Suntheanine (L-Theanine) for Stress Reduction and Anxiety

Oct 21, 2023

Suntheanine (L-Theanine) for Stress Reduction and Anxiety

Suntheanine is a brand name for a specific form of L-theanine, an amino acid found in tea leaves, primarily in green tea. L-theanine has gained attention for its potential benefits in promoting relaxation and reducing stress and anxiety. My preference is Suntheanine both because it’s a high quality supplement that is free of a lot of allergens in some supplements and most importantly that it is chewable. Chewable supplements give flexibility to the person taking the supplement and a sense of control.

It is not a treatment for autism, but some individuals with autism and their caregivers have explored the use of L-theanine supplements as part of a broader approach to managing certain symptoms or challenges associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

I, personally, have seen chewable L-Theanine / Suntheanine be a helpful and inexpensive tool for managing mild anxiety and/or the end-of-the-day crash that can happen for some people who use long-acting amphetamines such as Adderall, Foclin, Concerta, etc.

Suntheanine is a brand name for a specific form of L-theanine, an amino acid primarily found in tea leaves, especially in green tea.

Potential Benefits

  • Stress Reduction: L-theanine is known for its relaxing and stress-reducing effects. It promotes a sense of calm without causing drowsiness. It does this by increasing the production of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, such as GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), which has a calming effect.

  • Anxiety Management: Some research suggests that L-theanine may help reduce symptoms of anxiety. It can contribute to a feeling of relaxation and mental clarity without sedation, making it a potential option for managing anxiety.

  • Improved Sleep: L-theanine may improve sleep quality by helping individuals fall asleep more easily and experience deeper, more restful sleep. It is thought to work by relaxing the mind and reducing sleep-disturbing thoughts.

  • Cognitive Enhancement: L-theanine can enhance cognitive function, including attention, memory, and creativity. It is often used in combination with caffeine to provide a "calm alertness" without the jittery side effects that caffeine alone might cause.

  • Focus and Attention: Some individuals use L-theanine to improve their ability to focus and concentrate, which can be particularly beneficial in situations requiring mental acuity.

  • Mood Enhancement: L-theanine may have a positive impact on mood. It can help elevate mood and reduce symptoms of depression in some individuals.

  • Antioxidant Properties: L-theanine possesses antioxidant properties, which means it can help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. This can have potential health benefits, although it's not as well-studied as other aspects of L-theanine.

  • Heart Health: Some research suggests that L-theanine may help lower blood pressure, which can be beneficial for heart health. It does this by promoting relaxation and reducing stress.

  • Improved Immune Function: There is some evidence to suggest that L-theanine may enhance the immune system's response to infections, potentially improving resistance to illnesses.

It's important to note that individual responses to L-theanine may vary, and the effects can depend on factors such as dosage and an individual's baseline health and stress levels. Additionally, the quality of the L-theanine supplement can affect its effectiveness. If you're considering using L-theanine, it's a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional to discuss the potential benefits and determine the appropriate dosage for your specific needs or concerns.

From a recent Psychology Today article.

What It Does in the Brain:

L-theanine promotes relaxation and facilitates sleep by contributing to a number of changes in the brain:

  • Boosts levels of GABA and other calming brain chemicals. L-theanine elevates levels of GABA, as well as serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals are known as neurotransmitters, and they work in the brain to regulate emotions, mood, concentration, alertness, and sleep, as well as appetite, energy, and other cognitive skills. Increasing levels of these calming brain chemicals promotes relaxation and can help with sleep.
  • Lowers levels of “excitatory” brain chemicals. At the same time it is increasing chemicals that promote feelings of calm, L-theanine also reduces levels of chemicals in the brain that are linked to stress and anxiety. This may also be a way that L-theanine can protect brain cells against stress and age-related damage.
  • Enhances alpha brain waves. Alpha brain waves are associated with a state of “wakeful relaxation.” That’s the state of mind you experience when meditating, being creative, or letting your mind wander in daydreaming. Alpha waves are also present during REM sleep. L-theanine appears to trigger the release of alpha-waves, which enhances relaxation, focus, and creativity. One of the appealing aspects of L-theanine is that it works to relax without sedating. That can make L-theanine a good choice for people who are looking to enhance their “wakeful relaxation,” without worrying about becoming sleepy and fatigued during the day.


At Boise Natural Health Clinic, these amounts were found helpful:

50 mg is a starting dose for elementary school children. 

100 -200 mg may be more appropriate for high school children and adults.

L-Theanine can be given each morning and if needed a second time at the end of the day to promote relaxation, focus, and eventually sleep. 

This is one dosing schedule. It does not consider other medications and supplements that the person may be taking and how they interact with this amino acid. For more information, please contact me