Nootropics-also called smart drugs or cognitive enhancers—are drugs, supplements, or other substances that improve intellectual function, particularly executive functions, memory, creativity, or motivation, in healthy individuals. But how do you decide which ones actually work and which one you need to consider? Let’s help you decide:
Green tea (camellia sinensis) has been known for quite sometime in the nutrition world for conferring several health benefits. Being touted for its ability to support weight loss, numerous health benefits, and its great antioxidant content, green tea has been reigning the health market and most people’s diet. While these are some of the traits that are impressive about this special beverage that are visible, there is another impressive attribute, the one that can felt, to it that is making people reach for green tea more.
L-Theanine, the amino acid found in green tea is a very rare in nature. L-Theanine can be seen as a part of several supplements, whether it is nootropics or pre-workout supplements. Research studies conducted recently confirm that L-Theanine supports a feeling of calm and helps maintain focus and improves prerformance/ productivity.
While it is certainly great on its own this particular ingredient, found only in certain types of mushrooms, is more beneficial when paired with caffeine. This can work doubly well with those taking a caffeine containing fat burner.
Why L-Theanine Is So Special?
L-Theanine, is an amino acid that is common to the plant species Camellia Sinensis, the leaf mostly used to make green tea, is not found in any other food other than a rare species of mushrooms. Several studies have supported the suggestion that L-Theanine improves focus and concentration.
How Does It Work?
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Theanine increases the level of inhibitory neurotransmitters in the brain and promotes a state of relaxation and chemical balance in the brain.
Here is the breakdown of what happens in the process:
- GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid): Theanine increases the levels of GABA in the brain, through which GABA promotes a relaxation-effect.
- Glycine: Theanine boosts glycine, which has similar effects like GABA and further increases Dopamine levels.
- Dopamine: This is the hormone that controls brain’s pleasure/ reward centres. With an increase in dopamine with the help of Theanine, it not only supports focus but also the helps with feel-good and content feeling.
- Alpha brain waves: Theanine has been known to have the biggest impact on alpha-brain wave activity. Increased alpha-wave generation is associated with alert and relaxed state, and could be one of the reasons theanine is so effective in aiding a healthy stress hormone. This shows on the improved performance level.
Theanine + Caffeine:
Theanine might seem like a great bedtime supplement owing to its soothing effects. However, when taken as a pre-workout component during the day, as per scientific evidence, it has shown greater benefits when in use with caffeine, especially for heavy lifters as it has been shown to improve the reaction time during training for better control or speed.
How to Take Your Theanine?
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After learning about the multiple benefits of, you are most likely to be wondering where to be sourcing your own theanine from and in how much dosage. Studies that have observed the effect of this amino acid, have used anywhere between 25-500 mg per serving. Around 180 ml (1 cup) would give upto 60 ml of theanine. An ideal combination for better performance is 200-300 mls of theanine with 100- 200 ml of caffeine.
If you are in the habit of including more than one cup of coffee in your diet, you can swap one cup with green tea. Or else, you can also buy theanine, which is available at a reasonable price and you can add it to your pre workout. Make sure to pair it up with caffeine and a balanced diet for best results!
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