Have you ever had that feeling when you indulge in a few to many morning coffees and for the next hour you feel like Bruce Lee on a rocket ship to the productivity moon? You're in your flow, you're smashing through those unanswered emails and then you don't quite reach the moon, and it all comes crashing down? The caffeine crash is something we are all familiar with. Luckily for us caffeine fuelled coffee connoisseurs , there's a little known amino acid found in the highest quality green tea to help.
L-theanine is an amino acid that can be found in the highest quality green tea. It reduce physiological stress in the body by blocking excitatory responses in the brain, helping to reduce your blood pressure, heart rate and even your stress hormone levels. You can really feel the L- theanine in full force when you take it for the first time. The best thing about L-theanine is that it helps you produce alpha waves in your brain, putting your lovely mind in a state of relaxation and flow. It essentially destresses your body, which is great for calming those anxious feelings and getting to sleep.
Caffeine, on the other hand, stimulates your central nervous system and prevents drowsiness caused by the build-up of adenosine. It generally improves concentration and reaction time. It can improve athletic performance which is pretty cool. It has been shown to increase memory performance if the right amount is taken. This is context dependent though. Something learnt in a caffeine state is better remembered in an equal caffeine state at a later date.
The magic happens when L theanine is combined to caffeine in the right ratios. Just like a perfect marriage makes you a better person that you would have been alone, L theanine helps to make caffeine a better compound by reducing some of the negative features of caffeine. These include anxiety and increased blood pressure, the caffeine 'jitters'. Caffeine is a natural vasoconstrictor, which is why your blood pressure increases. L theanine stops this, allowing your blood pressure to stay in a normal range. L-theanine also helps to prevent the caffeine from affecting your sleep.This is a big one for us caffeine drinkers. Our sleep product pause is packed with L theanine. I take Pause after a long day at work, after I have had a few too many espressos. I do this because it stops the longer term jitters from effecting my sleep. Caffeine has also shown improvements in reaction times and acute attention when subjects have had a caffeine/L-theanine combination. You seem to get all the benefits of focus and concentration from caffeine without the negative feelings of anxiousness and higher blood pressure - What's not to love!