L-Theanine, which is also referred to be the shortened name Theanine, is an amino acid analogue. It was first extracted from green tea in 1949, and the Japanese government approved it in 1964 for usage in unlimited quantities within all food sources except for infant formula. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has designated the L-Theanine dietary supplement as GRAS, which is an acronym that means “Generally Recognized as Safe”.
Mechanism of Action
At this point, scientists speculate that L-Theanine capsules are able to mimic the naturally occurring amino acid, glutamate. This could help explain the nootropic effect because glutamate’s role is to transmit the brain’s nerve impulses. Other interesting scientific findings include the fact that it has a low affinity for three types of glutamate receptors: kainite, AMPA and NMDA. L-Theanine has also been found to boost the brain’s dopamine levels. These mechanisms could all contribute to the nootropic and mood-boosting effects of Theanine capsules.
Many scientific studies have been conducted to find out exactly how L-Theanine capsules affect the body. One of the most interesting results of these studies was the determination that this nootropic supplement has psychoactive properties. In other words, brain functionality can be impacted by the usage of L-Theanine capsules and these alterations may result in a recognizable change is one’s perception.
- May Reduce Mental and Physical Stress
- Could Enhance Mood
- May Work as an Anxiolytic
- Synergetic with Caffeine
- May Enhance Memory
- Neuroprotective Agent
Possible Side Effects
L-Theanine’s widespread usage and GRAS designation is not surprising because this supplement is naturally occurring and can be found in large quantities within black and green tea. However, it is unknown at this time if there are any specific issues related to ingesting extremely large quantities on a regular basis.
Interestingly, most of the scientific studies preformed on L-Theanine were performed with dosages that far exceed the amount that would be found in a capsule or a cup of tea, and no negative side effects were discovered. Because there is still a lot we do not know, though, it is important to note that it is possible that some people could experience an extremely rare allergic reaction to these capsules. It is always best to proceed with caution, even with GRAS supplements.
Most people who use L-Theanine capsules on their own will stick with a dosage ranging from 150 to 250 mg. If you want to take advantage of the synergistic properties that exist between L-Theanine and caffeine, you can stack the two together in a ratio of four parts L-Theanine for each one part of caffeine. Experienced nootropic users often take 400 mg of L-Theanine and 100 mg of caffeine. Although this is a popular stack, L-Theanine can also be paired up with other nootropics like racetams and ampakines for synergetic effects.
People also often add Theanine capsules into their, anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) nootropic stacks. For this reason, in an anti-anxiety/nootropic stack; Aniracetam, Noopept and L-Theanine will commonly be combined. Some people find this stack very effective, whereas, others do not find it effective for anxiety.
The Pros and Cons of Choosing L-Theanine Capsules
L-Theanine capsules are a more expensive option than the powder version of this nootropic supplement, but aspects of using capsules will benefit users. For example, measuring out the exact correct amount of powder can be cumbersome and time consuming especially when using a scale. This step can be skipped altogether with capsules.
Another major advantage of choosing L-Theanine capsules instead of powder is the fact that users will not have to taste the nootopic while they are taking it. This can be especially useful for people who take several other nootropics or supplements per day. The dosage of Theanine is not very high, so capsules may be a great option for beginner nootropics users.