Many people have been drinking tea for thousands of years and thanks to modern science, we can understand why this simple beverage has been maintained over time.
Studies show that tea contains several molecules that prevent disease, improves mood, cognitive function, reduces the feeling of stress and prevents weight gain.
Among these molecules responsible for the benefits of tea are caffeine, polyphenols, which are substances that produce plants to protect against radiation and various microorganisms that cause disease, and the known L-theanine.
Learn more about this molecule and how it can help you at health and training levels.
What is L-theanine?
L-Theanine is an amino acid that is rarely found in food and is not essential for human life. Amino acids are small molecules that are used to form proteins. The “L-” refers to the structure of the amino acid and means that it can be used to create proteins.
This amino acid is structurally similar to that of the amino acid L-glutamine, so it is able to affect brain chemistry and function. It is found exclusively in tea and some mushrooms, but only in small quantities, leading it to become a popular supplement.
What effects does L-Theanine have on the body?
The main reason why many people take L-theanine is because it promotes relaxation and improves both attention and concentration. Unlike other relaxing agents such as lemon balm, L-theanine does not cause drowsiness, so it is not classified as a sedative.
Therefore, this interesting combination of benefits makes L-theanine take advantage of other stimulants such as caffeine.
What are the main benefits of L-theanine?
L-Theanine can benefit you in several ways, including physical, mental, cognitive performance and during physical exercise.
In terms of mental health benefits, L-theanine can protect against nerve damage and cognitive dysfunction, as well as improve memory and learning ability; besides reducing anxiety and depression.
In the case of athletes, performance increases during exercise due to better blood flow, thus reducing fatigue.
Among the most specific benefits of L-Theanine we can find the following
1.Help fight cancer
The L-theanine decreased levels of oxidative stress in the body, thus improving the efficacy of cancer drugs, and helps to mitigate the side effects associated with some of the drugs.
Oxidative stress is an imbalance between the production of free radicals and their ability to counteract their effects. If this condition persists, the risk of developing many types of the disease increases drastically.
2.Decrease the risk of diabetes
Diabetes is a disease in which the body is unable to adequately process glucose or sugar in the blood. Therefore, supplements with L-theanine and zinc helps reduce blood sugar levels, making it a valuable alternative for people with a family history of diabetes.
3.Prevents heart disease
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the world, and L-theanine helps prevent it by lowering cholesterol levels and increasing the production of nitric oxide, which is a gas that widens blood vessels and improves the blood flow.
4.Reduce blood pressure and stress levels
L-theanine is able to prevent L-glutamic acid from binding to receptors in the brain, helping to reduce anxiety and high blood pressure.
In addition, high blood pressure is a risk factor for heart disease, so this mechanism adds to the cardioprotective effects of L-theanine .
5.Improves mental and neurological health
L-theanine is able to cross the blood-brain barrier; this allows it to influence the activity of several neurotransmitters, which are the chemical messengers in the brain.
Therefore such chemicals affect cognitive performance, brain health and mental well-being; This is why L-theanine has been shown to protect against neurological damage and the development of neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.
In addition, L-theanine stimulates the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter, which improves attention and memory function.
6.Improves the quality of sleep
Despite not having sedative properties, L-theanine has been shown to improve the quality of sleep. Apparently it is very good to improve both the efficiency of sleep and the reduction of movements during the night.
7.Stimulates the immune system
L-theanine helps the body produce glutathione, an important antioxidant that protects against different diseases and dysfunctions.
Glutathione levels decrease with age, which is why L-theanine is beneficial in preventing age-related deterioration of the immune system.
8.Improves cognitive performance
Remember that L-theanine reduces oxidative stress in the body and improves brain function, which explains why it increases speed when performing mental tasks, as well as reducing the number of errors during its execution.
Does L-Theanine increase performance during physical exercise?
The benefits of L-theanine in physical performance are due to its positive effects on the brain and its ability to increase the concentration of glycogen in the liver, which is used as fuel when you exercise.
It also increases the production of nitric oxide, which in turn improves blood flow and oxygen supply to the muscles. This is why you will find L-theanine in combination with caffeine in some supplements.
What is the recommended intake of L-theanine?
It has been shown that the proposed benefits of L-Theanine begin to be observed when ingested 100 to 200 mg of L-theanine per day.
Does L-theanine have side effects?
Unlike most supplements, no side effects of L-theanine have been reported, even when taken in large quantities.
On the other hand, there are no known interactions of theanine with prescription or over-the-counter medications. Nevertheless it is recommended to consult with the doctor before the supplements with L-theanine in case of taking any medication.
It is important to note that there are no pills or extracts that make you thin and healthier. It is best to start from a balanced diet and exercise frequently. However L-theanine supplements that can support you in your search process for a better state of health.