L-Theanine as a Nutritional Supplement

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    L-Theanine as a Nutritional Supplement


    L-Theanine as a Nutritional Supplement

    L-Theanine is an amino acid found in green tea that may produce calming effects in the brain. For centuries, green tea has been used in the Orient for its relaxing properties and it is the L-Theanine that gives green tea its ability to be calming, in spite of the high amount of caffeine that is present.

    So what benefits, besides a general calming influence, does L-Theanine have and does any research support these reported benefits?

    Scientific studies show L-Theanine impacts both the nervous and cardiovascular systems to produce a calming effect on one?s mental state, which is why it is often referred to as the "feel good supplement." It has been shown to promote deep muscle relaxation and improve good quality sleep. Scientists have investigated L-Theanine?s effect on brain amino acids and neurotransmitters. In clinical trials, L-Theanine was shown to increase alpha brain waves, which is considered an index of relaxation.

    Gamma-amino-butyric acid (GABA) is an inhibitory neurotransmitter and can be considered the brain?s natural sedative. Animal studies have shown that theanine increases GABA and can also increase dopamine levels (a brain chemical with mood-enhancing properties).

    In addition, several structure and function claims have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, which include:

    • Reduces stress
    • Promotes relaxation without drowsiness
    • Eases nervousness due to common every day overwork and fatigue
    • Reduces nervous irritability
    • Improves learning and concentration
    • Heightens mental acuity
    • Supports the immune system
    • Lowers cholesterol
    • Reduces stress and anxiety
    • Reduces the negative side effects of caffeine


    There was a study done several years ago that showed L-Theanine helped people fall asleep easier and get into REM faster and stay there longer, resulting in a better quality of sleep. The researcher also commented that this was the case even with less total number of sleep hours.

    The primary difference between L-Theanine and other anti-stress herbs is that it does not make the user drowsy. So it provides relaxation without tiredness. This may prove useful for those seeking a calming effect, while concurrently being able to continue to be alert and to concentrate. And unlike the majority of amino acids, it may be taken at any time, with or without food.

    Perhaps one of the most extensively researched and documented nutritional ingredients, L-Theanine has demonstrated that it is safe and effective in many applications. In Japan it is widely used in many beverages and foods. In 1964, Japan?s Health and Welfare Department approved L-Theanine for unlimited use in all foods, with the exception of infant foods. Taiyo Kagaku Co., Ltd., Japan has been awarded several manufacturing and use patents for Suntheanine, their trademarked name for L-Theanine. The patents cover several applications which include reducing anxiety, suppressing behavioral problems of pets, reducing PMS symptoms, promoting relaxation, etc.

    However, nursing mothers and women who are pregnant should avoid L-Theanine supplements. Also, if one is using cancer chemotherapeutic agents, L-Theanine supplements should be taken only under medical supervision.

    Michael Rupkalvis oversees the ThinkStraight | Improve Memory | Think Straight website. The web site provides advice on memory enhancement, stress reduction and increasing concentration by employing a product known as the ThinkStraight supplement, which is an all-natural supplement intended to optimize how the brain functions.


    By: Colin Albert

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    L-Theanine is great stuff.
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    L-Theanine is good. I'd like to see that same analysis on L-Tryptophan. Has anyone compared L-Theanine and L-Tryptophan to anecdotally decide which is better?
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    Theanine FTW
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattT View Post
    L-Theanine is good. I'd like to see that same analysis on L-Tryptophan. Has anyone compared L-Theanine and L-Tryptophan to anecdotally decide which is better?
    i'm not sure it can be a direct comparison.

    I've actually tried 500mg of tryp with 100mg theanine and the reszults were excellent.
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    What do you dose theanine at? I took 200mg yesterday then today again and I swear it gives me energy. I am immune to stimulants but this has me almost feeling wired
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    great stuff for sleep getting you into the alpha state (theta?) I do not know I know it helps get your brainwave frequency in a state the slows the osculation down.

