Did you ever stop to look at the ancient practices of monks and envy how zen and peaceful they are? Are you intrigued to know why this relaxed, meditative state is possible?- a little something called L-theanine. This handy little supplement and derivative of green tea is a good one to keep on hand at all times. And although I do not believe in continuous supplementation- if you’re going to do it, L-theanine benefits are ideal for relaxation and many other uses.
A little history on L-theanine Benefits:
Monks are constantly consuming caffeinated green tea and the main derivative, L-theanine, not only cancels out the jitters from caffeine but creates an instant calming effect throughout the body and mind. Scientists were able to put two-and-two together and connect their thousand year old tradition with improved brain function and mindful states of relaxation. I recommend this supplement (which you can purchase in a veggie-based capsule) to my clients suffering with anxiety, insomnia, hangovers, irritability, and pms- not to mention it greatly helps nervous night-time binge eating.
One of the best attributes of L-theanine is it’s ability to process alcohol out of the liver quickly and it is also a quick fix to the body being over-caffeinated. So, if you’re like me and feel tipsy after two glasses of organic chardonnay or you get a little hepped up after too much chocolate- this extract will vastly become your new best friend.
The following are some of the effective qualities exuded by L-theanine and the list goes on…!
1.The anti-anxiety of the future.
L-theanine works 100% to alleviate the brains response to a panicked stressed-out state. In fact, it has even been dubbed the more effective (and natural) form of Xanex. When I find myself feeling overwhelmed, I simply consume 300mg of this derivative and within 30 minutes I become much more relaxed and mentally sound. The great thing is, l-theanine is simply an amino acid, so there are no side-effects or interactions with other drugs. This would also be a great alternative to anyone who still finds themselves taking a prescription anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medication. It is also important to experience the effect of different mg amounts to determine the right dosage for you.
2. Goodbye PMS
L-theanine works with our body to support and balance out our hormones with the end result being a more pleasant and tolerable menstrual cycle. Not to mention it’s ability to help ward off late night sugar cravings! The good thing about less sugar cravings? Less inflammation- leading to a lessened flow and shorter period. Our husbands, boyfriends, or family may want to thank whoever decided to put this extract into pill-form for fast absorption!
3. Protects the liver from alcohol.
As I wrote above, l-theanine’s ability to process alcohol out of the body at a very fast rate is greatly beneficial. No one likes feeling stagnant the day after a few cocktails. L-theanine works with your liver to help protect it from damage by lowering blood alcohol levels within the body. You may either take some before leaving for a night out or after you return home- before retiring for the evening. After doing so, you will not feel as run down the following day- it’s a pretty magical thing!
4. Get to bed quickly.
Say goodbye to the nights of sleeplessness or grinding your teeth! Up to 450 mg of L-theanine before hitting the hay can give you an angel-like snooze. The stress relieving benefits of this supplement are so effective that many may no longer feel the constant dosing of melatonin is necessary. Additionally, sleeping aids such as melatonin can leave us feeling groggy in the AM- while L-theanine keeps our brain alert and waking refreshed.
As we are already well aware, stress plays a major role in how we age. From our work environment to sour friendships, we all experience our “up and down” stressors in life. Not only does L-theanine calm our fight or flight mode, which is one reason it keeps us looking young but it also serves as a kick-butt antioxidant. Many trees used for L-theanine are kept in shaded areas making it’s content much more potent, unlike a large number of teas that are exposed to sunlight which convert the amino acid into polyphenols. This means our bodies are receiving more of the good stuff. When we are relaxed- we are happy and when we are happy we slow down the aging process!
The brand I recommend to my clients is “Doctors Best Sun-theanine“. I prefer this brand because it is vegan and made without animal gelatin or magnesium sterate- which is trans-fat in disguise!