Keep Calm: Theanine a Nootropic for Anxiety, Concentration, and Flow


“Stillness is the ruler of haste.”

-Lao Tzu


Have you ever downed a couple cups of coffee hoping it’ll help you meet a deadline? Probably. You might have found it didn’t work all that well. You either failed to get anything on the paper because your creative block didn’t vanish or what you produced was uninspired. While there isn’t a supplement yet proven to reduce procrastination, it is clear that guzzling espresso will more than likely make you nervous and flatulent. This is not what anyone would call a good combination, particularly before a presentation.

It was found that subjects given theanine had greater alpha activity in their brains. These types of brain waves are associated with meditative and “flow” states (Kobayashi, 1996). These states are key to creativity and efficiency. Found in white, green, and black tea, theanine has been investigated as a way to relieve anxiety and lower blood pressure (Yokogoshi, 1994). Typical doses are between two to four 200mg taken over the course of a day. As well as the aforementioned benefits, theanine appears to help with maintaining a healthy weight and body mass composition (Zheng, 2004).

It’s even been shown to lengthen life spans – just in nematodes so far, so don’t get too excited (Zarse, 2012). Still, if it can mitigate the stress of dealing with traffic, irate customers, and unpleasant employers, then it might have a more pronounced effect on human lifespan.* Studies suggest theanine’s impact on neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and GABA is the source of improvements to learning and memory in animal models (Pradeep, 2006), making it a nootropic in its own right, although its most common (and recommended) use is as an adjunct to caffeine.

As always, it’s a good idea to get your supplements from trusted sources. Double Wood sells only GMP certified Theanine made in the United States.  

*This is just a joke. There are no studies on theanine’s impact on human lifespan. While tolerating other people’s nonsense may not be the key to clearing the century mark, it will make your time much more enjoyable.



Works Cited and Further Reading

1. Kobayashi, K., et al. (1998) Effects of L-theanine on the release of alpha-brain waves in human volunteers. Journal of the Agricultural Chemical Society of Japan (Japan).

2. Kimura, Kenta, et al. (2007) L-Theanine reduces psychological and physiological stress responses. Biological psychology 74.1: 39-45.

3. Nathan, Pradeep J., et al. (2006) The neuropharmacology of L-theanine (N-ethyl-L-glutamine) a possible neuroprotective and cognitive enhancing agent. Journal of Herbal Pharmacotherapy 6.2: 21-30.

4. Yokogoshi H., Kato Y., Sagesaka Y.M., Takihara-Matsuura T., Kakuda T., Takeuchi N. (1995) Reduction effect of theanine on blood pressure and brain 5-hydroxyindoles in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 59(4): 615–618.

5. Zarse, Kim, Saskia Jabin, and Michael Ristow. (2012) L-Theanine extends lifespan of adult Caenorhabditis elegans. European journal of nutrition 51.6: 765-768.

6. Zheng G., Sayama K., Okubo T., Juneja L.R., Oguni I. (2004) Anti-obesity effects of three major components of green tea, catechins, caffeine and theanine, in mice. In Vivo 18(1): 55–62.


By |2020-03-26T23:15:23+00:00May 15th, 2019|

About the Author:

Adam Alonzi is a writer, biotechnologist, documentary maker, futurist, inventor, programmer, and author of two obscure novels.