    I like it for sleep. i find for it to work best to dose it 3-5 hours before going off to sleep
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattT View Post
    L-Theanine is good. I'd like to see that same analysis on L-Tryptophan. Has anyone compared L-Theanine and L-Tryptophan to anecdotally decide which is better?
    yup.

    totally different effects. try it and see for yourself

    also with l-tryptophan take it alone(or in combination with a b vitamin i forgot which one it has been years since I took this stack)

    the reason you must dose this alone(L-tryptophan) because other amino acids compete for absorption

    on the dosing 100 mgs works for me right now

    also if I remember the studies correctly L-theanine does not increase dopamine levels it brings them to normal if they are low and with normal or higher dopamine levels it does nothing. do not quote me on it again it has been years since I saw this study. Wow I surprise myself with the amount of information i can remember on L-theanine
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    i love theanine. if you ever wake up & you have a song stuck in your head (especially one you despise...)or your mind is looping, this stuff will hook you up. excellent for focus/relaxation day or night. Nutra! you need to get bulk, i've had to resort to buying from the competition
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    L-theanine doesn't do anything for me even at 2g. 500mg of Tryptophan does the trick.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DevilSmack View Post
    L-theanine doesn't do anything for me even at 2g. 500mg of Tryptophan does the trick.
    Response seems to really vary when it comes to sleep aides. I feel that theanine makes me feel REALLY relaxed, especially in low dosed stacks with things like GABA. GABA doesn't do squat for me solo but the combo works nicely for me.

    On the flip side, I'd say that tryptophan is best all round sleep aide. It helps me fall asleep, it improves sleep quality, and helps me feel refreshed in the morning. That's where tryptophan helps in a stack with theanine...

    With theanine solo, I fell sort of groggy in the morning. Add in a hint of tryptophan, and I feel pretty well rested.

    In short, 500mg tryptophan + 200mg theanine + 1g GABA is an effective combo for me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by julius kelp View Post
    i love theanine. if you ever wake up & you have a song stuck in your head (especially one you despise...)or your mind is looping, this stuff will hook you up. excellent for focus/relaxation day or night. Nutra! you need to get bulk, i've had to resort to buying from the competition
    Interesting. I don't remember the last time I woke up without a song stuck in my head. It drives me insane. I'll pull out my bottle of l-theanine and try this.
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    Theanine gives me energy more than most stimulants, my dopamine levels must be ALL messed up!
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    Quote Originally Posted by justreading View Post
    Theanine gives me energy more than most stimulants, my dopamine levels must be ALL messed up!
    Tyrosine has a mild stim effect on me... I had suspected some sort of awkward dopamine response maybe similar to what you are describing?

    JR, how do u respond to GABA? I don't find it all that productive in any scenario (sleep aide, mood, etc etc), but it does kind of make a little lethargic if I take it during the day.

    So I have 1 dopamenergic in tyrosine giving me a stim effect and ones like GABA, Ldopa, and 1carboxy make me tired
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    celc5, I think you were the first person to mention tyrosine in this thread... did you mean a different amino acid (probably tryptophan)?
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    Quote Originally Posted by celc5 View Post
    Tyrosine has a mild stim effect on me... I had suspected some sort of awkward dopamine response maybe similar to what you are describing?

    JR, how do u respond to GABA? I don't find it all that productive in any scenario (sleep aide, mood, etc etc), but it does kind of make a little lethargic if I take it during the day.

    So I have 1 dopamenergic in tyrosine giving me a stim effect and ones like GABA, Ldopa, and 1carboxy make me tired
    From my brief experience I think it gave me some energy and made me a bit anxious. I only took it a couple time and I just didn't like it. I prefer much stronger Gaba system reactors, legal or not...
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    Quote Originally Posted by intheflesh View Post
    celc5, I think you were the first person to mention tyrosine in this thread... did you mean a different amino acid (probably tryptophan)?
    no hes most likely talking about tyrosine-tyrosine has mild stimulant properties. and is great for resetting your adenals.(like coming off caffiene or any stimulant)Can use as an amp up before training if needed. I do not need it because I get my sleep and am well rested

    tryptophan is precursor to 5-htp which raises serotinin. It has properties of its own..more mild than 5-htp. i got a batch when it first was made legal (again since the stir up back years ago when a batch was bad and harmed many people then was made illegal) I got it at Nutraplanet and it is quality stuff from my expirence.(it has been a couple years but it must be taking alone and a b vitamin, maybe b6, it used in conjunction with it for better absorption)
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    Quote Originally Posted by celc5 View Post
    Tyrosine has a mild stim effect on me... I had suspected some sort of awkward dopamine response maybe similar to what you are describing?
    Tyrosine works that way in the brain. do not take too much if not used to it or to close to bed or sleep may be an issue.(if you are not used to stimulants)
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    Quote Originally Posted by intheflesh View Post
    celc5, I think you were the first person to mention tyrosine in this thread... did you mean a different amino acid (probably tryptophan)?
    I mentioned tyrosine because it has dopamenrgic potential, which was brought up by JustReading. Sometimes he knows about weird shiit and I try to sneak in questions whenever I can

    Smeten,
    ya that seems to be the consensus regarding tyrosine. Hmm, let me rephrase the question... why do some dopamenergic effects elicit relaxation while some bring out stim effect?
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    We use L-Theanine in our LeanFuel Extreme product: http://www.ironmaglabs.com/lean-fuel-extreme.php
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    I've been taking L-Theanine & Melatonin for a while now - $hit puts me in the mood for bed every night.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDarkHalf View Post
    I've been taking L-Theanine & Melatonin for a while now - $hit puts me in the mood for bed every night.
    both make me feel groggy in the morning... does the stack have that effect on you? what are your doses?
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    Quote Originally Posted by celc5 View Post
    both make me feel groggy in the morning... does the stack have that effect on you? what are your doses?
    I usually wake up with a good night's sleep, even if i'm only getting 6 hours. Generally I get 7-7.5 hours. Anything over what I have listed below makes me groggy.

    L-Theanine: 50mg
    Melatonin: 6mg
    Vit B6: 20 mg

    The other night I took the above and had a small glass of red wine.....now that knocked my ass out!
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDarkHalf View Post
    L-Theanine: 50mg
    Melatonin: 6mg
    Vit B6: 20 mg
    Interesting... I'm sure the 6mg melatonin would knock me out like a sledgehammer I'd need 12 hours to sleep that off!

    The theanine dosage looks low to me. Have you experimented to try to lower your melatonin dose and raise your theanine dose? Just curious, no need to fix what isn't broken.
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    Quote Originally Posted by celc5 View Post
    Interesting... I'm sure the 6mg melatonin would knock me out like a sledgehammer I'd need 12 hours to sleep that off!

    The theanine dosage looks low to me. Have you experimented to try to lower your melatonin dose and raise your theanine dose? Just curious, no need to fix what isn't broken.
    Yeah i definitely worked up to that dosage. I haven't tried increasing my theanine dosage.....mainly because I feel like I haven't needed to. Maybe it's due to the synergy between the two. I might give that a shot in the near future. Or I could half my dosage above and add in some ZMA
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    How long after the meal to you users have your theanine?

    Most articles i've read say empty stomach is best.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jag View Post
    How long after the meal to you users have your theanine?

    Most articles i've read say empty stomach is best.
    30 mins pre-bed FTW
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDarkHalf View Post
    Yeah i definitely worked up to that dosage. I haven't tried increasing my theanine dosage.....mainly because I feel like I haven't needed to. Maybe it's due to the synergy between the two. I might give that a shot in the near future. Or I could half my dosage above and add in some ZMA
    I don't really get much out of ZMA. Then again, I'm not much of a GABA fan and there's definite synergy theanine and gaba IME. So experimentation might be worth it at some point
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    Quote Originally Posted by celc5 View Post
    I don't really get much out of ZMA. Then again, I'm not much of a GABA fan and there's definite synergy theanine and gaba IME. So experimentation might be worth it at some point
    Yea. Like you mentioned earlier these sleep supplements come down to a per user basis. ZMA knocks me out and gives me crazy dreams. But to me, as long as I get a good nights I really don't care about the formula.....I just switch it up when I get tired of taking the same **** over and over.
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    Quote Originally Posted by julius kelp View Post
    i love theanine. if you ever wake up & you have a song stuck in your head (especially one you despise...)or your mind is looping, this stuff will hook you up. excellent for focus/relaxation day or night. Nutra! you need to get bulk, i've had to resort to buying from the competition
    My minds is always running on high, how much are you taking to slow yours down some?
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    i don't want to name the source, but it's not hard to find. the bulk theanine powder is always of good potency & has a somewhat sweet taste. if i'm already in a sleep mode like early Sunday morning for instance, just a trace is noticeable. like i'm guessing 20-30mg? just a bit in one of those "100mg" white spoons, if you know what i mean. more is not always that much better in my opinion, but sometimes i fill the 100mg spoon. like already stated, it's supposed to alter your brainwave frequency for more of an alpha (focus/meditation)
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    Quote Originally Posted by celc5 View Post

    Smeten,
    ya that seems to be the consensus regarding tyrosine. Hmm, let me rephrase the question... why do some dopamenergic effects elicit relaxation while some bring out stim effect?
    I do not know. dopamine is usually related to excitement though
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDarkHalf View Post
    I've been taking L-Theanine & Melatonin for a while now - $hit puts me in the mood for bed every night.
    What we're all aiming at is jumping hGH. My body is a bit trashed right now in workout/running - I need it 'cause otherwise I'll get a tendon injury (again)

    Theanine is a solid product for sleep, jumps GABA and goes straight through BBB. I use 200mg right now.

    Melatonin is used as a nootropic. Beginning to be less fashionable for that. Not for athletes 3mg dose too high - 0.3mg ok. It might work for jet lag high dose or use low dose long term. I can't be hassled with it.

    I'm cycling off B6, using theanine, GABA and picamillon.

    I tried Smeaton_Yea's 5g GABA - it didn't work straight out.

    B3+GABA (picamillon) is what I'm trying now. It might get through the BBB. Thats the theory. B3 is joined to GABA in picamillon, GABA can't get through the BBB, B3 can and it pulls the GABA across. Once in the brain B3 breaks off from GABA and jumps the GABA levels. I really question whether it works - there's too many places for it to go wrong. Hope it works I've heaps of the stuff. I could always dose at 5g - that would use it up quick.

    B3 or B6 are likely to be the vitamin Smeaton_Yea was thinking of.

    Tyrosine: yeah jumping dopamine production partic. for adrenal fatigue. Its useful.

    Never tried tryptophan. From what everyone is saying maybe I should. FDA wanted to ban it - it must healthy and useful then!
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    Oh I like high dose taurine. No hard evidence for sleep. I like it though. Hope it helps muscle/tendon repair
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    Quote Originally Posted by matthias7 View Post
    Oh I like high dose taurine. No hard evidence for sleep. I like it though. Hope it helps muscle/tendon repair
    Also helps with on-cycle calf/back pumps and hangovers
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    Been looking at SN Theanine and wondering is there much difference with the SN Theanine Serene for the purposes of using throughout the day?

    In addition, how would either of these compare to Source Naturals L-Tryptophan, 500 mg, Capsules?
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    Ltheanine is great, switches your brainwaves right over to relaxed alpha thoughts. 100mg is all you need. I try to only take it when Im really tense so I dont build a tolerance. its a good aid to relax but you need to figure out how to settle down naturally if thats what you need it for.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatburner2007 View Post
    Been looking at SN Theanine and wondering is there much difference with the SN Theanine Serene for the purposes of using throughout the day?

    In addition, how would either of these compare to Source Naturals L-Tryptophan, 500 mg, Capsules?
    I've used both. The tryptophan is the most versatile and comfortable sleep aide that I've ever used.

    The theanine serine prop blend worked for me once or twice... really well in fact. After that, it had no effect even at double dose. I didn't think I was dosing enough to build tolerance (about twice per week), but something isn't clicking anymore for that particular blend.

    One thing to keep in mind, theanine serine has good amount of GABA. I've never particularly liked GABA, so it's possible that I'd have a different opinion with theanine by itself.
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    Is Theanine more geared towards daytime use (pressuring times), while the tryptophan more for evening (before bedtime)?


    Quote Originally Posted by celc5 View Post
    I've used both. The tryptophan is the most versatile and comfortable sleep aide that I've ever used.

    The theanine serine prop blend worked for me once or twice... really well in fact. After that, it had no effect even at double dose. I didn't think I was dosing enough to build tolerance (about twice per week), but something isn't clicking anymore for that particular blend.

    One thing to keep in mind, theanine serine has good amount of GABA. I've never particularly liked GABA, so it's possible that I'd have a different opinion with theanine by itself.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatburner2007 View Post
    Is Theanine more geared towards daytime use (pressuring times), while the tryptophan more for evening (before bedtime)?
    I know of a few people that use tryptophan and 5htp the way you are suggesting during the day. I suppose you could lump theanine into that general category too.

    In my personal opinion, I don't like doing it that way though. I've tried it with GABA, mucana, ldopa, carboxy (Powerfull) and hated feeling sluggish... I even tried stacking most of those with stims and till felt like the supplements were sort of combating each other.

    Regarding high stress situations, IMO 400mg of SamE on an empty stomach has great mood lifting potential. Things like SamE, tyrosine, alcar all give me that alert/focus feeling that I feel might be good for what you're looking for.
  

  
 

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