Need to Concentrate Harder? Focus on Green Tea
Most people these days are aware green tea is good for the body. Anyone who has ever spent time searching for a good weight-loss supplement will probably realize it has potential as a fat burner as well, because most of the best diet pills contain green tea. But the benefits don’t end there. The results of some studies suggest green tea also contains a component that can help empower the mind.
Green tea contains an amino acid called L-theanine. Research shows it can help calm the mind, provide improved focus, and aid restful sleep. For this reason, it is often isolated and added to smart drugs (cognitive enhancers) and other supplements. In many cases, it’s blended with caffeine because the two compounds appear to have a symbiotic relationship that allows them to provide more benefits together than they are capable of providing alone.
Unfortunately, most of the research that supports L-theanine’s nootropic abilities was conducted on animals. This is less than ideal, but some preliminary studies involving human volunteers also suggest the ingredient has promise.
In one study, conducted in Japan and later published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology, a group of 14 college students who were given 200 mg of L-theanine seemed to respond better than the placebo group when placed under physical or psychological stress.
The data gathered from a Canadian study, published in Alternative Medicine Review, suggests supplementation with L-theanine had improved the sleep quality of boys suffering from attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder.
L-theanine’s ability to calm the mind and protect against anxiety appears to be supported by a study conducted in Israel and published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. All 40 members of the study group suffered from schizophrenia, and L-theanine was shown to be effective for lowering their anxiety levels.
The Value of L-theanine as a Focus Enhancer
Many people, including bodybuilders, overworked executives, and students cramming for their exams, feel the need to improve their ability to focus on the task at hand. Coffee can often help with this and energy drinks can as well. Both options provide caffeine, and energy drinks often contain additional stimulants. The problem is, stimulants can cause side effects, and the jittery feeling that can result from drinking too much coffee or obtaining an excess of caffeine from other sources is as distracting as it is unpleasant. This is where L-theanine has the advantage. It can provide a similar level of focus without the same risk of side effects.
However, the interesting thing is, although L-theanine is a better alternative to caffeine, when the two are combined, L-theanine appears to be able to eliminate the normal caffeine-related side effects. It gets better. The pairing of the two ingredients seems to further enhance the attention and provide a narrower focus that can be useful for anyone who wishes to tune out the distractions around them, be it in the study hall, the gym, or a busy office.
How to Take Advantage of L-theanine
Although it is possible to buy tablets and other supplements that provide L-theanine (often combined with other nootropic ingredients) this is not entirely necessary. Many of the studies conducted on L-theanine involved a dose of 25 to 500 mg per serving. A typical (6 oz) cup of green tea provides 25 to 60 mg of L-theanine, so anyone who drinks a few extra cups of green tea each day should be able to take advantage of L-theanine’s mind-boosting benefits without needing to spend a fortune to do so.