8 Best L Theanine Supplement: Complete Buyer's Guide For Fighting Anxiety
Best L-Theanine Supplements
Do you often find yourself grappling with stress and anxiety and unsure which if supplements or herbs can help? The laundry list of L-Theanine brands make things even more difficult.
Luckily, I've personally tested tons of L Theanine products and can share my first hadn experience with use using them to help with stress, sleep and anxiety. Below are the 8 best L Theanine supplements on the market.
One thing before we get started: this website is reader-supported. I spend a lot of time personally evaluating, testing and reviewing each product on this list. When you buy through links on our site, I may earn an affiliate commission.
8 Best L Theanine Supplements
Best Overall: Sports Research Double Strength L-Theanine Supplement
Sports Research is my go-to brand for most supplements because I am a familiar with their quality and rigorous testing standards.
I wouldn't place too much into the 'double strength' mention on the bottle. Each serving (1 softgel) is 200 mg, which is a pretty standard dose from the brands I have tried.
But when it comes to quality and sourcing, Sports Research stands alone for two main reasons:
- They use Suntheanine, which is the specific type used in most research.
- The softgel is made from Organic ingredients (coconut oil, gelatin, beeswax).
Now when it comes to quality, brands can rant and rave with marketing speak all they want. What I love about Sports Research is that they back it up with independent, 3rd party testing.
The product is tested for GMO's using IGEN, which is an independent 3rd party testing program that verifies products are Non-GMO. They're also gluten free and cGMP compliant.
I found that a dose of 200 mg about 2 hours before bed helps me unwind after a long, stressful day. It also seems to help me sleep.
Runner Up: Thorne Theanine
Thorne is the runner up and could easily be in the number 1 spot. I've used it on and off for years and keep coming back to it because of the trust I have in their brand.
Each batch or Thorne goes through 4 rounds of independent, 3rd party testing to verify the potency. This product is cGMP compliant and certified through NSF Certified for Sport.
These certifications place tremendous trust in the brand because they test and verify exactly what is in the product.
It is no surprise that Thorne is trusted by many professional sports teams, doctors and the Mayo Clinic.
I appreciate that it is free from harmful additives, making it an excellent choice if you have a sensitive system.
The one thing with Thorne is that it's a bit more costly than some other products. But you can trust that you are getting a high quality L Theanine. I use it when work and life gets hectic as my wife and I have a little one running around and it is a godsend.
Best Dissolvable: EZ Melts Dissolvable L-Theanine
If you struggle with swallowing pills and the liquid is not your jam, why not try a dissolvable option?
This is where EZ Melts comes in. They are one of the only brand out there that makes fully dissolvable l-theanine. What does this mean?
You just place a tablet under your tongue and let it naturally dissolve. No water and no getting pills stuck in your throat.
The nice thing about dissolvable is that it gets right into your sublingual gland, which is located underneath your tongue.
This way it gets into your system faster than when it goes through your gut.
Ingredients: L-theanine - 200 mg Other ingredients: mannitol, modified cellulose, xylitol, natural flavor and color, citric acid, plant-based magnesium stearate, silica, plant-based stearic acid, monk fruit extract, and stevia leaf extract
The one thing to note is that there will be more ingredients to make the tablet taste decent. But it is a tradeoff worth considering if you can't do capsules.
I bought these for my wife and she had not problem taking it. They taste slightly sweet and melt quickly under your tongue.
Best L Theanine Gummies: Jarrow Formulas Theanine Gummies
I had to include some gummies on the list because they are fun and delicious. You'd be surprised at all the junk gummy products out there.
Most of the brands I tried and looked at use 'proprietary formulas' and don't even list the amount of theanine per gummy. If you ever see the words 'proprietary' run for the hills. It means the brand is disengenuous and not telling you how much is in the product because it is so little.
Anyways, these do have xylitol, which admittedly is not great. But it is the best option on the market for gummies.
Ingredients: L-theanine (Suntheanine), inulin, xylitol, water, pectin, malic acid, sodium citrate, natural flavors, sunflower oil, carnauba wax, stevia extract.
Yarrow is sugar free, gluten free and vegan friendly! Talk about a guilt free gummy.
What I love most is that each gummy has 100 mg of Suntheanine -- which is a high quality source that is used in most of the research on this compound.
I found the gummies themselves tasted pretty good. No bad aftertaste and a bit of an apple taste to them. They are not amazing, but if you want a real gummy, just buy a real gummy.
NOW Supplements, L-Theanine 200 mg
I have a deep history with NOW as one of the first supplements I ever used was their digestive enzymes back in 2008. Now they're one of the most reputable brands in the space.
