Theanine In Matcha Is The Powerhouse of Matcha
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Theanine In Matcha

Theanine In Matcha

 

Theanine in matcha is very beneficial to your mental and physical health. The L-Theanine amino acid is one of the most unique, yet often unrecognized, components of Matcha.  While also found in green tea in trace amounts, Matcha has much higher concentrations of L-Theanine, which gives Matcha an unparalleled functionality. Moreover the higher ratio of L-Theanine to caffeine helps balance the effects of the caffeine, while still providing an energy boost.

 

Studies have shown Theanine in matcha to have several positive effects, the primary ones being:

 

  • Decreasing anxiety and improving mood
  • Increasing concentration & cognition
  • Increasing quality of sleep
  • Lowering blood pressure

 

Secondary and less researched benefits of L-Theanine include:

 

  • Anti-aging
  • Preventing Cancer growth

 

Although L-Theanine is not naturally produced in the human body it is similar to the bodily produced L-Glutamine and L-Glutamate amino acids, which are responsible for some of the aforementioned benefits.  So why is it a good idea to regularly supplement your diet with Theanine in matcha?

 

Decreasing Anxiety and Improving Mood

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People who are prone to anxiety generally display greater activity in beta wave activity and less alpha wave activity in the brain.  Beta waves are connected with alertness, while alpha waves are linked with a more relaxed and restful state.[1]  L-Theanine increases alpha wave activity in the brain, supporting that relaxed and restful state. Electroencephalograph (EEG) studies show evidence of L-Theanine’s direct effect on the brain and central nervous system, it helps the brain achieved a relaxed yet alert state[2]. Additionally, low levels of GABA–an inhibitory neurotransmitter–can cause some types of anxiety.[3]  L-Theanine is known to increase GABA to levels that reduce anxiety, and also curbs some of the other stimulating neurotransmitters that cause anxiety.  L-Theanine also boosts dopamine (another neurotransmitter) levels, which translates to feelings of mental clarity and happiness.  Studies show that it takes approximately 40 minutes for L-Theanine to provide the stress relieving effects.

 

Increasing Concentration/Cognition

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L-Theanine on its own doesn’t contribute significantly to enhancing cognitive function.  However, when paired with caffeine, L-Theanine delivers a synergistically powerful effect.  Studies show that although L-Theanine tends to take off the edge caffeine brings with respect to ‘jitters’ and lowering caffeine-induced hypertension, it improves alertness, attentional switching accuracy, and cognitive flexibility.[4]  Moreover, another study showed that the combination of L-Theanine and caffeine significantly aided in reaction time, accuracy in visual processing, reduced mental fatigue, and a faster working memory than using caffeine alone.[5]  Additionally, L-Theanine intake increases activity in the alpha-band, which plays an integral role in focused attention processes. When completing high demanding tasks, “directed deployment of alpha” is key in suppressing distracting visual information (Nobre).

 

Increasing Quality of Sleep

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Given that L-Theanine helps diminish levels of stress and anxiety, also has been shown to enrich sleep quality.  These relaxing effects calm the mind, allowing you to fall asleep easily without unwanted mental stimulation.  Additionally, unlike most other sleeping aids, L-Theanine does not produce drowsiness the next day.  L-Theanine helps stressed people fall asleep naturally, so that they are able to go through their natural REM cycles, and awake fully rested thereby contributing to better sleep quality and efficiency.

 

Lowering Blood Pressure

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L-Theanine plays a part in reducing both stress-induced and caffeine-induced hypertensions.  This occurs through the aforementioned process of increasing alpha wave activity, and curbing of certain neurotransmitters that spike blood pressure. Testing on rats showed that rats with normal blood pressure did not experience reduction in blood pressure when consuming L-Theanine, but hypertensive rats did. This relationship between level of stress increase and L-Theanine effectiveness can be applied to humans, in that, every human will respond differently to L-Theanine based on their mental state and stress levels. Studies also show that blood pressure increases caused by mental tasks or caffeine intake can be diminished by L-Theanine in humans.

 

Daily Dose of Theanine in Matcha

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Many people have realized the amazing benefits of L-Theanine, and have started looking for the best way to consume it.  While L-Theanine is found in green tea, you would have to drink “five to ten cups” to get the same benefit of taking a single dosage of an L-Theanine supplement.[6] While a supplement would allow you to understand the exact amount of L-Theanine you are consuming, supplements are often filled with other unnecessary ingredients or fillers, resulting in a pretty expensive daily supplement. Many people do not enjoy the benefits of L-Theanine alone, and need the presence of caffeine to get the most out of the L-Theanine. The healthiest and most efficient way to get a daily dose is through Theanine in Matcha green tea. Matcha has about “five times as much” L-Theanine as most green teas and can provide as much as an L-Theanine supplement/capsule, while supplemented with the naturally occurring caffeine, which provides a smooth caffeine boost.[7]

 

 

 

 

-ADD CITATION-

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3518171/pdf/1880-6805-31-28.pdf

 

[1] “L-Theanine Benefits (Scientific Research).” Mental Health Daily. N.p., 29 July 2015. Web. 09 Sept. 2016.

[2] http://apjcn.nhri.org.tw/server/APJCN/17%20Suppl%201//167.pdf

[3] “L-Theanine Benefits (Scientific Research).” Mental Health Daily. N.p., 29 July 2015. Web. 09 Sept. 2016.

 

[4] “L-Theanine Benefits (Scientific Research).” Mental Health Daily. N.p., 29 July 2015. Web. 09 Sept. 2016.

[5] “L-Theanine Benefits (Scientific Research).” Mental Health Daily. N.p., 29 July 2015. Web. 09 Sept. 2016.

[6] “Home.” Overcoming Your Anxiety. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Sept. 2016.

[7] “Health Benefits of Matcha Tea – Matcha Source.” Matcha Source Health Benefits of Matcha Tea Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Sept. 2016.