1/3/22 | Education

L-Theanine: This Year’s Hottest, Health-Hacking Ingredient

Happy New Year, Cured family. We’re grateful for the clean slate and fresh start, but we’re approaching this year a little bit differently than those past. And, for what it’s worth, we know we aren’t the only ones. You’re tackling this week with big ambition and even bigger dreams. Right? That sounds like the stereotypical sprint into January, but here’s where things veer off course: this year, you aren’t willing to sacrifice your integrity in pursuit of your passion projects.

 

When sh!t hit the fan in 2021, you learned the importance of taking personal responsibility for your health, using a critical eye, and sticking to your personal values even when they set you apart from the crowd. The details might vary, but your values have one unifying theme: you’re playing the long game. You know that realizing your potential and actualizing this year’s B.H.A.G. (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) requires you to prioritize and optimize your well-being.

 

Your success hinges upon your ability to show up as your best self, and your best self is rested, energized, full of purpose, and fueled with Mother Nature’s cleanest ingredients. 

 

That’s where we come in, and we’re predicting a buzzword for 2022; or rather, a buzz-ingredient. 

 

l-theanine

 

Your Mind on L-Theanine

 

This is the year L-Theanine takes on wellness culture by storm. Gone are the days of achieving your goals and checking off your tasks at any means necessary. Especially when “any means” involves consuming questionable substances to maximize your output and ignoring the stress load placed on your body.

 

The body that shows up for you day after day after day.

 

Nope – your body is a temple and this is the year you honor it with due reverence and ingredients that complement its natural processes. Enter, L-Theanine. 

 

According to a randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover, and double-blind trial (which BTW is the golden standard, the crème de la crème, in research), four weeks of L-theanine supplementation significantly decreased stress-related symptoms (including depression and anxiety) and significantly improved sleep, cognitive functioning, verbal fluency, and overall executive functioning.

 

So, what is it?

 

L-theanine is an antioxidant-rich amino acid that’s most commonly found in teas. According to various studies, the effects of L-theanine are in large part due to its ability to increase brain activity in the alpha frequency band, which indicates mental relaxation without feelings of drowsiness. Isn’t that the ideal? 

 

One research study featured in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition measured brain activity using an electroencephalograph (EEG) 45, 60, 75, 90 and 105 minutes after the ingestion of 50mg of L-theanine and compared the outcomes to a control group that received a placebo. There was a clear increase in alpha activity in the L-theanine condition, demonstrating a strong effect on the state of these individuals’ mental alertness and arousal. 

 

With its anti-stress and cognition-enhancing effects, L-theanine is exalted among biohackers and wellness aficionados. Big names in the field, like Ben Greenfield and Dave Asprey, pair the amino acid with their morning coffee to smooth out the kinks of over-caffeination. Coffee can be a delicious, early morning energy boost. The “tired and wired” sensation? Not so much. When paired with caffeine, L-theanine helps minimize jitters and augment mental alertness.

 

l-theanine

 

L-Theanine: Time to Shine

 

This year, we predict L-theanine’s move from the outer fringes towards center spotlight as more and more people learn to embrace their internal health with as much gusto as their external success.

 

With our elevated elixirs, we made it easy to check off both boxes in one fell swoop. You can finally rest assured that what you’re pouring into your body is going to support you as you continue to pour yourself into your passions. Let us fill your cup with the only drink that will build your brain while you tirelessly build your dreams; without the nasty consequences from questionable ingredients or the jitterbug distractions from your morning mug (or two) of coffee.

 

References:

Hidese S, Ogawa S, Ota M, Ishida I, Yasukawa Z, Ozeki M, Kunugi H. Effects of L-Theanine Administration on Stress-Related Symptoms and Cognitive Functions in Healthy Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients. 2019 Oct 3;11(10):2362. doi: 10.3390/nu11102362. PMID: 31623400; PMCID: PMC6836118.

 

Nobre AC, Rao A, Owen GN. L-theanine, a natural constituent in tea, and its effect on mental state. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2008;17 Suppl 1:167-8. PMID: 18296328.

 

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