L-Theanine for Relaxation and Stress Relief


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Stress causes both emotional and physical problems as well as impairs our ability to enjoy life to the fullest. It's estimated that up to 50 million Americans suffer from the effects of stress. For some, anxiety and stress are persistant and overwhelming, and can interfere with daily life. A disorder caused generalized anxiety disorder can cause its sufferers to worry constantly, always expect the worst to happen, and feel tense all of the time. Sufferers cant just "snap out of it," because this disorder is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain.

What is stress?

Stress is a psychological and physical response to the demands of daily life that exceed a persons ability to cope successfully. Stress is often characterized by fatigue, sleep disorders, irritability, and constant worrying. Depression often accompanies stress.

Why is stress bad for me? What does it do to my body?

Too much stress can actualy damage your health. There is ample evidence that living a high-stress lifestyle can damage the heart, raise blood pressure, and can contribute to digestive problems. Not surprisingly, stress can also do damage to the brain, even leading to premature brain cell aging.

What are some conventional treatments for anxiety and stress?

Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications are frequently used in combination with behavioral therapy to ease anxiety and stress. Antidepressants are among the most widely prescribed medications in the United States.

The two major classes of antidepressants are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRIs), and trycyclic antideprresants (TCAs). These medications work by inhibiting the re-uptake of neurotransmitters, such as seratonin, resulting in the accumulation of these neurotransmitters.

Anti-anxiety medications include benzodiazepines, which include the drug, alprazolam (Xanax). Benzodiazepines can relieve symptoms within a short time. These medications belong to the group of medicines called central nervous system (CNS) depressants.

What are some of the common side effects of antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication?

Antidepressant medications, such as SSRIs and the TCAs, can help regulate the brain's neurotransmitters to help relieve the symptoms of depression and stress. However, these medications can cause a number of side effects such as decreased libido, delayed orgasm, or erectile dysfunction.

The side effects of anti-anxiety medication, such as benzodiazepines, include drowsiness, loss of coordination, fatique, and mental confusion. In addition, many anti-anxiety medications may be habit forming, causing mental or physical dependance, especially when taken for a long time or in a high dosages. Also, benzodiazepines can cause seizures if abruptly discontinued.

Are there any natural alternatives to antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications that could help promote relaxation?

Since ancient times, it has been said that drinking green tea brings relaxation. The substance that is responsible for this sense of relaxation is L-Theanine. L-Theanine has shown the ability to prmote deep muscle relaxation and improve good quality sleep. Even though L-Theanine is found in green tea, it does not contain caffeine. L-Theanine is simply one of the amino acids in green tea. Also, since it doesnt cause sedation, it can be taken during the day to alleviate stress and anxiety.

Does L-Theanine have any other benefits for our bodies besides promoting relaxation?

L-Theanine has been shown to help with the regulation of blood pressure. The same neurotransmitters that help us relax also regulate blood pressure in our bodies. When L-Theanine is absorbed in our bodies, it results in slightly lowered blood pressure.

Lifestyle tips for managing stress and anxiety.
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and artificial stimulants
  • Practice slow, deep breathing to calm your nerves
  • Simplify your life - prioritize tasks and tackle the most important ones first
  • Concentrate on activites that bring you joy
  • Strive to eat healthy foods


1) Stress and Anxiety. American Psychological Association Website. <http://okpsych.org/documents/DisasterEffects.doc.>

2) Anxiety Disorders. Anxiety Disorder Association of America Website. <http://adaa.org/Public/index.cfm.>

3) L-Theanine: A Safe and Effective Dietary Ingredient. NutriScience Innovations, LLC.

4) Depressiona nd Insomnia. Self-Help Insomnia Website. <http://www.sleepbetter.com.au/sb_depress.htm.>

5) Selective Seratonin Reuptake Inhibitors. American Medical Association Website. <http://archfami.ama-assn.org/issues/v8n3/fful/fqa0599-2.html.>
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