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What You Need To Know About Theanine

Do you feel like you're always out of time? A calendar full of appointments, plans, and hectic work schedules. When you finally sit down and stare at the to-do list of chores, your motivation just disappears. Even sleeping now feels like a chore. Doing it all feels impossible. Or is it? What if we told you there is an herb that can help you focus and get just a little more done in your day or help you feel well-rested to tackle it all? This is what you need to know about theanine.

The Theanine Breakdown

Let's break down the science. An amino acid, theanine, can be found predominantly in tea leaves, especially green teas. It can also be found in white and black teas, as well as certain varieties of mushrooms. Theanine creates more focus by increasing certain chemicals in your brain to promote calmness. These chemicals are Serotonin, Dopamine, and GABA.

Known as the happy chemicals, Serotonin, and Dopamine work together to help keep you regulated. Serotonin keeps your moods regulated and supports overall cognitive functions, while dopamine plays a part in encouraging executive function, motivation, and focus. GABA has a different but important role in helping Serotonin and Dopamine. It works to help inhibit certain neurotransmitters from signaling fear and stress, which can impact how Serotonin and Dopamine can help you.

Enter Theanine. Besides helping your brain increase levels of happy chemicals, it works with GABA by bonding to certain nerves in your brain, known as glutamate receptors, to also help block the activation of nerves in response to stress. This way, your brain benefits from increased focus, which can help increase productivity. Recent studies on this amino acid have shown that many middle-aged adults who previously struggled with a restful night's sleep benefitted from a regular dose of theanine. Other studies have shown that in groups of people with no severe mental health issues, there was a reported improvement in memory and focus throughout the day. 

Health Benefits of Theanine

Now that we understand the science of how theanine works, what are some more specific health benefits of it? Outside of increased calm and focus, new studies have found that theanine can benefit your immune systemvia stress reduction. As well, certain studies suggest that theanine can aid in the production of certain proteins in your cells that alert to a possible infection. It also has a part to play in balancing your blood pressure. Because of its main benefit of promoting a sense of calm for your body, your blood pressure can decrease since your body will have fewer responses to stress. It has also been found to possibly aid in the functioning of the lining of your blood vessels, allowing the widening of certain vessels to lower pressure.

That also leads to the fact that this amino acid benefits your skin. Because it can benefit the lining of your blood vessels, increased blood flow can help aid in hydration and that youthful glow. As an added bonus, it can also flush out toxins in your blood that could be irritating your skin. When used topically, it has similar anti-inflammatory effects that help your immune system, limiting certain proteins that alert to inflammation, which can help with symptoms of conditions such as acne.

Alright, now you're hooked. Where is the nearest health food store? Unfortunately, we do need to stop you right there. As amazing as theanine can be, you will encounter two different types labeled on the bottle of every supplement you pick up. There is l-Theanine, then Suntheanine®. What's the difference?  

The Better Form of Theanine

You may be wondering, if it's the same supplement, how can two names be so different? While yes, both l-Theanine and Suntheanine® do have the same beneficial effects for your brain, there's a major distinction in purity.

L - Theanine is the raw form of this supplement, most commonly found in nature, like in teas and mushrooms, as mentioned before. In this raw form, you can still feel the benefits, but it’s difficult to ascertain just how much you are getting.

Now, Suntheanine® is just a purer form of its original ingredient. The key change that differentiates these two takes place in production. Suntheanine® is essentially the best part of l-theanine, which is created through a process called enzymatic fermentation. The amino acids that makeup l-theanine are fermented with a specific enzyme and then filtered so that all byproducts that are left are ones your body benefits from. To sum it all up, Suntheanine® is a stable, purified version of L - Theanine.

L-Theanine/Suntheanine® and Supplementation 

As always, before you start to add this supplement to your daily routine, check with your healthcare provider to ensure it's right for you. Once you and your doctor have a solid plan in place for implementation, the next step is to find a safe and effective source that fits in with your lifestyle. So what are your thoughts? Are you ready to employ this powerful herb to help you fly through your day?

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