The combined effects of L-theanine and caffeine on cognitive performance and mood. – Source: Nutritional Neuroscience, Aug 2008

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[Note: L-theanine, an amino acid commonly found naturally in green tea, is able to enter the brain and has been shown to support reduced mental and physical stress and relaxation. Caffeine, a stimulant, is also found in tea.]

The aim of this study was to compare 50 mg caffeine, with and without 100 mg L-theanine, on cognition and mood in healthy volunteers.

The effects of these treatments on word recognition, rapid visual information processing, critical flicker fusion threshold, attention switching and mood were compared to placebo in 27 participants.

Performance was measured at baseline and again 60 min and 90 min after each treatment (separated by a 7-day washout).

  • Caffeine improved subjective alertness at 60 min and accuracy on the attention-switching task at 90 min.
  • The L-theanine and caffeine combination improved both speed and accuracy of performance of the attention-switching task at 60 min, and reduced susceptibility to distracting information in the memory task at both 60 min and 90 min.

These results replicate previous evidence which suggests that L-theanine and caffeine in combination are beneficial for improving performance on cognitively demanding tasks.

Source: Nutritional Neuroscience, Aug 2008;11(4):193-198. PMID: 18681988, Owen GN, Parnell H, De Bruin EA, Rycroft JA. Unilever Research and Development, Colworth House, Sharnbrook, Bedford, UK.

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