L-Theanine vs. Theanine

What's the Difference?

L-Theanine and Theanine are essentially the same compound, with L-Theanine being the more commonly used and recognized form. L-Theanine is an amino acid that is naturally found in tea leaves, particularly in green tea. It is known for its calming and relaxing effects on the mind and body, and is often used as a natural supplement to promote relaxation and reduce stress. Theanine, on the other hand, is simply the generic name for this amino acid. So, while L-Theanine and Theanine refer to the same compound, L-Theanine is the more specific and widely used term in the context of supplements and health products.


Chemical FormulaC7H14N2O3C7H14N2O3
SourceGreen tea leavesGreen tea leaves
BenefitsPromotes relaxation, reduces stressPromotes relaxation, reduces stress
UsageSupplement, ingredient in beveragesSupplement, ingredient in beverages
TasteUmami, slightly sweetUmami, slightly sweet
SolubilitySoluble in waterSoluble in water

Further Detail


L-Theanine and Theanine are two terms often used interchangeably, but they refer to the same compound. L-Theanine, also known simply as Theanine, is a non-protein amino acid primarily found in tea leaves, particularly in green tea. It is known for its potential health benefits and has gained popularity as a dietary supplement. In this article, we will explore the various attributes of L-Theanine/Theanine, including its effects on the body, potential health benefits, and recommended dosage.

Origin and Composition

L-Theanine is an amino acid that was first discovered in 1949 by Japanese scientists. It is naturally occurring and can be found in various tea plants, including Camellia sinensis, the plant from which green, black, and white teas are derived. Theanine is structurally similar to glutamate, another amino acid found in the body, and it can easily cross the blood-brain barrier.

Theanine is composed of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen atoms, with its chemical formula being C7H14N2O3. It is classified as a non-dietary amino acid, meaning it is not essential for human health but can still provide certain benefits when consumed.

Effects on the Body

When consumed, L-Theanine/Theanine has several effects on the body. One of its primary actions is its ability to promote relaxation without causing drowsiness. It achieves this by increasing the production of alpha brain waves, which are associated with a state of calmness and relaxation. This effect can help reduce stress and anxiety levels.

Furthermore, L-Theanine/Theanine has been found to enhance cognitive function. It can improve focus, attention, and mental clarity, making it a popular choice for individuals seeking to boost their productivity or alleviate symptoms of attention deficit disorders.

In addition to its effects on the brain, L-Theanine/Theanine also has potential benefits for cardiovascular health. It has been shown to promote healthy blood pressure levels and improve blood flow, which can contribute to overall heart health.

Potential Health Benefits

The consumption of L-Theanine/Theanine has been associated with various health benefits. One of the most well-known benefits is its ability to reduce stress and anxiety. Studies have shown that L-Theanine/Theanine can help individuals feel more relaxed and calm, without causing sedation or impairing cognitive function.

Moreover, L-Theanine/Theanine may have a positive impact on sleep quality. It has been found to promote a sense of relaxation, which can aid in falling asleep faster and experiencing a more restful sleep. This effect is particularly beneficial for individuals who struggle with insomnia or have difficulty winding down before bedtime.

Additionally, L-Theanine/Theanine has been studied for its potential role in supporting immune function. Some research suggests that it may enhance the activity of certain immune cells, helping the body defend against pathogens and potentially reducing the risk of infections.

Furthermore, L-Theanine/Theanine has been investigated for its potential anti-cancer properties. While more research is needed, preliminary studies have shown promising results, indicating that it may help inhibit the growth of certain cancer cells and enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs.

Recommended Dosage

The appropriate dosage of L-Theanine/Theanine can vary depending on the individual and the desired effects. However, typical dosages range from 100 to 400 milligrams per day. It is generally recommended to start with a lower dose and gradually increase it if needed.

It is important to note that L-Theanine/Theanine is considered safe for most people when consumed in appropriate amounts. It is well-tolerated and does not typically cause any significant side effects. However, as with any supplement, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before starting L-Theanine/Theanine supplementation, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking medications.


L-Theanine/Theanine is a naturally occurring amino acid found in tea leaves, particularly green tea. It offers various benefits for the body and mind, including promoting relaxation, improving cognitive function, and potentially supporting cardiovascular health. Additionally, it has been associated with reducing stress and anxiety, improving sleep quality, enhancing immune function, and potentially exerting anti-cancer effects.

When considering L-Theanine/Theanine supplementation, it is important to follow the recommended dosage guidelines and consult with a healthcare professional if necessary. With its wide range of potential benefits and minimal side effects, L-Theanine/Theanine can be a valuable addition to a healthy lifestyle.

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