Here’s a review of Jarrow’s 200 mg L-Theanine, a supplement I’ve found helpful for my mild case of inattentive-type Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), yielding a relaxed, calmly alert state of mind:
WHAT IT IS: L-Theanine is an amino acid (a constituent of protein) found in green tea. “Suntheanine” is a brand name of L-Theanine produced by a Japanese company, Taiyo International, esteemed for its purity.
WHAT IT DOES: So, what does L-Theanine do, exactly? Well, like all supplements, its effects on your individual biochemistry may vary slightly, so I’ll tell you what it does for me.
I drink quite a bit of green tea on a daily basis (averaging a minimum of 4 cups a day), so I’m getting a bit of L-theanine throughout the day, every day. I’m a writer and I find that l-theanine gives me a mental edge: a relaxed concentration that makes it much easier for me to do my job (which involves a lot of research and editing).
HELP FOR ADD: I have very mild Attention Deficit Disorder and I find it noticeably easier to concentrate when I take L-theanine, hence my green tea habit. If I find myself getting impatient or frustrated with a project, it’s L-theanine to the rescue–it takes the “edge” off in about 10 minutes. I also feel more relaxed, but with a significant amount of calm, focused energy. It doesn’t make me sleepy, but I have experimented with it at bedtime & found that my dreams were more intense. I, however, prefer to take it during the day. Your mileage may vary.
OTHER BENEFITS: The research I initially did on this supplement (before I started taking it years ago) stated that l-theanine works to improve concentration by actually altering brain waves, enhancing the alpha wave phase. It also raises dopamine and serotonin levels (both are feel-good neurotransmitters). Personally, I don’t take the supplement daily (remember, I drink TONS of green tea). I take it on an “as needed basis”–if I feel my mind drifting too far afield of a mounting “To Do” List or find myself daydreaming, I supplement with an L-theanine capsule and regain my focus within about 20 minutes.
I’ve read on several health forums that many people take l-theanine as an anti-anxiety treatment and to help with panic attacks. Many others use it for enhancing sleep (but as I mentioned, I like it better during the day, myself). Many women swear it helps alleviate PMS symptoms.
COUNTERING MSG REACTIONS: My husband has an allergic reaction to MSG (monosodium glutamate), a “flavor enhancer” that’s often added to restaurant food. He gets terrible headaches, dizziness, & dry mouth if exposed. Much to my amazement, an L-theanine capsule after exposure has prevented his headache/dizziness reaction, which is astounding in itself. If you’re MSG-sensitive, try L-theanine and see if it helps. Even Jarrow’s label clearly states that l-theanine helps mitigate glutamate toxicity (very unusual labeling).
HOW TO TAKE IT: As with any amino acid, you want to take this either an hour before or 2 hours after eating and only with water or a protein-free fruit juice. Take it with any protein-containing meal or drink & you’re blunting its effect & more or less wasting your money. Start with 1 capsule mid-morning, on an EMPTY stomach. You can also take one mid-afternoon, and, as I mentioned, some people take one before bedtime. See how you react; if it makes you sleepy, you’ll do best using it as a sleep-enhancing supplement. If you’re like me, it will give you more mental energy.
QUICKEST ACTION: If you need REAL help real fast, open the capsule & pour the contents under your tongue. Let it completely dissolve. This method is quicker because the L-theanine gets absorbed directly into the bloodstream, bypassing a metabolic step in the liver. I never have to do this, but if I were someone who suffered from panic attacks, I’d certainly do so without hesitation.
200 MG DOSAGE COMMENT: I’ve been taking another company’s 100 mg Suntheanine capsule off and on for a couple of years and I was wondering if this 200 mg dosage would be too high for me. I’m happy to say it isn’t and I actually find it is more effective for me than the lower dosage I’ve been taking.
I highly recommend l-theanine, especially for anyone like myself who’s fought against attention deficit disorder since childhood. It won’t cure you, but it certainly makes it easier to calmly concentrate on any project. Good luck to all!
CAUTIONARY P.S. As with any amino acid, those on pharmaceutical antidepressants should talk to their doctor before supplementing with any substance that alters dopamine/serotonin levels. Just an FYI.
Kerri Elders @kerriskitchen
Here’s another one of my “blog about it or you’ll lose it” recipes.
I use this one as a “base” for an energy drink my husband & I take every day; we use about 2 oz of this “juice” mix, plus some supplements (each of us takes a different combo) like CoQ10, Vitamin C, d-ribose, greens mix, protein, MSM, etc.
