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