L-Theanine is one of my favourite stress busting supplements, it helps to decrease feelings of stress and overwhelm, resulting in improved sleep quality, and better mental focus.
It helps to calm the racing mind by increasing alpha wave activity in the brain, which are responsible for the delightful state of relaxation that is common in the midst of a yin yoga class, right before falling asleep, and when the creative juices are flowing.
First identified as an amino acid in the leaves of tea (Camellia sinensis) in 1949, one year later l-theanine was successfully isolated from gyokuro leaves (shade grown green tea) in a laboratory in Japan. It wasn’t until 1964 that it was approved for wide use in Japan.
Did you know green tea, black tea, white tea, and oolong all come from the same plant - Camellia sinensis? The distinction is just a matter of how and where and when the leaves are grown, picked, and levels of oxidation. To achieve the highest yield of l-theanine content, it is grown in the shade, harvested in cooler months, and water extracted. This is common practice in cultivating matcha tea, known for it’s high in l-theanine content.
Theanine helps to promote relaxation by increasing feel-good neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, GABA and glycine. In the brain theanine is able to increase levels of GABA - an inhibitory neurotransmitter responsible for decreasing anxiety and easing the racing mind.
L-theanine is fast acting because of its ability to absorb quickly in the small intestine and cross the blood brain barrier. Typically, within 30-50 minutes, the stress starts to melt away, the racing thoughts start to slow down and I’m able to continue on with my day in a stress-free, focused way. If you’re dealing with a more chronic stress situation, you may want to also support the adrenal glands (small triangle shaped glands that sit atop your kidneys) with other nourishing herbs such as ashwagandha and rhodiola. Taking 1 capsule of Daytime Zen Stress Support first thing in the morning before you even get out of bed is great for both a quick fix of l-theanine and bacopa and longer term adrenal support of ashwagandha and rhodiola.
You can find L-Theanine in both Sleep Like Buddha and Daytime Zen Stress Support along with other supportive ingredients to help promote a zen state of mind, day or night.
Let us know what your favourite ways to relieve stress are in the comments, and check out Daytime Zen for stress support or melatonin-free Sleep Like Buddha for stress related sleep challenges.