My friend Francine has a very stressful job. She is an event coordinator.
“Setting everything up and making sure everything is staying on schedule is a constant worry,” she says.
Even though many people in her situation take anti-anxiety drugs like Xanax or Valium, she wants no part of them because of the side effects. They include cognitive impairment, daytime drowsiness, amnesia, and even heart problems and hallucinations. Plus, they are addictive.[i]
I recommended she try L-theanine.
L-theanine is an amino acid. It’s naturally found in green and black tea. Research shows it fights anxiety and promotes relaxation without making you sleepy.
But that’s just the start…
- Stress and anxiety relief. A study published in the journal Acta Neuropsychiatrica gathered 20 subjects who suffered from anxiety and depression. Researchers gave them 250 mg of L-theanine daily for eight weeks. It was found to have “multiple beneficial effects.” It relieved anxiety, sleep disturbance, and cognitive impairments.[ii]Other studies have found that the amino acid lowers stress and anxiety in people who are going through stressful events.[iii]
- Improves ability to focus. A study in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience looked at 44 adult subjects. It found that L-theanine combined with caffeine improved alertness and the ability to multitask.The scientists concluded that 97 mg of L-theanine with 40 mg of caffeine “helps to focus attention during a demanding cognitive task.”[iv]
- Improves memory. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food looked at patients with mild cognitive impairment.They took 60 mg of L-theanine and 360 mg of green tea extract three times daily for 16 weeks. By the end of the trial, the subjects had markedly improved memory, focus, and alertness.[v]
- Helps fight cancer. A study in the journal Biotech evaluated L-theanine’s ability to treat cancer. The researchers found that the amino acid made chemo drugs more effective.[vi]
Green tea is the prime dietary source of L-theanine. But if you’re not a tea drinker, supplements are your best bet.
You can safely take up to 400 mg a day. L-theanine has no known side effects.
Consult with your doctor before taking L-theanine if you take prescription medications. It can interact with some medications, including blood pressure drugs.
You can get L-theanine supplements from online retailers and drugstores.
If you need a chill-pill, this is the one to take.