L-theanine is found in green tea leaves and has amazing healing properties. It is a natural amino acid that crosses the blood-brain barrier easily. There have been human and animal studies done on this amino acid and its benefits for mental illnesses and related mental health conditions.
First, l-theanine is calming by increasing the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine and GABA. It also binds to glutamate and NMDA. Not only that but it affects cortisol levels as well.
L-theanine for Mental Health
L-theanine improves learning, memory, and cognitive function. There is evidence that it could be beneficial for disorders such as anxiety, depression, OCD, schizophrenia, panic disorder, bipolar, and ADD.
The dosage that works best for most people is a range from 50-200 mg and you can feel a difference of calm within 30-40 minutes. The effects will usually last for 8-10 hours. You may want to supplement twice a day.
If you have severe anxiety or a panic disorder you may need to supplement with 200mg in a few dosages throughout the day to feel better.
You may also need to supplement or drink green tea consecutively for 8 weeks to feel the full benefits. It works overtime by changing your alpha brain waves. This can have a positive effect by being calming and it rewires your thinking to be more adaptable. Having your outlook go from negative to positive can make a difference in your mental health.
There was an 8 week double-blind placebo study done on l-theanine and how it ameliorates anxiety and psychotic symptoms in schizophrenia. This was an add-on to anti-psychotic medications for patients involved. Check out the article for more insight.
L-theanine and Caffeine
Drinking one cup of organic green tea can usually provide you with approximately 50 mg of l-theanine. So drink a cup 3 x throughout the day to see if it makes a difference in how you feel. You can usually skip your daily coffee for green tea since it has a small amount of caffeine in it naturally.
Another tip is if you are a coffee drinker, l-theanine will have some positive effects combined with your coffee. It adds concentration like no other supplement when combined with caffeine. It lets you sit, focus, and concentrate on your work or projects at a calm pace.
An additional tip is if you consume coffee and feel the jitters, this supplement will calm your nerves and your jitters. Because of this action, it may pose a benefit for people suffering from tremors/shaking limbs as well.
The benefits of l-theanine outweigh any other supplement out there for mental health conditions. This supplement can have a positive change on most conditions even if it’s only stress-related or sleep-related. It helps one be more at ease during stressful situations. For sleep, it can be exactly what you need before bedtime to fall asleep fast.
L-theanine supplements are caffeine-free, but you may be able to find a brand that sells them with caffeine for a boosted effect in the morning.
L-theanine and Methylation
If you or a loved one think you are under methylating and you have a difficult time arising in the morning you may want to try green tea as your source of l-theanine. It may help you since it has a small amount of caffeine along with anti-histamine properties. Try two green tea bags instead of one. This will double your intake and maybe be more effective. Or opt right into an l-theanine supplement. Dosage will vary depending on your individual needs.
On the other hand, over methylators usually tend to already be low in histamine and this may make matters worse. Overmethylators tend to be low in histamine and high in neurotransmitters. This will only make matters worse if you think this is what you are dealing with. As a review, it’s best to advise to stay away from this supplement if you or your practitioner believe you are over methylating and this is the approach you are practicing.