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Theanine: the Secret and Science Behind Green Tea

Theanine: the secret and science behind Green Tea

Green tea is a magic ingredient for our brains.

It boosts our levels of GABA, serotonin and dopamine.

It helps us feel alert at the same time as reducing stress and anxiety.

A real super-nutrient.


It’s no secret that green tea is good for you. It’s been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties that have positive effects on your brain health, cardiovascular health, cholesterol and blood pressure.

Many of those benefits have been traced to the presence of compounds known as polyphenols, flavonols and catechins, in green tea from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant.

But green tea works also works so well because it contains L-theanine. Theanine is a unique amino acid found to have positive qualities for relaxing and sleep quality.

Boosting your theanine levels by drinking green tea throughout the day is one of the most frequent tools that I encourage my clients to use as part of their GABA tool kit to help reduce their anxiety and help with sleep.

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To get a therapeutic effect, it's believed that you need to have dietary levels of at least 50 mg per day. It may take more for you to notice an effect. Depending on the quality and strength of the tea, that's about three cups a day.

If you’re not a big green tea fan, fortunately, you can also get L-theanine in supplement form which can help with relaxation, focus, and sleep. 
Let’s take a closer look at L-theanine and its calming, centering, sleep-boosting qualities.

What is L-theanine?

L-theanine is a natural bioactive animo acid found in plants such as tea leaves and some mushrooms. Renowned in Japan and China for centuries for its healing qualities.

How L-theanine Works

L-theanine is a nootropic that influences brain function. It promotes relaxation and facilitates sleep by contributing to a number of changes in the brain:

Research shows Theanine may:

Increase alertness
Boost energy
Relieve anxiety
Aid relaxation without causing drowsiness
Protect brain cells
Increase the availability of GABA, glycine, dopamine and serotonin levels throughout your body.
Lower activity of the neurotransmitter glutamate, which can overstimulate brain cells
Help regulate sleep-wake cycle
Prevent memory impairment due to improving blood flow in the brain

Benefits of Theanine

Here’s a little more about how theanine impacts your brain:

Boosts levels of GABA and other calming brain chemicals

L-theanine raises your levels of GABA, as well as serotonin and dopamine.

These are neurotransmitters and they work in the brain to regulate: 


Increasing levels of these calming brain chemicals promotes relaxation and can help with sleep.

Why does L-theanine work and how?

Theanine mainly functions by boosting neurotransmitter levels throughout your brain.

These act as an antidote to everyday stresses, L-theanine gently stimulates the mind at the same time as calming the emotions.

For anyone who gets stressed by the demands of balancing professional and personal life, this ancient green tea extract can be just the thing to help you attain inner balance.

Lowers levels of excitatory brain chemicals

 At the same time it is increasing chemicals that promote feelings of calm, L-theanine also reduces levels of chemicals in the brain that are linked to stress and anxiety. In this way L-theanine can protect brain cells against stress.

Enhances alpha brain waves

Alpha brain waves are associated with a state of wakeful relaxation. That’s the state of mind you experience when meditating, being creative, or when you are daydreaming. Alpha waves are also present during REM sleep. 

L-theanine appears to trigger the release of alpha-waves, which enhances relaxation, focus, and creativity. It works to relax you while leaving you alert and focussed.

This makes L-theanine a great choice for people who are looking to enhance their wakeful relaxation, without worrying about becoming sleepy and tired during the day.

Improves sleep

 With its ability to increase relaxation and lower stress, L-theanine can help in sleep in a number of ways. L-theanine may help people fall asleep more quickly and easily at bedtime, thanks to the relaxation boost it delivers.

Research also shows L-theanine can improve the quality of sleep—not by acting as a sedative, but by lowering anxiety and promoting relaxation.

Reduces stress and anxiety

L-theanine is what’s known as an anxiolytic—it works to reduce anxiety. It appears to work especially well for anxiety. By quieting the constant flow of worrisome or painful thoughts that fill our heads, we become free to focus on what’s most important.

It has positive effects on both the mental and physical symptoms of stress, including lowering heart rate and blood pressure.

