When I ask friends or family why they drink coffee, most admit it’s not because they enjoy it. The main reason for waking up and running to the kettle is that coffee makes them feel focused, productive, and alert. It’s also a tool they use every day that helps them get things done and keeps them on track.
Why? You can thank the high levels of caffeine. Do you remember your first cup? Do you remember the rush, the clarity, and the energy?
But have you ever had too much coffee? Have you ended up feeling anxious or jittery? Can’t sit still? Have a sudden case of the shakes? Can’t focus? Riddled by headaches?
These are just some of the side effects of high caffeine intake (or caffeine sensitivity).
So perhaps you avoid caffeine and/or coffee because of the jitters, the increased heart rate and feelings of anxiety. Let me introduce my favourite new compound called l-theanine.
Known as a nootropic theanine can help improve cognitive function. However, it’s most significant benefit is it’s ability to reduce mental fatigue and stress in humans.
When combined with caffeine, there’s a synergistic effect. This means you experience heightened focus, awareness, and energy, as well as reduced stress and improved mental endurance.
Sounds too good to be true, right?
L-theanine has been shown to have basically zero levels of toxicity, dependency, or tolerance, meaning you could theoretically take large doses every day without negative side effects.
Caffeine is great for concentration, improving attention, and focus. The downside is increased heart rate, blood pressure, and anxious / jittery feelings.
L Theanine is a relaxant that can reduce heart rate and blood pressure, promote alpha brain waves (associated with relaxation) and provide balance for the brain to avoid jitters.
So combined, caffeine and L-theanine work better together.
You can concentrate on your work more thoroughly, be more creative, and achieve more success with the absence of headaches, crashes, and anxiety.
Here is some evidence:
“…suggests that L-theanine and caffeine in combination are beneficial for improving performance on cognitively demanding tasks.” (Journal of Nutritional Neuroscience, 2008)
“…'Headache' and ‘tired' ratings were reduced and ‘alert' ratings increased. There was also a significant positive caffeine x L-theanine interaction on delayed word recognition reaction time.” (Journal of Biological Psychology, 2008)