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If there was a natural supplement that helps with both focus and relaxation, most people would definitely want it. L-theanine, a natural substance that comes from green tea leaves, amazingly fits the bill for both of these things. It also has some other pretty amazing potential benefits.
In this post, find out about the best L-theanine supplements, how to choose the best L theanine supplements, the research-backed benefits of L-theanine, and things you should consider when supplementing L-theanine.
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Related post: The Best Tea for Anxiety and Stress
Overview of L Theanine Benefits
As a natural antioxidant and calming compound, L-theanine exerts many possible health benefits. This amino acid can also help make neurotransmitters, which explains its many other actions in the body.
Here is an overview of some of its many proven and potential benefits.
Reduces stress by crossing the blood-brain barrier and acting as a psychotropic, L-theanine dampens anxiety according to several studies. A psychotropic is a substance that has mood-enhancing effects.
Helps improve focus and memory by reducing mind wandering during simple tasks.
Lifts the mood for people with depression, but more research is needed to confirm this benefit.
May reduce inflammation by reducing inflammatory pathways in the body according to numerous animal studies.
Antioxidant protection from L-theanine is potent because it enhances glutathione and other antioxidant enzymes in the body
May prevent fatty liver by improving enzyme function in the liver according to an animal study.
Protects nerves by reducing oxidation and enhances neurotransmitter production such as GABA and acetylcholine according to early research.
Immune system balance is improved when athletes take L-theanine over a period of 6 weeks. It worked to decrease inflammatory compounds and increase total antioxidant capacity. L-theanine also may benefit immunity by enhancing gut health with more butyric acid.
May prevent elevated blood pressure under stressful situations.
How to Choose the Best L-Theanine Supplements
L-theanine is an amino acid found in green tea that helps you have a relaxed state, so you may want to combine it with other beneficial ingredients to enhance its activity.
For energy and focus, it may be best to have a cup of coffee with your L-theanine supplement or you can also find supplements of L-theanine that also contain caffeine. Another ingredient that can help with energy and focus in some L-theanine supplements is called Huperzia serrata.
To enhance sleep, there are many L-theanine supplement products that also contain sleep-promoting herbs and nutrients, such as chamomile, lemon balm, Huperzia serrata, GABA, vitamin B6, and magnesium.
For calming, you can choose similar ingredients to those you would choose for enhancing sleep. The nice thing about these ingredients is that they won’t make you sleepy during the daytime.
For a healthy mood: you may also find a great L-theanine supplement that is combined with other amino acids to enhance mood, such as L-tyrosine, and 5-HTP. Other ingredients that may enhance mood in these supplements is GABA (according to Cleveland Clinic), magnesium, and vitamin B6.
Other Factors to Consider When Choosing L-Theanine Supplements
If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have a medical condition, please consult with your healthcare provider before starting any supplement, including L-theanine.
The best dose: most clinical studies use 200 mg of L-theanine per day to achieve health benefits. Smaller doses have been used, although these doses appear to be less effective than 200 mg. Doses up to 900 mg per day have been safely given according to WebMD. In children, smaller doses are also safe to supplement.
The best supplement form: is any form you choose to take because L-theanine is rapidly absorbed in the body regardless of the type. So capsules, gummies, powders, tinctures, and other forms are simply a matter of preference.
Suntheanine® vs L-theanine: Suntheanine® is a patented variety of L-theanine, which means you do get a consistent product when you buy it. Research has discovered that Suntheanine helps improve sleep quality in boys with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Other studies also show that L-theanine from other companies is effective as well.
Brand reputation and purity: you should choose an L-theanine supplement that comes from a reputable company with verification of purity from 3rd party testing. This testing is usually called good manufacturing practices certified (cGMP). Another indicator of brand reputation is product reviews and a history of quality products.
Best L Theanine Supplements Brands At A Glance
When it comes to L-theanine, there are a lot of great supplements out there. Many of them are very similar, which isn’t a surprise given the competitiveness of the supplement industry. However, some have features that will be more important to you, such as cost, quality, and stacked ingredients in them.
Here is an overview of the 12 best product categories for L-theanine.
Double Wood L-Theanine is the best overall because it meets all quality criteria and is very reasonably priced, making it affordable for anyone.
- Third-party analysis is available on the Double Wood Website
- GMP Certified
- Excellent reviews for decreasing anxiety and stress
- $0.14 per 200 mg serving
- Excellent when combined with Magnesium Threonate and Rhodiola and coffee for smooth focus
- Made in the USA
- Also available on Amazon, but you can save 20% by purchasing it directly from the company.
Nutricost L-Theanine-this L-theanine comes from the reputable brand Nutricost at a great deal too. Like all L-theanine supplements, this one is free of major allergens, and is gluten free.
- Excellent for dampening anxiety symptoms
- Improves sleep
- GMP certified
- $0.09 per 200 mg dose
Now Supplements L-Theanine gets the highest reviews of all L-theanine supplements. This reputable company provides consistently high-quality products.
- GMP Certified
- $0.22 per 200 mg
- Also contains inositol for artery health
- Relaxing focus throughout the day when combined with coffee or caffeine
Best L-Theanine Powder
Bulk Supplements L-Theanine Powder is from a reputable company with a price that is unbeatable. And it’s great for people who dislike taking pills because this powder can easily be mixed in water or other kinds of beverage.
