After a long, stressful day, what’s more relaxing than having a cup of tea? Hot or cold, a cup of tea can help you fight stress and feel relaxed, while keeping your mind sharper. Experts say that your favourite beverage does not just quench your thirst, but actually nourishes your brain so you can remain calm and smart even during the most stressful moments at work, school, and home. All of these are brought to you by a very active ingredient that you can only find in green tea, called L-theanine.
L-theanine is one of the amino acids, or the so-called “building blocks” of proteins. But unlike most amino acids found in red meats and dairy products, L-theanine is exclusively derived from the Camellia Sinensis plant or the tea plant. When dried, green tea leaves is made up of up to 2% of L-theanine. It gives it tea’s umami taste that appeals to millions of tea drinkers around the world, making it the second most consumed drink following water.
The benefits of L-theanine for stress relief and sharper mental performance, is due to its ability of controlling the production of GABA. GABA or Gamma Amino Butyric Acid is a compound naturally produced in the brain that influences a person’s response to stress, mood, and relaxation periods. It prevents the binding of glutamic acid to the brain’s glutamate receptors, which has been linked to improved stress management techniques. Especially when combined with caffeine, L-theanine is thought to support optimum cognition and mood.
Drinking tea can be good for those who are always stressed out from work, home, or school. It increases the alpha activities, the kind of waves that occur when a person is awake, relaxed, and alert. Because of its relaxing benefits, taking L-theanine from drinking tea or L-theanine supplements can be beneficial when you’re anxious, confused, or mentally exhausted. In fact, it is being studied as a very promising natural remedy for anxiety disorder by scientists around the world.
For alertness, L-theanine works perfectly with caffeine in supporting mental sharpness and mental energy. According to one study in the field of neuroscience, L-theanine and caffeine was found to promote attention, accuracy, and focus during mentally challenging situations such as examinations, interviews, reports, presentations, and more.
It appears that L-theanine protects the nerves, the specialised cells that transmit impulses from one part of the body to another. When you want to run, the nerves stimulate your legs to move and start running. In clinical studies, L-theanine demonstrated the ability to prevent the damaging effects of low oxygen levels to the nerves. In several studies, L-theanine displayed promising effects in restoring healthy motor functions in patients with Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neuro-muscular disease characterised by muscle rigidity, tremors, and slowed movements due to damage in the nerves.
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