We have talked in other articles about the role of caffeine as a stimulating substance at the level of the central nervous system in particular, citing its main mechanism of action as an antagonist of adenosine receptors, improving muscle contraction / relaxation cycles and other multiple actions and described that you can easily find on this website.
Today we are going to focus on synergy with another substance that is not so well known and that nevertheless its usefulness in certain sports disciplines or some individual cases at the specific clinical level may be of great interest to us.
We are going to talk about the non-protein amino acid L- Theanine, one of the best known active ingredients in green tea (Camellia sinensis) and some types of fungi, comprising up to 50% of the total numbers of this tea (25-60 mg per serving 200 ml tea / 2.5 g dry tea leaves).
Interestingly, it has been seen that this amino acid is responsible for the umami flavor of green tea, masking other bitter flavors such as caffeine.
Theanine supplementation appears to cause an increase in alpha-1 wave production within 30-45 minutes after your oral intake of standard supplementation doses. This increase in alpha-1 production is closely related to the most common benefits of theanine supplementation (relaxation and attention).
It has also been seen how massive supplementation could cause a decrease in brain tryptophan, as well as a decrease in serotonin, although these antiserotonergic effects and their toxicity without worrying problems with supplementation under normal conditions, since, if they occur, they with doses very, very far above the needs compared to those needed to cause all its beneficial effects.
To conclude with many other additional effects of this substance, seen as not only improves concentration and relaxation. It can also have its clinical utility in other disorders such as chronic stress, schizophrenia, hyperactivity (ADHD), attention deficit and even reducing the number of seizures in other neurodegenerative diseases. Lastly, its role related to the cardiovascular system by being involved in nitric oxide synthesis by phosphorylation of the endothelial variant of the nitric oxide enzyme (eNOS).
Regarding the role that interests us, different studies have seen how the combination of theanine (100-250 mg) is equivalent to 6-10 cups of tea and caffeine (50-150mg) 2-3 cups of coffee 60-90 min before of the task, it would be sufficient in humans to improve selective attention and produce improvements in concentration on demanding tasks at the cognitive level. Therefore, it could be tremendously useful in people who may not feel good about caffeine or cause nervousness / anxiety due to its low tolerance (genetic / epigenetic factors).
As well as an enormously useful complement to the role of caffeine as a nootropic / stimulant due to the action of this other substance, making these two a winning combo in alert situations, study, work, computer games, board games where we need concentration (chess) and other situations without negatively interacting or harming our subsequent rest