What is Theanine?

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Theanine is an amino acid found in green tea. Many people use theanine to treat anxiety, high blood pressure, to aid in prevention of Alzheimer’s disease, and to help make cancer drugs more effective. According to Calm Clinic, L-theanine is a psychoactive substance with access to the central nervous system, and is perceived to affect mental abilities and states including perceptions of the outer world, speed of thinking, and mood. There are several benefits of using theanine:


  • It affects alpha waves in the brain. L-theanine has been shown to place people in a more relaxed state without causing them to want to sleep.
  • It increases dopamine levels. Dopamine, the neurotransmitter that is released by the brain as a “reward”, is increased when L-theanine is consumed, although Calm Clinic states that dopamine levels are not increased so much as to cause addictive behavior.
  • It increases GABA production. GABA is an acid that limits neuron activity in the brain. When this happens, activity is slowed and more relaxation occurs. Healthy Eating also notes that L-theanine promotes the production of new brain cells by stimulating release of a protein that is responsible for cell growth.
  • It reduces stroke impact. Life Extension Magazine noted in 2016 that L-theanine is capable of significantly improving nitric oxide production in artery-lining cells. This promotes communication between cells about blood flow and pressure to the muscles in the artery walls.
  • It increases serotonin levels. While not shown to consistently increase serotonin, L-theanine has been shown to increase these levels in some instances. Serotonin is the brain’s “happy” neurotransmitter, and when consumed, L-theanine promotes positive thinking and discouragement of negative thoughts.


As noted by James Lake writer for Psychology Today and a board-certified psychologist who completed residency at Stanford University Hospital, L-theanine has primarily been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety. Unlike other medications such as benzodiazepines and other anti-anxiety medications, L-theanine has not been shown to produce drowsiness effects, slowed reflexes, or impaired concentration. L-theanine is considered a holistic medication that can be purchased at a local grocery store as well as in green tea. However, one should always speak with a doctor if considering taking this to avoid any complications with consumption.




If you are experiencing severe stress or anxiety, and believe that you may have a mental illness, speak with a healthcare professional today. Avalon Malibu offers an exceptional center where you can feel at home and work with licensed therapists who care about your recovery. We believe in individualized treatment plans that focus on the individual as a whole – we will work with you to restore your mind, body, and spirit. Take control of your life today. Call 855-392-9791.

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