L-Theanine and Vitamin D: A Perfect Match
There is something about sitting down with a cup of tea that just feels instantly relaxing. Whether you’re a black, white, rooibos or green tea fan, it’s no secret that tea has many health benefits. In addition to being packed with antioxidants, tea may also help with weight loss and may reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. You may be wondering, what exactly makes tea so healthy?
The answer is L-theanine, which is an amino acid found in tea leaves and some mushrooms. Discovered by Japanese scientists in 1949, L-theanine is the main active ingredient that makes tea one of the superstars of good health. It is believed to affect the levels of certain chemicals in the brain, including serotonin, which influences mood, sleep, and emotions.
What are its benefits?
L-theanine continues to be studied by researchers and doctors, but its benefits are already very promising. It has been shown to boost levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter, as well as other hormones and compounds that promote focus, regulate mood, and more.
Alleviate anxiety and stress
Early studies suggest that L-theanine can be a natural approach to lower stress and anxiety due to its similarity to glutamate, or glutamic acid. L-theanine promotes relaxation without sedation and can help foster a sense of calm. A study conducted in 2014 suggested that L-theanine can help reduce anxiety in people with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder.
While L-theanine can promote relaxation, it can also improve focus. Sounds contradictory, right? But, stress and anxiety inhibit concentration and focus, so the soothing properties of this amino acid can actually work in the brain’s favor by helping it to be calmer, and in turn, more focused. L-theanine is sometimes paired with caffeine to give the brain a boost and improve cognitive function.
We all know that if we are stressed, having a good night’s sleep is that much more difficult. If you’ve tried dozens of sleep aids and methods but still haven’t found the one, L-theanine might help. It encourages the transition from the beta brain waves of mental stimulation to the alpha brain waves of relaxation.* If you have trouble falling asleep, L-theanine can help relax your brain so you can drift off into a deep slumber with no effort.
A hard day's work or a difficult family situation may cause you to stress eat, even if you’re not hungry. Research shows a link to weight gain and stress, but the calming effects of L-theanine can help you maintain a healthy weight by fighting off urges to binge or snack. Green tea has also been linked with weight loss by increasing the body’s metabolism.
Why does it work well with Vitamin D3?
Vitamin D often referred to as the sunshine vitamin, has many beneficial properties including calcium absorption, which makes bones, teeth, and muscles healthy. However, evidence suggests there may be a relationship between vitamin D3 and mood. Think about it: don’t we feel better after getting a little sun? The dark, cold days of winter are depressing for many, and without enough Vitamin D, our mood can take a turn for the worst.