By Andrea Bartels CNP NNCP RNT
15 Aug 2018
For thousands of years the benefits of green tea have been discussed and documented in Asian cultures. Originally green tea was only available to Chinese nobility but eventually the 'noble' beverage spread to Japan and India and the health benefits became more apparent and widespread.
Green tea is comprised of bioactive compounds that can impact cellular differentiation, free radical production and neurotransmitter function. One of the unique compounds found in green tea is the amino acid l-theanine, discovered in 1949.
L-theanine has the unique ability to reduce anxiety and make stressful situations more manageable. It achieves this through the rebalance of brain neurotransmitters which communicate information between nerve cells. Specifically, l-theanine regulates calming neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin and GABA while simultaneously inhibiting the effects of the stress hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine.
Not only does l-theanine promote relaxation it can improve mental focus and performance without over-stimulation or drowsiness. L-theanine directly impacts Alpha brain waves which are present when we are alert and relaxed. Alpha brain waves are dominant when we are meditating and unwanted thoughts are minimized. Current research is looking into the effect of increased Alpha brain waves on creativity, depression and other psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia.
Stress and anxiety are impacting sleep quality more and more. Either you can't fall asleep because your brain won't shut down or you wake up at 3am with the next day's list of chores on repeat. L-theanine at bedtime helps calm negative brain chatter and allow you to drift into a more restful, deep slumber.
Unlike many prescription drugs for anxiety, l-theanine has no side-effects. Further l-theanine does not interact with prescription medications or other natural health products. In fact, using l-theanine in supplement form provides a standardized dosage without caffeine, herbicides or pesticides.
L-theanine is currently available in many dosages and forms from chewables for fast response and long acting capsules for the chronically stressed and anxious.
Choose the product that suits your needs.
Nutrients. 2016 Jan; 8(1): 53.
Psychology Today April 2015
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