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Theanine for Stress and Anxiety

18 January, 2018

Tea is the second most-consumed beverage worldwide and its consumption dates back over 5,000 years. Tea provides a range of health benefits including improved cardiovascular health, prevention of certain cancers, enhanced cognitive function, and relief from stress and anxiety.

Tea’s ability to relieve stress and anxiety comes mainly from an amino acid it contains, theanine. Recent research confirms this benefit and has demonstrated it as one of the most effective ways to treat anxiety and stress quickly, even when compared to pharmaceutical medications. Best of all, theanine is completely natural and causes few, if any, side effects.

The graph below summarises just some of the research on theanine’s ability to reduce the signs and symptoms of stress and anxiety:

There are 5 mechanisms by which theanine reduces anxiety:

  • Increases alpha waves in the brain
  • Stimulates GABA production
  • Blocks glutamate receptors
  • Increases mood-lifting neurotransmitters (dopamine and serotonin)
  • Lowers cortisol, the stress / waking hormone

Theanine’s profound effect on the symptoms of anxiety is believed to stem from its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, which few nutrients can do, and induce the production of alpha brain waves. Alpha brain waves induce deep relaxation in concert with focused awareness, meaning it doesn’t cause tiredness as some medications and supplements may do.

Theanine also promotes the formation and secretion of GABA within the brain. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that also promotes calmness and relaxation.

Theanine has also demonstrated an ability to block glutamate receptors. Since glutamate has an excitatory effect on the brain, blocking its receptors will oppose this, resulting in further relaxation and calmness.

Since it crosses the blood-brain barrier, theanine has demonstrated an ability to boost the mood-lifting neurotransmitters, dopamine and serotonin.

Cortisol, the primary stress hormone in the body and the hormone responsible for waking us up in the morning, is reduced significantly when theanine is consumed,

The graphic below summarises how theanine works to reduce stress and anxiety:

If you would like to obtain theanine to help reduce stress and anxiety, then visit your local health food store and obtain a theanine supplement.

It is much better to use a theanine supplement as opposed to simply drinking green tea because 2 capsules of a theanine supplement contains approximately 8 cups of green tea!

To find your local health food store or selected pharmacy, please visit the stockists page, HERE!

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