L-Theanine: A Supplement for Anxiety, Focus, Stress, and Sleep

L-Theanine: Green Tea Extract's Relaxing and Calming Compound
Phillip Rigsby Pharmacist

By Phillip Rigsby
Pharmacist, Owner
Huntsville Compounding Pharmacy

There is not one of use that has not had our fair share of stress in the past months. Whether life stress, job stress, family stress, school stress, political stress, or health stress, many of us have been negatively affected by it. While many may have coping mechanisms to help ease their stress, there are times when supplements may help with the negative symptoms of stress. These negative symptoms can include: sleeplessness, irritability, low energy, weight gain, foggy thinking, and increased anxiety.

One supplement that we have used at Huntsville Compounding Pharmacy to help patients is L-Theanine. L-Theanine is an amino acid found mostly in tea leaves and some mushrooms. It was identified in tea leaves in 1949 by Japanese scientists. While tea is a great source for L-Theanine, most find it easier to take it in supplement form.

L-Theanine promotes relaxation and facilitates sleep by several beneficial changes in the brain. L-Theanine increases a calming brain chemical called GABA, as well as dopamine and serotonin. They work in the brain to help with emotions, concentration, sleep and even appetite. L-Theanine also lowers chemicals in the brain that can cause stress and anxiety. L-Theanine has also been shown to help release alpha brain waves. These are the brain waves enhance relaxation, focus and creativity. One of the great aspects of L-Theanine use is this calming effect without sedation.

L-Theanine is used to potentially help improve sleep. Its use allows for relaxation of the brain while sleeping, helping those (including myself) with “busy minded syndrome” while sleeping. Those that wake with racing thoughts may find that L-theanine helps to quiet the mind, allowing for better sleep.

Since L-Theanine aids relaxation without drowsiness, it can also be taken during the day to potentially help with anxiety, stress and feelings of being overwhelmed. L-Theanine can also lower blood pressure and heart rate, which can be a benefit when feeling stressed. This supplement may also improve focus and concentration by helping to lower the excitatory hormone cortisol.

We all know that controlling stress and getting better sleep is extremely healthy. Since L-Theanine helps with these, another benefit may be helping maintain a healthy weight. There is small clinical evidence that L-theanine may help in fat accumulation and weight gain.

As always, before starting a nutritional supplement, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. We at Huntsville Compounding Pharmacy are here to answer your health questions and meet your health needs.

Please remember we have moved. We are in our new state-of-the-art compounding lab. Our new address will be 800 Dr. Joseph E. Lowery Boulevard. We are located in the parking lot directly behind the new drive-thru-only Chick-fil-A on Governors Drive. Our phone number remains the same at 256-425-0123.

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