Theanine is sold in the US as a dietary supplement and is FDA confirmed as “GRAS” or Generally Recognized as Safe. That’s good because theanine is a natural component of the Camellia sinensis shrub (that’s tea). Able to stimulate the brain, theanine has been shown to reduce mental and physical stress and improve cognition and mood in much the same way caffeine does. It’s not uncommon for beverage manufacturers to sell drinks containing theanine and market them as having qualities beneficial to focus and concentration.
On May 17th of 2009, it was reported in the Chicago Tribune that although most people will opt for an energy drink for a quick pick-me-up, a better choice would be to go with a beverage containing the amino acid L-theanine to enhance concentration and mental stamina. L-theanine, the report says, has the ability to put you in an alert state without keeping you up at night. “Several studies suggest that the substance stimulates the brains alpha waves, which are associated with alertness,” it says.
Furthermore, in 2003 the Brigham and Women’s Hospital announced in a news release the results of a study that indicated “drinking certain types of tea containing high concentrations of an amino acid called L-theanine may help strengthen the bodys immune system response when fighting off infection.” It goes on to note, “A control group drank coffee instead. The study showed that those people who drank five to six small cups (about 20 ounces) of black tea per day were better equipped to prevent infection. At two weeks, the halfway point of the study, the gamma delta T cells from the tea drinkers, but not the coffee drinkers, showed an enhanced ability to produce disease-fighting chemicals after exposure to bacteria. Specifically, when blood samples were analyzed, the researchers found that the tea drinkers made up to five-fold higher amounts of anti-bacterial proteins – an indicator of a stronger immune response.”
The above-mentioned articles are great. I highly recommend clicking on the links for full details.
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