On its own, coffee is packed full of health benefits.
Shorter term, it gives you energy, helps you focus and boosts your mood.
Longer term, the antioxidants in coffee have shown to help, among other things:
Protect against cognitive decline.
Benefit the heart and liver.
Protect against certain cancers.
Lessen your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
But there are some downsides to java lovers’ favorite morning drink.
Depending on various factors, sometimes coffee can make you jittery … produce a crash at the end of your “high” … and/or give you an upset stomach.
However, there’s a simple way to mitigate coffee’s unwanted side effects. At the same time, you can also make its beneficial effects even more powerful.
I’d like to introduce you to L-theanine, an amino acid found pretty much exclusively in certain teas.
By itself, L-theanine promotes relaxation. Many individuals use it as a natural way to alleviate anxiety and stress because it has a non-drowsy effect.
Not only can it help “take the edge off,” but L-theanine has some key cognitive benefits too. These include improved working memory, enhanced learning, and increased alpha brain wave activity.
Think of the “A” in alpha as corresponding to “alertness.” These brain waves are often associated with creativity, imagination, intuition and problem-solving.
The Coffee, L-theanine Connection
Independently, caffeine in coffee and L-theanine have somewhat polar effects on the mind and body.
Yet when the two are combined, the effects do not simply negate one another.
Instead, they work together. They can allow you to fully benefit from the positive aspects of both compounds without the negative side effects.
The energy and motivation from the caffeine is harnessed and smoothed over with L-theanine.
Think of L-theanine as the yin to coffee’s yang.
A World of Coffee Drinkers Agree …
A recent study from the Netherlands confirmed that “The combination of L-theanine and caffeine improves the cognitive performance and increases subject alertness.”
Beyond that, the combination can help people to “focus attention during a demanding cognitive task.”
The Cognitive Neurophysiology Laboratory in New York conducted testing for four days on volunteers from the age of 21 and 40. They found that L-theanine and caffeine in combination positively affect human cognition and caused measurable increases in alpha brain waves.
A UK-based study (R) published in Nutritional Neuroscience found that the combination of L-theanine and caffeine improved both speed and accuracy of performance when switching between tasks (multitasking). It also reduced people’s susceptibility to distractions during a memory task.
Need help concentrating on a task? Charge your coffee naturally with L-theanine.
The researchers summarized:
“These results replicate previous evidence which suggests that L-theanine and caffeine in combination are beneficial for improving performance on cognitively demanding tasks.”
A Dutch study gave participants L-theanine and caffeine in a ratio of 2-to-1. Then they asked the participants to complete two attention tasks at 10 minutes and again at 60 minutes after ingestion.
The researchers stated that “The results support previous evidence that L-theanine and caffeine in combination can improve attention.”
A review of multiple studies done on the potent combination was published by the School of Psychology in Australia. They concluded that “L-theanine may interact with caffeine to enhance performance in terms of attention switching and the ability to ignore distraction; this is likely to be reflective of higher-level cognitive activity.”
You have two options when it comes to harnessing the power of L-theanine and caffeine.
The first involves buying L-theanine powder, and simply adding it to your coffee in the morning at a ratio of 2-to-1 …or roughly 200 milligrams of L-theanine per cup.
Your other option is to buy special supplements that only contain caffeine and L-theanine in the proper ratio.
This means you do lose out on the other health benefits of coffee. But they can be much more convenient when you’re in a pinch for some needed energy and focus.
Also, the energy from a caffeine/L-theanine supplement is reported to be more potent and “pure.”
If you’ve tried this combination before or you’re now considering adding L-theanine into your daily routine, please let us know your experiences by leaving a comment in the comment section below.
Happy and Healthy Investing,