L-Theanine, by ProHealth, promotes relaxation without the drowsiness or negative side effects associated with other calming agents.L-theanine readily crosses the blood-brain barrier of humans and exerts subtle changes in biochemistry. An increase in alpha waves has been documented (see above), and the effect has been compared to getting a massage or taking a hot bath. L-theanine is different from kava-kava in that it doesn’t cause drowsiness. Research with human volunteers has demonstrated that L-theanine creates its relaxing effect in approximately 30 to 40 minutes after ingestion. The mechanism behind this effect is two-fold:
- L-theanine directly stimulates production of alpha brain waves, which creates a deep state of relaxation while maintaining mental alertness.
- L-theanine appears to play a role in the formation of gamma-aminobutyric acid, better known as GABA. GABA acts as a powerful manager of neurotransmitters and helps maintain relaxed levels of neuron activity.
L-Theanine Relaxation Research
Alpha wave generation in the brain is considered to be an index of relaxation. In one study, 50 females between 18 and 22 years old were divided into high and low general anxiety groups. Each group was given water, 50 mg L-theanine solution, or 200 mg L-theanine solution once a week for two months. Brain waves were measured for 60 minutes after each administration. Within 40 minutes, a significantly greater amount of alpha waves were generated on the brain surface of the L-theanine groups, signifying relaxation without causing drowsiness.*
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Individual results may vary.