Tea leaves have many amino acids and compounds that are extraordinarily beneficial to humans. The most known compound in tea is caffeine, the stimulant. L-theanine is the most prominent amino acid in tea, and give it its relaxing qualities.
Tea is the only naturally occurring source of l-theanine in human diets. Research shows that l-theanine increases our brains levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), while caffeine decreases it. So, the l-theanine balances out the effects of the caffeine in our brains. It also affects our levels of serotonin and dopamine. This increase is said to enhance our brain function and learning capabilities.
Research also suggests that l-theanine can help your body better deal with stress. A 2008 study by the Asia Pacific Journal of Nutrition also claims that l-theanine significantly increases alpha brainwave activity, which promotes relaxation without causing drowsiness. Thus, making us alert, yet calm.
Sounds fantastic, right? We think so too. All tea contains l-theanine, and it is nearly impossible to tell exact amounts per tea. But, generally speaking, experts report that green teas and white teas have the highest levels of l-theanine. The amino acid is present in all teas that come from the Camellia Sinensis leaf (so, not herbals).
*We are not doctors, this is not medical advice. We are just sharing the knowledge we've obtained along our journey of better understanding tea. Please consult a medical professional if you have any concerns.*