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GABA and L-theanine

GABA and L-theanine


DISCLAIMER: This article has been written for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

GABA, also known as gamma-aminobutyric acid, is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter, and it has been demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt that activation of GABA receptors promotes sleep.

The amino acid l-theanine, which occurs naturally and was first identified in green tea, is a popular anti-anxiety supplement that has also been shown to have beneficial effects on relaxing.

Table of content

  • GABA
  • Where can you get GABA?
  • Precautions of taking GABA supplements
  • L-theanine
  • Benefits of L-theanine
  • Precautions of L-Theanine
  • Final Words


The primary neurotransmitter that encourages your brain to take a break and relax is called GABA. Its network, which covers 44% of your brain, gives it a significant impact across the board.

So, what exactly is the function of GABA in the brain? By inhibiting the activity of excitatory circuits, GABA makes it easier to relax.

Where can you get GABA?

Both plants and animals have been shown to contain GABA. The microbes in your gut produce GABA, which can then be used to calm muscles, improve heart health, and strengthen the immune system.

Small levels of the neurotransmitter GABA can be obtained by the consumption of foods such as kimchi, fermented soybeans, sourdough, fermented salmon, and white tea.

GABA is readily available for purchase in any health food or specialty store in the United States. In the UK, it is considered a medication, and so the selling of it as a food supplement is prohibited.

If you want to enter a state of zen more frequently by ingesting large quantities of foods or supplements that are rich in GABA, it would be in your best interest to look into other ways to raise your GABA levels.

The cells that make up the brain's protective layer are responsible for regulating which substances can enter the brain. The blood brain barrier is the name given to this layer, and only a trace quantity of GABA is able to pass through it.

Precautions of taking GABA supplements

GABA interacts with blood pressure medications (antihypertensive medicines). GABA may help to reduce blood pressure. Taking GABA alongside blood pressure drugs may cause blood pressure to drop too low. Keep a tight eye on your blood pressure.


One to two percent of the tea leaves' dry weight is composed of the amino acid L-theanine, which can be found in green tea.

The amount of L-theanine in a typical cup of tea is anywhere from 10 to 20 milligrams. L-theanine is more successful than GABA at penetrating the blood-brain barrier than the other amino acid, L-glutamate.

After being taken in, it is able to pass through the blood-brain barrier with relative ease, and within half an hour, its effects can be observed on the brain. L-theanine is a supplement that can help you relax without causing you to feel sleepy.

It is similar to meditation in that it induces a state of profound relaxation while maintaining a level of awake awareness by elevating the brain's alpha wave activity. L-theanine is responsible for the relative elevation in GABA levels.

Researchers examined studies on the supplementation of l-theanine that spanned a period of 15 years and came to the conclusion that a regular intake of 200-400mg L-theanine (which is equivalent to 13-26 cups of tea) for up to two weeks had the effect of reducing stress and promoting feelings of calm.

After administering L-theanine to depressive individuals who also suffered from anxiety, researchers observed that their anxiety levels dropped significantly.

Benefits of L-Theanine

Skills in both memory and thinking (cognitive function). Consuming L-theanine could assist people who are already healthy maintain their focus. It is not quite obvious whether combining caffeine with L-theanine results in a more effective product than using either of those substances separately.

There is an interest in employing L-theanine for a variety of additional functions; however, there is insufficient trustworthy data to determine whether or not this would be beneficial.

Precautions of L-Theanine

When used for a limited amount of time, L-theanine could be considered safe for oral consumption. It has been demonstrated that it is safe to utilize daily doses of up to 900 mg for a period of eight weeks.

It is not quite apparent whether or not it is safe to utilize L-theanine for extended periods of time. It is possible that it could cause some mild adverse effects, such as drowsiness or headache.

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Final Words

To validate any potential health benefits that L-theanine may have, greater research is required, despite the fact that L-theanine is widely considered to be safe for people to use as a dietary supplement.

L-theanine has been the subject of preliminary study as well as experiments on animals, all of which point to the possibility that it could aid in relaxation, increase the quality of sleep, and protect neurons.

GABA is a naturally occurring compound that is produced by the body and has been shown to facilitate sleep, alleviate anxiety, and protect the brain.

The treatment of epilepsy and the control of pain are two key applications for pharmaceuticals that simulate its effect.

Supplements are something that some individuals choose to take, but researchers aren't entirely sure what benefits, if any, they offer.

It is best to see a medical professional before beginning treatment with GABA supplements for any condition. They might suggest beginning with a treatment that has already been demonstrated to be effective. In the event that they recommend taking GABA supplements, they will provide the individual with information regarding how to do so in a secure manner.