How to Reduce Stress with L Theanine

by Cindy Gray

Learning how to reduce stress in your daily life can have many positive long-term health benefits.  Unlike our caveman ancestors who depended on stress hormones to energize them to escape a saber tooth tiger or thundering herd of mammoths, we rarely need to flee for our lives. Having ascended to the top of the food chain has helped us live longer, but the new stresses of daily life, work, family, traffic, and Wi-Fi are taking a harsh toll on us.

Luckily, through research we have learned that there is an easy way to help keep us calm and relaxed:  Sip a cup of green tea!


Green tea has numerous health benefits; by drinking it, taking it in supplement form, or by using creams containing green tea are all great ways to improve your health. It’s full of antioxidants that help cells repair themselves and reverse the signs of aging.

Green tea contains another wonderful compound known as L-Theanine, an amino acid that is known to produce a sense of calm and relaxation without making you feel sleepy.  It is also responsible for aiding in the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin, one of the so-called, “feel good hormones.”  Those who have low serotonin levels often report feeling anxious, unable to cope with life’s daily stressors, and poor sleep habits.

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While there is still a lot of research that must be done, it’s been observed in clinical studies that L-Theanine appears to boost alpha brain waves, leading to a feeling of relaxation, while staying and alert and calm.  Alpha waves are associated with sleep and relaxation, so drinking green tea with it can also help you feel less stressed out during the day and sleep better at night.

Being stressed out all day, day after day, is linked to poor sleep and outright insomnia. It’s also well documented that sleep deprivation is a major trigger for stress and anxiety, too. So if you’re seeking solutions for how to reduce stress, drink up!

Side Effects and Dosage

There are really no known side effects to consuming tea with L-Theanine. Possible side effects are headache, dizziness or gastrointestinal distress, but these are rarely associated with even the consumption of supplements with L-Theanine.

There are some chemotherapy and cholesterol lowering drugs that should not be combined with L-Theanine, so be safe and check with your doctor before taking any supplement to avoid possible drug interactions.

Getting enough L-Theanine to have positive effect on you is difficult through drinking green tea alone. So a supplement of 200 to 250 milligrams is a good idea for adults looking for ideas on how to reduce stress in their lives.

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