L-Theanine - Peace of Mind
Having suffered from anxiety and panic attacks my whole life I have spent a lot of time trying to relieve these symptoms and address some potential underlying causes. For me, staying away from wheat, grains, and gluten helped a lot and is the main reason why I stay away from these foods. It isn’t about body composition for my choice not to eat these foods, it is purely about the effects they have on my gut and my brain. After eating them I have brain fog, feel depressed, and my anxiety goes through the roof. If I am really burnt out at the time then it can cause an extreme panic attack which I have learned to control over the years, but none the less affects my quality of life at these times.
After many years of eating a better diet, improving my sleep patterns, supporting brain function and trying to balance certain neurotransmitters, and controlling cortisol, taking supplements such as magnesium, fish oil, taurine, phosphatidylserine, glutamine, and inositol helped me feel more stable and consistent. The frequency and intensity of anxiety and panic attacks was reduced by massive amounts. The addition of L-Theanine, on the advice of Charles Poliquin, to my regime has taken my brain function and quality of life to another level.
I like to use L-Theanine in times of acute stress or when I’m anxious to help calm the mind and relax. L-Theanine is a derivative of the amino acid glutamine, can cross the blood brain barrier, and can increase levels of serotonin and GABA, two inhibitory and calming neurotransmitters. Serotonin is your feel good, happy chemical and is what antidepressants and SSRI’s try to keep around in the brain for longer periods of time.
The good thing about theanine is that it helps you relax but you are able to remain alert and attentive. This is a good thing if you are trying to get through a day’s work and need something to help chill you out but have to remain productive. I personally take it of a night time 45 minutes before bed to help me get a good night’s sleep. When used in conjunction with my other supplements to help with sleep it works very well.
I think L-Theanine is a great addition for anyone who suffers from anxiety, panic attacks, has an over reactive stress response, or wants a better night’s sleep. It is a safe amino acid and it is cheap. You can take it in supplement form as I do or you can even drink tea and get its benefits that way if you prefer.
See this article for more information on how to get the benefits from tea