By supporting GABA production our bodies can switch out of 
Fight - Flight - Freeze - Fawn
Rest - Digest

Enhances attention, focus, memory and learning

Under stress, the body increases production of certain hormones, including cortisol and corticosterone. These hormone changes inhibit some brain activity, including memory formation and spatial learning. L-theanine helps to lower levels of the stress hormone corticosterone, and avoid the interference with memory and learning.

The research supporting theanine’s effects on focus says that improves cognitive performance (memory, processing speed, attention) and increases alertness.

Sometimes, L-theanine is combined with caffeine to enhance cognitive skills. Studies show that combinations of L-theanine and caffeine can improve attention span, enhance the ability to process visual information, and increase accuracy when switching from one task to another.

Additionally, reduced anxiety naturally leads to better focus. Anxiety can be like a low-grade infection, making everything harder.

 Calming your mind will inevitably lead to a greater feeling of focus and control.

Helps maintain a healthy weight

The anti-anxiety and sleep-promoting abilities of L-theanine may help people to maintain a healthy weight. After all, getting enough sleep and limiting stress are both key to sticking with a healthy diet and avoiding weight gain.

L-theanine may also play a more direct role in weight maintenance. There’s scientific evidence indicating L-theanine may help to limit fat accumulation and weight gain, and pay help to protect against obesity.

Anit-inflammatory properties

The anti-inflammatory properties of this nootropic also contribute to the healthy function of your brain, lower your blood pressure, improve your immunity, and boost your health and well-being.

Why does L-theanine work and how?

Theanine mainly functions by boosting neurotransmitter levels throughout your brain.

These act as an antidote to everyday stresses, L-theanine gently stimulates the mind at the same time as calming the emotions. For anyone who gets stressed by the demands of balancing professional and personal life, this ancient green tea extract can be just the thing to help you attain inner balance.

How long does it take for L-theanine to work?

As one of the more psychoactive of the mild nootropics, L-theanine may exert noticeable effects almost immediately. It’s more likely, however, that you’ll experience the benefits of this nootropic unfold over the course of weeks and months as elevated neurotransmitter levels stabilise and a new outlook on life begins to emerge.

L-theanine in biohacking/brainhacking

The basic principle of biohacking is to optimise the function and health of your body and brain.

Nootropics are one of the most powerful biohacking tools as they help to supercharge your brain and by keeping your levels of brain-boosting Theanine at a continuous high is a brilliant way to keep it working at its highest level.

Why I chose L-theanine for M+E Nootropics

When I designed M+E I wanted supplements that were poured by nature but backed by science to change the way your brain worked. I am a huge believer in how the health of your brain has an amazing cascade of benefits for your health and wellbeing.

I wanted them to help you to live your best life.

Like most nootropics, Theanine increases your brain’s ability to react to the stress in which your body happens to find itself on a given day.

Think of M+E nootropics as empowering — it isn’t so much what nootropics do for you, but what they free you to accomplish.

So loads of Theanine HAD to go into Calm Me.

 Theanine has the magic quality for your brain of balancing its qualities to boost your alertness and focus while at the same time as it relaxes and soothes you.

Perfect for helping you get the most out of your life.

Health opens doors.
It gives you energy.
It gives you choices.

When nothing but a boosted brain and clear mind will do, 
M+E Calm Me is the solution.

Take care,



  1. L-Theanine Relieves Positive, Activation, and Anxiety Symptoms in Patients With Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorder: An 8-Week, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, 2-Center Study


2. Anti-stress effect of theanine on students during pharmacy practice: Positive correlation among salivary α-amylase activity, trait anxiety and subjective stress


3. The acute effects of L‐theanine in comparison with alprazolam on anticipatory anxiety in humans


4. The combination of L-theanine and caffeine improves cognitive performance and increases subjective alertness


5. The effects of L-theanine os subjective sleep quality in boys with ADHD


6. GABA and l-theanine mixture decreases sleep latency and improves NREM sleep


7. Effects of L-theanine or caffeine intake on changes in blood pressure under physical and psychological stresses

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