Start Your Day With L-Theanine and Caffeine
I recently wrote about my morning routine and morning nootropic stack for a productive day. In the post, I list the current nootropics I take, which include L-theanine and caffeine. Today, I’d like to go into more detail about L-Theanine and what makes it so great when combined with caffeine.
My Experience with L-Theanine and Caffeine
When I try new substances, nootropics and mood enhancers I like to feel them working. There is nothing worse than trying a new nootropic and sitting around wondering if it’s working or not. Whether you feel something or not is completely subjective, and depends on a whole host of things. However, I’d like to think I’m a pretty good judge of what works and what doesn’t.
I’ve tried a lot of different substances and which gives me a good base to compare to.
When I first tried L-Theanine I didn’t know what to expect. I’d heard through a friend it was a good thing to have with my morning coffee. He told me it would help with mood and productivity.
I gave it a shot and ordered L-Theanine from Amazon. The first time I took it I didn’t feel much. Maybe a slight increase in energy but that was about it. The next day I doubled the dosage, I have a bad habit of this.
The result was much better than the first time. I drank my coffee and felt an overall enhancement in my mood. I also noticed after about an hour that the coffee didn’t make me jittery. The energy was smooth and my focus was improved.
After that day L-theanine and caffeine became a regular staple in my morning routine. Every day before leaving the house I would take a 200mg capsule and sip my coffee on the way to work. When I started to recommend it to my friends they would often ask, “What does it do?”, to which I would reply, “I’m not really sure but I know it helps me feel better and get more done.”
Up until recently, I wasn’t sure what L-Theanine even was or the mechanism behind its effects. It’s important to know what is in each substance or nootropic you take. I’d like to share what I’ve learned.
What is L-Theanine?
L-Theanine, according to Wiki, is an amino acid analogue of L-Glutamate and L-Glutamine. Both are important amino acids used in the biosynthesis of protein. L-Theanine is essentially a derivative of the two amino acids.
It comes from plants like Tea and some fungal species. Naturally, this makes it a great candidate to take with caffeine.
What does it do?
L-Theanine according to Wiki, “increases serotonin, dopamine, GABA, and glycine levels in various areas of the brain”. Dopamine and Serotonin being the two biggest factors in it’s mood enhancing properties.
It is also reported to help anxiety, normal sleep schedule, mood enhancement and increased alpha wave generation in the brain. The scientific community supports most of these claims but some still dispute them.
L-Theanine and Caffeine
By itself L-theanine is effective, but when combined with caffeine it can be even more effective. One study showed that taking L-theanine and caffeine together increased reaction time, faster memory reaction, and improved sentence verification accuracy.
Plants that produce caffeine often also produce L-theanine. I’m sure that’s not a coincidence. For me, there is a clear working relationship between the two. They work better together.
That has bared itself out in my own experience. I’ve always gotten the best effects of L-theanine when I’ve combined it with caffeine.
The dangers of L-theanine seem to be minimal or none existent. Long term consumption at high doses in rats caused little to no psychological or physical harm.
How much should you take?
On a typical day, I will take a single 200mg capsule. Occasionally I will take a second capsule midway through my day. An effective dose is anywhere from 200mg to 1500mg in a single day. As usual, start small and work your way up.
SunTheanine vs Generic L-Theanine
One of the biggest things I look for when taking a supplement is quality. If I’m going to take something I’d much rather pay a few extra dollars and know I’m receiving the best quality supplement. Instead of buying something that’s cheaper but less effective. This is no different when it comes to L-Theanine.
I recommend purchasing Suntheanine, which is a proprietary, patented, pure form of L-Theanine. This ensures you get exactly what you are looking for.
Now, this is not without controversy. In the nootropic world, there is a debate about whether Suntheanine is worth the extra money or if it is just a gimmick. People will argue that L-Theanine derived from other methods is still as pure as Suntheanine. While proponents of Suntheanine say that L-Theanine derived from other methods will also produce D-Theanine, which is a non-psychoactive isomer.
From personal experience, Suntheanine is the way to go. It is more potent than other naturally derived L-Theanine supplements. This means I need to take a smaller dosage. In the long run, I figure that the costs come out to be the same. Suntheanine on average costs about 30% more. This equates to a few extra dollars every 2 months and to me that makes it worth it.
To recap, L-Theanine on its own is a great supplement for helping to reduce anxiety, and increase cognitive function. Combined with Caffeine it can give you a laser focus and smooth energy for hours on end. For these reasons I highly recommend you give it a try.
What are your experiences with L-Theanine and Caffeine? Does it help you get more done? Let me know in the comments below!
PS: You can get the L-Theanine(Suntheanine) that I use here.