L-theanine is an amino acid commonly found in tea leaves. It can be consumed in small amounts in foods like mushrooms but is most commonly taken as a dietary supplement. L-theanine has been shown to provide some health benefits, including reducing anxiety and stress levels. (1)
L-theanine for anxiety relief is one of the most common reasons for using a supplement containing the amino acid. L-theanine is believed to work by changing the way the brain works, increasing the production of serotonin and other chemicals that have an impact on your mood. (2)
The ideal dosage of L-theanine for anxiety will vary from person to person, but the recommended dosage is within a certain range. If you're using L-theanine alone, it is important to start with a small dosage and increase as needed. Most people find that L-theanine works best when taken in doses of 200-400 mg per day. (3) Larger doses may be more effective but can also cause side effects.
I recommend my patients interested in L-Theanine take 200 mg to start to help with anxiety relief and sleep. If there is no effect, I have them increase by 100 mg until they reach 400 mg if needed. The brand I recommend for someone looking to take L-Theanine alone is Thorne L-Theanine. For my patients interested in sleep support (not just L-Theanine), I recommend Healthycell REM Sleep, which contains 200 mg of L-Theanine in combination with other relaxing and sleep-inducing nutrients.
It's important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting L-theanine, especially if you take medication or have a pre-existing medical condition. L-theanine is generally considered safe and well-tolerated, but there is potential for interactions and side effects. Always read the label and follow the instructions provided.
Dosing with L-theanine alone is not always the best way to treat anxiety, as other nutrients, vitamins, and supplements can help support your use of L-theanine as an anxiety treatment.
Therefore, the other ingredients in a supplement are very important to consider, and it isn't always best to supplement with L-theanine alone. For more comprehensive anxiety treatment, L-theanine can be combined with other nutrients like magnesium, L-glutamine, and omega-3 fatty acids.
When choosing a supplement, always look for one manufactured in the United States. This increases the probability that the supplement meets high manufacturing standards and quality control measures, so you can be confident it will be effective and safe.
L-theanine anxiety supplements
Most studies on the effects of L-theanine have used dosages between 97 mg and 250 mg. Short term studies have attempted to treat specific issues with higher dosages, but for general daily use, doses around 200 mg to 400 mg are usually chosen. (4)
L-theanine anxiety supplements will often contain 200 mg of the amino acid, which is considered a safe and effective level. Larger doses might be more effective but are also more likely to cause side effects like headaches, nausea, and dizziness.
L-theanine easily crosses the blood-brain barrier (5) where it can influence the levels of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, which are important regulators of mood and can help to reduce anxiety. L-theanine is also known to increase alpha waves in the brain. (6) Alpha waves are generally associated with a state of calm and relaxation.
L-theanine can also reduce the level of cortisol, a stress hormone, in the body. (7) This can help to further reduce anxiety and improve your overall sense of well-being.
L-theanine is often used in combination with other ingredients, some of which are described below:
L-theanine and GABA
GABA is an important neurotransmitter that helps to regulate mood and reduce anxiety. L-theanine can help increase the levels of GABA in the brain, helping to further reduce anxiety. (8)
L-theanine and N-acetylcysteine (NAC)
NAC is an amino acid often used to treat anxiety and depression. (9) L-theanine can complement the effects of NAC in the brain, helping to further reduce anxiety.
L-theanine and Magnesium
Magnesium is a mineral often used to treat anxiety and depression, and low magnesium levels are often associated with insomnia and poor sleep. (10) L-theanine can be used with magnesium to help with relaxation and to reduce anxiety.
L-theanine and L-tyrosine
L-tyrosine is an amino acid that is used to improve mental focus and energy. (11) L-theanine works well L-tyrosine, producing an synergistic effect.
L-theanine and Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are important nutrients often low in people with anxiety. (12) When consumed alongside L-theanine, mental health can be improved and anxiety can be reduced.
Can I just drink green tea?
Green tea is a good source of L-theanine, but the amount of L-theanine in tea can vary depending on the tea leaves and brewing time. For best results, look for L-theanine supplements made with pure L-theanine.
Using green tea to combat anxiety might not be the best choice. While L-theanine is certainly present, and the tea will have a good antioxidant impact, you may also find that it contains caffeine and produces a stimulant effect. This makes it unsuitable for those with anxiety disorders.
Some people might not experience any anxiety relief from L-theanine even after trying different doses. If this is the case, it's possible that L-theanine isn't the right supplement for you, and you might benefit from another type of anxiety treatment or should choose a supplement with other supporting ingredients.
Supplementing L-theanine with other nutrients
L-theanine works best when taken in conjunction with other anxiety-reducing ingredients. L-theanine can be combined with magnesium, B vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids to create a well-rounded anxiety supplement.
These other nutrients mentioned above help to reduce anxiety by:
- reducing stress levels
- improving sleep quality (13)
- reducing inflammation (14)
- balancing hormones (15)
A supplement such as Healthycell REM Sleep will enable you to sleep more easily by reducing anxiety symptoms and allowing your body to relax.
Can I use an L-theanine liquid?
Yes, L-theanine is available in liquid form and in capsules and tablets. L-theanine liquid can be a better choice as it provides a more readily-absorbable form of L-theanine to your body. For standalone liquid L-Theanine, I recommend SBR Nutrition MAX Absorption Liquid L-Theanine Drops.
Healthycell supplements containing L-theanine are supplied in individual doses of MICROGEL™. This next-generation nutrient delivery system offers several benefits over conventional pills or capsules.
If you're looking for an L-theanine liquid, you'll be glad to know that MICROGEL™ can be consumed directly from the pack or mixed with water or a smoothie to create a tasty drink.
Our MICROGEL™ supplements have been formulated by world-leading nutritional scientists. You'll experience the benefits of L-theanine more quickly as it's rapidly absorbed into your bloodstream since MICROGEL™ ensures maximum absorption by releasing extremely small, soluble, ultra-bioavailable nutrient particles in the digestive tract.
With no synthetic binding glues, fillers, coatings, or flow agents included, you'll get all the benefits of the ingredients with none of the downsides of the items that may be listed as "other ingredients" in other supplements.
L-theanine dosages for anxiety
When it comes to L-theanine and anxiety, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. What works for one person might not work for another, and the root cause of anxiety is likely to be different for every individual. However, if you choose to use L-theanine alone, you can try different dosages to see what works best.
A better option might be to choose a supplement with supporting ingredients to help you achieve the results you are looking for.
It's also important to remember that L-theanine shouldn't be taken as a long-term solution for anxiety. Instead, it can help you cope in the short term while you work on dealing with the root cause of your anxiety. This might involve seeking therapy, changing your lifestyle, or taking other steps to reduce stress and improve your mental health.