For several years, we simply used Ocean Spray’s Cranergy Juice, but they’ve changed their recipe and their name (it’s now Cran-Energy), it’s hard to find, & I don’t like it any more (too much water, too little real juice to justify its high cost).
What we do instead is buy each of these two 96oz juice combos at Costco & then create our own watered-down juice concoction:
Now, just FYI, pure Grape Juice is full of natural sugars and will add a high Glycemic Load to your body if you drink it “straight” (just one 8 oz glass has 39 grams of sugar), so you need to DILUTE IT if you’re drinking it for its healthy antioxidant content.
This recipe is quick & easy & will yield 60 oz. of “juice” (30 2-oz servings).
My husband DOES NOT LIKE STEVIA, so we use a liquid saccharin called Fasweet instead. Liquid saccharine is inexpensive, easy to use & a very effective sweetener.
You can use whatever low calorie sweetener you prefer (stevia, sweet n low, splenda, Superose Liquid Sweetener from Amazon), but I would not recommend sweetening this with sugar, agave nectar, or honey because of the Glycemic Load you’re creating for your body.
Keep in mind that we use this as a base for some rather bitter supplements, so if you’re mixing this to drink like juice, you can cut the amount of saccharin in half (or use even less).
To make 60 ounces “energy juice”:
2 cups Newman’s Own 100% Grape Juice
2 cups Ocean Spray 100% Juice, Cranberry
About 2 16 oz. bottles Reverse Osmosis Filtered Water (don’t use tap water–it contains too much chlorine; regular bottled water is not quite as good as “purified” RO water–but this is your call)
2 tablespoons liquid Saccharin (like Fasweet)
Mix in a clean 60 ounce juice container with a lid; shake well and refrigerate. Each set of 96 oz juice starters will make about SIX 60 oz batches of “juice.”
Kerri Elders @kerriskitchen
Here’s a quick post about an awesome supplement for anyone who needs an energy boost (and who in 21st century America doesn’t?).
Add the extra benefits of boosted mood, better memory/mental clarity, and improved immunity, and you’ve got a winning combination.
We’ve all heard of the importance of taking a good B-complex vitamin and I’ve tried many, many different brands over the years. Unfortunately, almost all of them caused me to feel nauseated, no matter what kind of food I tried to couple with them.
So, I dedicated some time last year to find some alternatives. I started with Source Naturals Coenzymate B Complex.
These worked GREAT and because they were sublingual (dissolved under the tongue), they bypassed the liver, allowing the B Complex to move directly into the bloodstream. This meant no more nausea! The downside was that since they had to be dissolved under the tongue, I found (to my dismay) that they stained my teeth. Even though they gave me more energy, it came at the cost of temporarily yellowed teeth. No go!
They worked GREAT for me. I took them for a good 6 months or so before it dawned on me that they might just help my husband with his longstanding fatigue problem. He took his first two on April 22 and has been feeling great ever since (it’s now May 2).
We shared some with some neighbors in their 70′s who were having some fatigue issues, and to our amazement, within a few hours of their first dose, they were feeling energized. SERIOUSLY energized. They spent the whole first day out in their backyard, doing yard work.
I can’t recommend this particular supplement highly enough. My husband has tried countless other forms of B-Complex vitamins that never, ever worked anything like these. The effects were potent and immediate.
One important point: unlike any other B Complex I’ve ever used, this one is DESIGNED TO BE TAKEN ON AN EMPTY STOMACH. We take 2, first thing in the morning, with a full glass of water, about an hour before eating.
Depending on your energy needs, you may need multiple doses a day or just a single capsule in the morning. The great thing about B vitamins is that they’re water soluble, so you really can’t easily overdose on them–your body will eliminate what it doesn’t need. Fat soluble vitamins, on the other hand (like A, D, and E) are stored in the body and it’s important that you exercise more caution.
What seems to make this particular form of B Complex so effective are the additional coenzymes that make the B Vitamins more bioavailable (absorbable by the body’s tissues).
Here’s the ingredient list, FYI, direct from the manufacturer–just click on the “View Product Label” link on this page.
Good luck; hope this helps you as much as it’s helped us; let me know how it works for you!
If you’ve never ordered from IHerb before, you can click on the green banner on the right side of the page and you’ll save $5 off your first order. Amazon also has a great Subscribe & Save price on this supplement. Sign up for regular delivery (every month, 3 months, or 6 months) and it ships FREE.
More Info about the value of taking a high quality B Complex:
B Vitamins crucial in helping alleviate depression and anxiety
[--Be sure to scroll down about 1/3 of the page; top of page of this particular blog post is FULL of Google ads]