L-Theanine: The Taste of Tranquility

The most praised quality of L-Theanine is that it delivers relaxation without sedation.

This is one of the most popular Nutraceuticals because it is frequently validated by everyone from researchers and health gurus to consumers and patients that claim this ingredient

  • Boosts focus
  • Increases creativity
  • Reduces the body’s stress response.

The pharmacological implications of supplementing it have a wide variety of applications. Over 120 scientific studies have been done on L-Theanine according to Pubmed.

It is popular amongst Biohackers because it ‘takes the edge off’ or tranquilizes some of the intense sensations resulting from stimulating Nootropics, this results in a neurotransmitter cocktail fine tuned for a kickass day, which is why it’s a key ingredient in many Nootropic Stacks.

L-Theanine has been proven to stimulate alpha brain waves, especially in the posterior portions of the cortex, thus producing a feeling of relaxation, it is also very effective at reducing blood pressure. These four recent double blind human studies all showed ‘statistically significant’ positive results in…

  • Stress response.
  • Anxiety and nervousness.
  • And even schizophrenia.

‘Statistically Significant’ is scientific jargon for something that actually works for real people, the data collected in a given set of experiments is enough to say there is both correlation and causality between two things.


Powdered L-Theanine

My personal favorite source of L-Theanine is Green Tea (of which I sometimes consume as much as 3 liters a day of), which has, for millennia been regarded as a fast acting tool for relaxation, stress relief and summoning creative genius. Theanine aminos are actually what give green tea it’s Umami taste.

Taking it individually in 100 Milligram or 200 Milligram capsules runs $20 — $30 monthly, you can also buy it pre-paired with other ingredients for synergistic effect in Nootropic Stacks ranging from $40 — $125 Monthly.

If you’ve ever thought…
I’d love to start Biohacking myself to be more productive and happy but I just can’t afford all the expensive supplements, organic food, testing and equipment.”
…Then L-Theanine is the ideal gateway Smart Drug for you as green tea can be bought at any grocery store for just a few bucks!

To quote one of the studies that was published in 2011 in the Journal of Functional Foods:
“Normal healthy volunteers with high anxiety and with minimal anxiety propensity were employed[in the study]. 200 mg of l-theanine intake was found effective for healthy people with high anxiety propensity.”


Scientists have speculated that L-theanine may improve one’s memory recall ability and improve their learning habits. It does so by stimulating the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin.

Attentional Control

In addition to streamlining focus, dopamine and serotonin are largely involved in mood regulation. One behavioral study conducted with rats indicated that L-theanine consistently increased the animal’s performance accuracy by nearly 20%. To quote a University of Shiga human study: “Results evidently demonstrated that l-theanine clearly has a pronounced effect on attention performance and reaction time response in normal healthy subjects prone to have high anxiety.”

This means that supplementing L-Theanine is a great idea for professionals whose day to day responsibilities require high attention performance such as:

  • Bankers and finance professionals, who can get fired for as little as missing a single (yet oh so important!) comma in stack of paperwork.
  • Surgeons, practicing physicians and really anyone in the medical industry that deals directly with patients.
  • Those in technology sales or sales engineers, who sell a very complicated bespoke product whose commissioned incomes are based upon reacting quickly to the objections and questions of their sophisticated clients.
  • Day traders, who need to absorb large amounts of information quickly about financial vehicles and make trading decisions rapidly.
  • Pickup instructors or Social Dynamics coaches, whose success or failure ‘in field’ relies so much on their attentiveness to social cues.

Working Memory

Yet another scientifically verified reason to drink LOTS of Green Tea daily; researchers in the United Kingdom confirmed that combining L-Theanine with caffeine “led to faster simple reaction time, faster numeric working memory reaction time, and improved sentence verification accuracy.”

