For those of us who struggle with mental focus, anxiety, or ADD/ADHD: L-theanine could be part of the solution!
Guest post by Catherine Moore
Having trouble remembering where you put your phone, keys, wallet?
Finding it hard to focus for extended periods of time? Unable to finish your homework or assignments?
Getting anxious and overwhelmed by it all?
No matter your age or stage of life, the ability to focus, a sharp memory and emotional well-being are what all of us need to function optimally and feel good.
Of course a healthy diet and being physically active help us stay mentally fit, but there is more we can do.
According to Dr Alison Smith, L-theanine has properties that help with calm and concentration. Specifically, L-theanine is an amino acid that supports neurophysiological functions that target mental focus. It has been linked to improved concentration, cognitive performance, memory retention and retrieval, and emotional well-being.
How Does L-theanine Work?
Naturally occurring in green, black and oolong tea leaves, L-theanine was discovered in Japan over 40 years ago and has been studied since. One electroencephalograph study showed that L-theanine affects the brain quickly and directly. 1
Once L-theanine is absorbed into your bloodstream, it takes effect in about half an hour. It stimulates your brain’s alpha waves and gamma-amino-butyric acid GABA which both foster a relaxed but focused state of mind.2
To get the maximum benefits you want to take L-theanine in its pure form which comes in a supplement like Calm Sleep or Calm Balance. Taking one of these supplements will reduce anxiety while improving focus.
Be sure to use L-theanine, which is the absorbable form, rather than D-theanine, which your body can’t absorb.
What Is The Connection Between L-theanine and ADD/ADHD?
Since L-theanine can help us concentrate, retain information and stay centred, it makes sense that it would be used in helping those with ADD or ADHD. What we know about ADD/ADHD is that it affects people of all ages. The characteristics include:
• lack of focus
• difficulty sustaining focus
• inability to listen
• avoiding tasks
• losing objects
• being forgetful
ADHD includes the above and more:
• impulsivity and more
It is important to note that these characteristics affect someone with ADD/ADHD over their lifetime, and those struggling with such challenges must be diagnosed correctly.
The Necessity of Diagnosis
ADHD and ADD are properly diagnosed over a period of time through many developmental stages. Teachers, physicians and parents often work in conjunction with each other to achieve a solid diagnosis.
They very often discover that the characteristics and behaviours associated with ADHD and ADD are present in more than just one setting, such as at school, at home and in social settings.
What’s more: ADHD can overlap with other mental health conditions or disorders like anxiety. 3
In most cases, the earlier a diagnosis is made, the better. With a proper diagnosis and treatment, children with ADD or ADHD suffer less because they can improve academic performance, gain higher self-esteem and better social skills as a result. Not surprisingly, these positive impacts are seen not only throughout the school years but also into the undergraduate/college years and beyond.4
Treatment for ADD/ADHD
For ADD and ADHD there are plenty of options on the market that may suit some people better than others. It’s true that some people affected by ADD/ADHD try talk therapy or natural supplements. But typically, Methylphenidate and dextroamphetamine are medications that are chosen because they are safe and effective.5 Unfortunately, with medications there are side- effects such as anxiety, insomnia and weight loss.6
L-Theanine: An Alternative Solution for Children and Adults
L-theanine is an excellent alternative to the typically used medications as it is derived from nature (tea leaves) and has no known side effects.
We all know there are numerous advantages to possessing mental acuity, improved cognitive performance, better memory and a sense of calm. Whether you are diagnosed with ADD or ADHD or you suffer from anxiety or lack focus, L-theanine in Calm Balance is an alternative therapy.
About the Author: Catherine Moore is a freelance writer in Toronto with a background teaching English and developing curriculum.
1. Nobre AC, Rao A, Owen GN. L-theanine, a natural constituent in tea, and its effect on mental state. Asia Pacific journal of clinical nutrition. 2008;17 Suppl 1:167.
2. Smith, Alison, Ph.D. Dietary Supplements in Relation to Mental Focus and Memory
3. www.nejm.org by BEN R. MAYES MD on August 22, 2005.p166
4. http://www.russellbarkley.org/factsheets/ADHD_MakingTheInvisibleVisible.pdf p.16
5. www.nejm.org by BEN R. MAYES MD on August 22, 2005.p166.