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Amanda Callenberg

Amanda Callenberg

Nutritionist @ London Nootropics

What is L-theanine and how does it synergise with caffeine?

Ever sipped on a hot cup of tea and immediately felt calmer? You could have the L-theanine to thank for that. L-theanine, commonly found in tea leaves and some mushrooms, is an amino acid known to promote relaxation without drowsiness. What people might not know is that L-theanine and caffeine have incredible synergies and make a powerful combination. For those struggling with concentration and staying on a task (we’ve all been there), mixing L-theanine with your daily cup of coffee could be a game-changer.

In this blog, we’ll explore how these two seemingly different players come together in the right places, potentially offering benefits that go beyond your mocha or espresso.

The calming effects of L-theanine

Over the years, L-theanine has garnered attention for its calming properties. One research study found that participants who took L-theanine experienced significant reductions in anxiety and stress levels, whereas another study indicated its ability to boost alpha brain waves, associated with a state of “wakeful relaxation”.

This is because L-theanine is an adaptogen. Adaptogens are plants, herbs and mushrooms that help the body and mind adapt to stress. They work by targeting various systems of the body and mind, helping us to achieve homeostasis – balance.

When consumed regularly, adaptogens consistently target the systems in desperate need of balance, helping us feel and perform at our best. So, it’s not just the warmth and comfort of the cup that makes people feel better. It’s an actual physiological response where the stress levels in our body are kept at bay.

l-theanine and caffeine

How does it synergise well with caffeine?

It’s been well-documented that the combination of L-theanine and caffeine is particularly synergistic. In fact, one study found that a combination of L-theanine and caffeine has the potential to improve focus during challenging mental tasks.

The researchers gave 44 young adults a mix of 97 mg of L-theanine and 40 mg of caffeine and compared it to a placebo. After, they measured their thinking ability, alertness, blood pressure, and heart rate before, 20, and 70 minutes after. The results show encouraging signs that these compounds improve both speed and accuracy of performance in attention-switching tasks.

The study also hinted at their ability to decrease susceptibility to distractions, such as phone notifications — something that 50% of UK adults say they can’t stop checking when they should be focusing on other things, despite their best efforts.

So, research shows L-theanine’s and caffeine’s ability to boost concentration. But what happens when you mix L-theanine with higher caffeine levels? Say, a cup of coffee?

Why L-theanine mitigates caffeine's side effects

Just like tea, the UK is an avid nation of coffee drinkers. It’s no secret that coffee can produce side effects and can make people feel jittery, anxious, and more groggier than before if you drink a lot or are sensitive to caffeine.

This is because caffeine is absorbed quickly, which can cause a spike and crash. Most people reach for a second or third cup, which can exacerbate the negative side effects such as an increase in cortisol – which can lead to jitters and anxiety.

Due to L-theanine’s calming and focus-enhancing properties, these side effects are kept to a minimum. In fact, a study showed that L-theanine significantly reduces the increase in heart rate associated with caffeine intake, which can promote calmness and calming energy.

What’s more, another study found that consuming low doses of L-theanine with caffeine can partially reverse the reduction in deep sleep disturbances caused by caffeine.

So, it’s clear that the potential of L-theanine and caffeine as a nootropic combination is an exciting area of research – especially how this powerful duo can boost brainpower and tackle stress. It’s not just a hit with coffee lovers; people in the wellness scene are catching on, too — and at London Nootropics, we’re making this easy.

Where to buy L-theanine-infused coffee

We’re on a mission to help you incorporate the highest-quality adaptogen extracts rich in active compounds into your daily diet.

Our adaptogenic coffee blends have about the same amount of caffeine as a regular cup of coffee (80-110mg) and what sets us apart is that we add premium adaptogen extracts to help you perform your best and elevate your day.

Our upgraded Zen blend contains Ashwagandha and L-theanine to help promote a sense of peace, combatting the effects of stress, tension and irritability – so you can enjoy a cup of coffee that’ll keep you calm and promote cognitive enhancement.

Discover more about our adaptogenic coffee blends today!

London nootropics

Our vision is to make the highest-quality adaptogens easily accessible, convenient & delicious, helping more people benefit from their balancing properties and find their flow.

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