it in supplement form where the standardized dosage is trustworthy, broadly speaking.

Another problem is that drinking tea ups the amount of caffeine in your system. Black tea has plenty of caffeine and green tea, despite what “gurus” may say, also stimulates you…in high doses both start to do the things you are taking L-Theanine to avoid. So why not get L-Theanine from decaffeinated tea? Because as luck would have it the process of decaffeination removes the L-Theanine!

Also read: Anxiety Disorder Herbal Remedies

7 Replies to “L-Theanine for anxiety”

  1. Under my doctors supervision, I was able to wean myself off of Ativan. I have been on L-Theanine since January and I am very happy with the results. Most days, I only take 100 mg but during periods of stress, I increase it to 200 mg. I have also found that a 100 mg dose before as stressful event (such as performing before a live audience!) helps a great deal.

    ***Please note: if you are taking anti-anxiety drugs, keep taking them and only make a change with your doctors supervision. Quitting anti-anxiety drugs “cold turkey” can have serious mental and physical effects.

  2. Hi LucyE,

    I take ativan also and I am attempting to ween off of it. Is it safe to take L-Theanine and Ativan together? If not, do you know how many hours I should wait in between?

  3. hi Lucy,

    I have read your message and I have seen that you were prescribed L- Theanine for anxiety. I suffered from anxiety for 4 years and I have tried many different things. Looking at the Internet, I read about L-Theanine and it seems to be not having side effects like Kava Kava and anti- anxiety drugs. However, I have also read that it coul increse the anxiety levels for people suffering from acute anxuety. I would be really grateful if you could give an advice, I am having a really bad time because of this problem.

    Thank you

  4. I am attempting to get off my pain killers witch I overuse. I called a nutrician store and they recommended l-Theanine for withdrawals. My attempts to quite vicodine before have been unsuccessful because of the extreme withdrawals. Can this supplement work for me?

  5. i have been suffering from restless leg syndrome for mant years, i’m taking mirapeck, it helps a little, but my legs ache all day, and nights, can this l-theanine help me?

  6. Have had Parkinson’s Dz for 13 years and have had terrible episodes of stress and anxiety. My family doctor whom I had worked for 35 years
    gave me L-THEANINE and I am like a different person. I wish I could get this to all people suffering from anxiety and stress, especially to people with Parkinson’s Disease!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *