What is L-Theanine? L-Theanine is a simple, non-essential, non-dietary, amino acid found almost exclusively in tea. It is also known as Theanine and/or 5-N-Ethyl-Glutamine. Unless someone regularly consumes tea, it is very rare that L-Theanine would show up in their diet. Which is a shame, because this is one of the most helpful and synergistic amino acids for promoting wakefulness, concentration, and relaxation without sedation. How does L-Theanine work? L-Theanine has a structural similarity to glutamine and the neurotransmitters that are produced from it, (GABA & glutamate), meaning that after being ingested orally it follows along the same pathways as those neurotransmitters to reach the brain. All-in-all, it usually takes L-Theanine from 45 minutes to 1 hour to reach the brain where it targets four key neurotransmitters: GABA, Serotonin, Dopamine, and Norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters are responsible for feelings of arousal, stress, pleasure, and attention. L-Theanine helps to prevent the over-excitement of these neurons which in turn leads to a more relaxed, uplifted, less-stressed, mood. With an increase in cognitive functions, alertness, and wakefulness as well. Scientific studies have concluded that: “L-theanine significantly increases activity in the alpha frequency band which indicates that it relaxes the mind without inducing drowsiness.” (SOURCE) What are the benefits of L-Theanine? Reduces stress Improved memory Improved focus Increased attention to detail Improved information retention and learning ability Increased motivation Takes the edge off caffeine (it is amazing at doing this) Promotes relaxation without sedation How to use L-Theanine? The traditional way of consuming L-Theanine is to simply drink some tea. Green tea is the most well-known drink containing ample amount of L-Theanine, however it can also be found in various black, red, & white teas. As a dietary supplement, L-Theanine tends to be taken in the 100 – 200 mg range daily. When taken with caffeine as a 1:1 ratio (100 mg of caffeine & 100 mg of L-Theanine) a strong synergistic bond is created that helps to boost the energizing & wakefulness aspects of caffeine while also promoting relaxation and reducing or removing the jitters and anxiety that can often follow caffeine ingestion. Possible Side Effects of L-Theanine L-Theanine is considered safe to use and has no known significant side effects.