- Excellent for cognition and memory
- Help improve immune function
- Benefits heart health
- Manufactured according to cGMP Standards
- $0.06 per serving as a powder
- Also available in capsules and available on Amazon
Best with Suntheanine®
Doctor’s Best L-Theanine is a great L-theanine supplement because it contains Suntheanine®. When it comes to theanine, Suntheanine® is a sure marker of quality because it is patent protected.
- 150 mg per capsule
- $0.18 per 150 mg dose
- Excellent customer reviews
Best L-Theanine with Caffeine
Sports Research L-Theanine combines the benefits of L-theanine and caffeine to mimic the 5 research studies done so far that show a combined benefit of taking both together. This is especially true when it comes to improved cognitive performance.
- 200 mg L-theanine plus 100 mg PurCaf organic caffeine in each capsule
- GMP compliant facility
- Made in the USA
- Jitter-free focus due to the combination of L-theanine and caffeine
- $0.30 per capsule at the time of this post
Superior Labs is a very trustworthy company that provides consistent quality, so naturally, they have a great L-theanine supplement that is very highly rated. Another perk to this brand is that the dose is 25% higher per capsule than other comparable brands.
- Extensive testing to assure it this L-theanine is 100% free of contaminants
- No artificial anything and no fake additives
- GMP as well as an NSF certified company
- $0.24 per capsule at the time of this post
- Can take up to 3 capsules daily for stress relief
Best Professional Grade L-Theanine
Vital Nutrients L-Theanine comes from a highly reputable professional grade brand. Because of this I recommend that you get it on Fullscript, where you can be assured that all of their supplements are all approved by health professionals, including me.
- $0.60 per capsule on Amazon, while only $0.40 on Fullscript
- Like all theanine, increases alpha brain wave activity, which is a relaxed brain wave type
- Free of additives, preservatives, fillers, and common allergens like gluten, dairy, wheat, soy, and corn
Jarro L-Theanine gummies are the best L-theanine gummies on the market today because they are the only ones I can find that don’t have a bunch of added sugar. Instead, these are naturally sweetened with inulin and xylitol.
- Contain high-quality Suntheanine®
- $0.30 per gummy on Fullscript and $0.28 on Amazon at the time of this publication
- 100 mg theanine per gummy
Best L-Theanine Tincture
Copa Calm by Orthomolecular is a great tincture variety of L-theanine for people who don’t want to swallow pills. The other big benefit of this supplement is that it also contains a great supplement stack of Gamma Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) 100mg, L-Theanine 100mg as (Suntheanine®), and Huperzine A … 50mcg (from Huperzia serrata Whole Plant Extract). Available on Fullscript for $30 at the time of this publication
Best for L-Theanine Anxiety
Brain MD GABA Calming Support is the best l-theanine for anxiety because it is pure l-theanine plus other natural supplements that help with frazzled nerves. This includes GABA, magnesium, vitamin B6 as P5P, and lemon balm extract.
- $0.47 per capsule
- This is the one I prefer to take the most because of its powerful benefits
- Brain MD is a company that was developed by Dr. Amen, a foremost expert in psychiatry
Best L-Theanine for Sleep
Ultimate Sleep Bundle contains Magnesium Threonate, Apigenin, and L-Theanine to support healthy sleep and rest.
Magnesium L-Threonate helps improve magnesium levels to promote relaxation. While apigenin is an antioxidant that has synergistic effects to promote calming.
- Made in the USA
- Highly rated supplement bundle
- Combining ingredients is more effective for sleep than single ingredients
Is it best to take L-theanine with food?
The timing of taking L-theanine doesn’t seem to matter much because it is rapidly absorbed. However, if you take it with food, it may slow down L-theanine absorption a bit.
Is L-theanine fat soluble?
No, L-theanine is water soluble.
What are the side effects of L-theanine?
Side effects of L-theanine are very uncommon. However, if you take medications to lower your blood pressure, you should check with your doctor before adding L-theanine because it may lower blood pressure as well. Occasionally, people may feel nausea, headache, or low appetite from L-theanine.
Does L-theanine interact with medications?
L-theanine potentially interacts with blood pressure medications.
When should I take L-theanine?
You can take L-theanine any time of the day. Many people feel it helps their sleep if they take it within an hour of sleep.
Is it safe to take L-theanine daily?
Research has shown that L-theanine is safe to take for 8 weeks in a row.
How much L-theanine is naturally found in tea?
Tea contains between 5-7 mg of L-theanine per serving. Green tea is slightly higher in L-theanine than black tea.
What time of day do I take L theanine?
Because L-theanine is quick-acting, you can take it any time of day that you are wanting its benefits.
How much L-theanine is too much?
Research studies have used up to 900 mg per day. Animal studies indicate that L-theanine has a track record of safety at high levels, but you should avoid taking high doses unless under the supervision of a medical doctor.
Heidi Moretti, MS, RD is The Healthy RD. A registered dietitian for 23 years as well as a book author of The Whole Body Guide to Gut Health, Heidi has a passion for functional nutrition and natural medicine. She has researched supplements and natural medicine throughout her career. One of her biggest loves is helping people gain function and vitality by tackling the root causes of illness.