L-Theanine: The Mood and Focus-Boosting Nootropic in Green Tea

18 February, 2014

Although the term nootropic was not coined until the year 1972 by a Romanian doctor, many of the amino acids, nutrients, and vitamins that make up the class of “smart drugs” or “cognitive enhancers” have existed naturally for thousands of years. One Nootropic in particular might have one of the longest histories of human consumption. It is found in green tea leaves, which, for thousands of years, have been ingested through tea, and used in Eastern alternative medicine. L-Theanine is the name, and it is a very popular in the nootropics community.


L-Theanine is an amino acid and glutamic acid that was discovered as a constituent of green tea in 1949. It has since been heavily studied for its psychoactive properties, and for its abilities to affect the brain; particularly, its positive effects on mood and cognitive performance. Structurally, L-Theanine is related to L-Glutamate, an excitatory neurotransmitter, and is able to cross the blood-brain barrier, providing positive cognitive effects.

L-Theanine: The Mood and Focus-Boosting Nootropic in Green Tea - Nootelligence Blog

Some of the benefits of L-Theanine intake include increasing brain dopamine levels, and increasing alpha wave generation in the brain. This translates into the ability to improve cognition, reduce mental and physical stress, boost mood, and improve mental performance. A typical dose of L-Theanine would be 200mg, often accompanied by a cup of coffee or tea since L-Theanine works synergistically with caffeine. In fact, one study has found the combination of L-Theanine and caffeine to promote faster simple reaction time and working memory reaction time, as well as improved accuracy on sentence verification tests.

So… why aren’t we all drinking more tea?

Great question! In fact, one recent study by Unilever supports the fact that we probably should! The study found that doses of L-Theanine smaller than those found in a typical cup of tea induced changes in alpha waves as shown by EEG. So you don’t even need to drink a full cup of green tea to induce the benefits of this age-old Nootropic!

L-Theanine: The Mood and Focus-Boosting Nootropic in Green Tea - Nootelligence Blog

But wait! It get’s better! L-Theanine can also naturally boost your immune system! In a study that compared coffee drinkers and tea drinkers, it was discovered that the production of antibacterial proteins was up to 5 times higher in the tea drinkers!

So what are you waiting for? Go buy some green tea, or L-Theanine supplements today!

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