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Theanine: Overview

Theanine, a metabolite of the amino acid L-glutamic acid, is a non-protein amino acid. Theanine is found in green tea and also isolated and used as a supplement to support a calm mood. Like some other compounds including kava kava and valerian, theanine is used to promote a calm mood and sense of centeredness. Unlike most other supplements used for these kinds of purposes, theanine has no sedative properties in and of itself and won't adversely affect energy levels. This makes theanine the perfect supplement to use anytime you need to be calm and centered but sharp; job interviews, public presentations, and the college classroom are all good situations in which to use theanine

Theanine's Health Benefits

Researchers do not yet completely understand the mechanism behind theanine's effects. Theanine has been shown to increase levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin in certain areas of the brain, which is a likely area for further study. Additionally, theanine promotes increased levels of the natural relaxant GABA, and causes increased alpha brain wave activity (associated with an alert state of relaxation). Theanine seems to counteract the effects of the stimulant caffeine contained in green tea.

Using Theanine

Use as directed. General recommended dosages vary: 50-400mg, 1-3 times daily. A cup of green tea generally contains about 30 mg. of theanine. Theanine is available in tablet and capsule form.

Side-effects and Cautions:

Pregnant/nursing women should not take theanine without their doctor's consent.