Friday, January 20, 2017


There is an organic component of tea that neutralizes the speedy, jagged, bad effects of caffeine without reducing the benefits.  It is called L-theanine – the left handed form of Gamma-ethylamino-glutamic acid – which is a water-soluble amino acid that has a brain alpha wave inducing effects that rejuvenate, relax, enhance the ability to think and change mood by affecting serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain.  L-theanine was discovered as a component of green tea in 1949, but is found in all true teas (Camellia sinensis) and to a lesser extent in mushrooms.  It constitutes 1 to 2 percent of tea’s dry weight, although there are variations depending on where it is grown and the tea type.

When a cup of tea is consumed, L-theanine reaches the brain slowly, within an hour, and remains elevated for up to 5 hours.  It is completely eliminated after 24 hours.  While elevated, the effect on the brain can be visualized on an EEG as it smooths out but does not flatten brain waves, so stress is relieved, the body is relaxed, the mind calmed, but with no drowsiness.  Caffeine and L-theanine have a strong synergism.  L-theanine compliments caffeine’s positive effects such as fat burning, reducing alcohol and triglyceride levels and improving attention and alertness.  It can also reverse some of the less favorable effects of caffeine such as increased blood pressure and reduced oxygenated blood flow to the head.

The Japanese value the rejuvenating, mind-clearing qualities of L-theanine by crossing the blood-brain barrier and positively affecting brain chemistry.  The result is enhanced sleep quality and recovery from exhaustion as well as restoring mood and motivation.  L-theanine has been used to treat anxiety, prevent depression and Alzheimer’s disease plus make cancer drugs more effective.    If present at the time a stroke occurs, there is minimal cognitive impairment and can slash the risk by 4o%.  L-theanine has also been shown to generate creativity and improve test performance by reducing distractions.

Tea Time Trivia
L-theanine provides the unique umami
or savory taste and flavor to green tea

Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.”

Psalm 34:8

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