Other voracious consumers of Green Tea will agree…
the beverage results in a not overly energetic creative state where words and ideas flow with grace and style.
The inevitable stress and anxiety of life has not disappeared, but it is emotionally distant from you. You are more of a detached observer of your existence as opposed to a laborer in the trenches of it. At the same time it does deliver the ‘buzz’ that Biohackers, Lifehackers and workaholics rely on. To paraphrase some puffery from a far more expensive, yet dramatically inferior energizing beverage, it gives you wings.


Green Tea’s proprietary taste family, Umami, is a product of Theanine. 200 MG of Zen, an article which appeared in Alternative and Complementary Therapies, noted that Theanine ‘dials down’ the bitter tastes of some of other natural consumables popular amongst Biohackers; Zinc, Chocolate, Coffee, Caffeine, Grapefruit, etc. This would suggest it may improve the taste of coffee, yet another reason to alternate drinking cups of coffee and Green Tea.


L-Theanine deserves a prominent place amongst the Anxiolytics Nootropics, which are an irreplaceable ingredient in a biohacker’s Recipe for Grandeur. Like other Anxiolytics, it chemically mimics the Neurotransmitter GABA.

If ‘Work hard, Play hard, Relax hard’ fits into your life philosophy the Anxiolytic class of Nootropics is something you definitely want to consume to correspond the days of the week you are ‘Relaxing Hard’.


In recent years, scientists have tested whether L-Theanine can effectively act as a protector against brain damage. One particular series of experiments pre-treated animals’ brains with this component. They then conducted occlusion techniques to simulate oxygen deprivation which results in brain damage. Animals that were treated with L-Theanine prior to the occlusion actually showed less permanent brain damage as compared to the animals that received the control. The proposed mechanism for this protective ability involves some complex affects on glutamate receptors.

So Free divers, snorkelers, sexual deviants who enjoy choking and anyone who subjects themselves to oxygen deprivation should strongly consider L-Theanine supplementation.

Various memory tasks that are commonly used in a laboratory testing environment have all been enhanced in animals that received L-Theanine prior to their behavioral task.


Those of the transhumanist persuasion will be excited to learn that it was demonstrated in a 2012 study to increase lifespan by up to 4.4%.

Recommended Daily

Scientists have also not pinpointed a specific dosing regimen for this supplement, however the amounts that are commonly used range from 200–300 milligrams.
There are a plethora of preliminary scientific studies that further support that L-theanine has a very probable benefit to many biological processes. Although many of these studies are still in the beginning stages, L-Theanine’s ability to affect multiple areas of anatomical concern is profound. Scientists and medical doctors are continually amazed by how efficient this ingredient is at enhancing, improving, and facilitating a myriad of different pathways.

Side Effects:

A summary paper on the components of L-theanine reported that there are no scientifically proven side effects from this ingredient. Some users of L-theanine reported symptoms such as headache, dizziness, and upset stomach.

It’s completely none addictive, however it would seem that the greatest danger of high L-Theanine consumption is falling in love with the creative, energetic yet tranquil person you become on it.

Full disclosure; I just don’t feel like myself if I’m not drinking green tea.

Biohacker Review

If you are a creative type L-Theanine is worth your attention. Bloggers, authors and especially adcopy writers should know that…

L-Theanine is a promoter of Catchyismismism, definition:
Ad copy that is soaking wet with creative, articulate, and concise eloquent grammatical constructs which will grab your reader\’s attention like a lover.

As creative types we fantasize about this perfect world where we would sit down in front of our computers to create and inspiration would always strike, we would consistently hit this creative flowstate just and produce brilliant stuff.

The reality is that it’s a lot more messy than that, sometimes after an hour of laboring away with the empty page, what we have produced is worthy of nothing more than the delete button or the waste bin.

The secret to being a productive writer is just to do it a lot, get a creative process that works for you, it could be:
Listening to music
Doing exercise
Outlining your writing work with a mindmap
Drink coffee and listen to reaggaton music (like me)

Here’s my process
I think it’s a pretty good process, I’ve used it to write +200,000 words and hundreds of articles, feel free to steal it!
Most of my writing is taking quiet uninspiring, dry, scientific papers and cross referencing their data with anecdotal experiences and quantified self type data coming out of the biohacker community and turning them into +2000 word articles that give the data some personality.
On the first day of working on an article, what I will try to do is skim 3–4 studies and I will find a couple of quotable lines in them, I will copy and paste them into my blank document (with attribution links, obviously).
Then I will go over to Longecity.org, Bulletproof Exec forum, Amazon reviews and even Reddit and speed read 25–100 different people’s experiences with them. Out of these I will grab a couple of other lines of insightful user experiences with the smart drug or biohacking tool in question.
Once I’ve immersed myself in the subject matter for 15–30 minutes doing this I will begin to reach conclusions and grasp some of the nuances of the subject matter.
The creative gears in my head will start to work, I will kind of free associate my thoughts on paper.
I will frequently run into moments where I need some more data to reference or an anecdote to support a conclusion I’m making, if I don’t have that data immediately on hand I will just add an under strike __, because I don’t want to disrupt my creative flow finding hard information.
On my second or third day, as I near the end of writing an article I will search Crtl-F for the under strikes __ and I will finish developing these areas of content. A lot of times I just need to track down a few more quotes from studies
Obviously, I try to stay open minded during this process, if I run into a study that has data contrary to a conclusion I reached earlier or a feature-benefit I try to present pros and the cons, thus allowing the reader to make the conclusions.
L-Theanine gives this process wings to soar.

I wrote my science fiction story, a Post Opp’s Devolution, which you can find the first 6 chapters of here, while on L-Theanine.
I wrote an ebook on text message marketing entitled, 93% Open Rates: Rich Content Mobile Marketing Demystified, while on L-Theanine.

I used it before the talk I did for the Medellin Lifehacker Meetup, of course I had a couple of small disasters occured. I was expecting to have an assistant, they flaked on me. Then I had reserved the whole space at the venue but there where these two guys sitting right in a table that some students needed to use. Despite these minor disasters, I had next to no stress, I was able to do a presentation of over 2 hours, and it was a pretty good little event.

I tried it a couple of times in social settings or before dates and I don’t really feel like it did much for my verbal skills.

It also absorbs nicely, just dump it in your beverage and it will dissolve into it. Taste is really pleasant actually, it kind of tastes like green tea, which is what you would expect. Umami, proprietary taste family of green tea, which actually comes from L-Theanine.
It is supposed to improve the bitter tastes, like those of coffee, dark chocolate and grapefruit.
I insist on drinking such high quality coffee that I really haven’t been able to test this, all the coffee I drink is just really delicious stuff

L-Theanine is the active ingredient in green tea, which contains caffeine, which is energizing, so you really shouldn’t drink it within several hours of going to bed. L-Theanine itself doesn’t contain any caffeine, so if you like to drink a glass or two of red wine in the evenings and write for several hours and you want to supplement your creativity without screwing up your sleep L-Theanine supplementation is worth considering.

I like to stack it with other Nootropics that put me into super geek mode, like Modafinil and the Racetams. L-Theanine delivers relaxation without sedation, so it takes the edge off some of these really intense smart drugs. L-Theanine classically gets stacked with caffiene, the two are a great combination, especially for creatives because the caffiene gets you motivated and the L-Theanine gets you inspired. If you really want to add rocket fuel to your creativity beyond that I suggest using a modicum of supplemental Nicotine.

Cost Comparison

$15 50 Grams / $25 100 Grams
$25 12 Grams 200 mg X 60
Green Tea
8 Cups of Green Tea = 200 milligrams

Each little spoonful of is powdered 350–500 milligrams. All around it’s an excellent value, when I finish with my little 50 Gram bag, I will order the 100 Gram bag — heck I would order a scarface mountain of L-Theanine if I could!

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