In my experience, this is one of the most cost effective brands on the list. But it is important to note that this cost does not sacrifice quality. NOW products are GMP certified and use strict testing standards on every batch.
As far as the supplement itself goes, you get 200 mg per serving. The other thing to note is that this product has added Inositol, which is crucial for maintaining artery health.
The thing I like about NOW L Theanine is how I can pair it with my morning coffee. 200 mg with some caffeine makes me productive without the caffeine crash in the afternoon.
It seems to balance the caffeine for me so that I am calm but focused.
Double Wood L-Theanine Supplement
Double Wood is a brand I keep seeing on Amazon. They have a great track record for making quality supplements at a good price.
With Double Wood you get 200 mg of pure L-Theanine in every single capsule (standard).
I appreciate the quality assurance with third party testing and the ability to track down each batch from the brand online. They make available each Certificate of Analysis (COA) so that you can verify what's in your batch.
It is both gluten free and non-gmo (although not 3rd party verified).
One thing I never thought I would admit is how L theanine helps me in social situations. I get social anxiety around big groups or meeting new people. I found taking 200-400 mg helps me ease into meeting new people.
Best Liquid: MaryRuth Organics L Theanine Liquid Drops
MaryRuth Organics is without a doubt the best liquid option on the market. I've tried a few and they taste awful.
I found MaryRuth to be great value for the money. This product performs exactly as described. No cheap frills, just a solid l theanine with 200 mg per serving.
It is easy to use the eye dropper for dosing. I found the taste is actually pretty good, which is kinda surprising to say about a supplement. To me it remind me of drinking flat sprite, in the best way possible.
Let's look at the ingredients: L Theanine, water, organic glycerin, citric acid, natural flavor, organic stevia leaf extract, potassium sorbate.
Nothing too unexpected on the list. I do appreciate the organic ingredients and the fact that it is sugar free and vegan.
A 2 ml serving gives you 200 mg. But you do need quite a few drops to get there (60 or so).
Try some today if you want a simple, liquid version.
Nature's Trove L-Theanine
Nature's Trove probably the best deal on the whole list in terms of cost per serving. You get 200 mg of L theanine for as low as $0.08 if you purchase in bulks (365 capsules).
What stands out to me is the fact that Nature's Trove is Non-GMO verified. This is exactly what you are looking for in a supplement like this. Something that verifies it is high quality and not full of fillers.
Ingredients: L-Theanine, Vegetable Capsule (Cellulose), Microcrystalline Cellulose, Silicon Dioxide, Vegetable Magnesium Stearate.
I typically combine this with L tryptophan and Magnesium L Threonate on nights when I can't sleep because of obtrusive thoughts. I find that combo one hour before bed gets me to sleep easy.
It is a subtle affect day to day -- almost barely noticeable. But taking it regularly does help with stress and anxiety as well.
The brand is packaged int he USA in a GMP and NSF certified facility. Try some today!
Things to Consider While Choosing an L-Theanine Supplement
Before buying L theanine, make sure you check the sourcing, extra ingredients, third party testing, where it's made and dosage recommendations. I also included my personal experience and feedback for each product on the list.
1. Sourcing and Type
Sourcing is crucial. You want to make sure any product you use tells you exactly how much and what type of theanine is in it. If you dig a bit deeper, you find products that are naturally made from green tea leaves.
Supplements labelled as "Suntheanine" in the ingredients panel are often considered high-quality as they imitate this natural process. Suntheanine is a patented ingredient that is used in many l theanine products.
It is a great source and has been used in many of the research studies on theanine.
2. Extra Ingredients
Ingredients to make the capsules are impossible to avoid. They have to use something to make it, after all. That being said, you should beware of extra ingredients like microcrystalline cellulose, hypromellose (vegetarian capsule) and silicon dioxide.
Good ol' fashion gelatin is fine when it comes to capsules. Now when it comes to gummies or liquid, they are going to use stuff to flavor it because no one wants a tasteless or boring gummy.
My message to you is to decide what you care about. These ingredients are not in massive quantities, but if you pride yourself on not eating anything sythetic, then you are best to stick to a capsule made from minimal ingredients.
3. Third Party Testing
Don't overlook third-party testing. This process ensures the product's quality, purity and most importantly, that what the brand says is in the product is actually in it.
The problem is that many brands simply state that they are '3rd party tested,' without explicitly naming who tests them or where you can find the results. This is bogus.
Look for specific 3rd party testing programs like Informed Choice, NSF Certified for Sport, IGEN (for non gmo). Other programs like regular NSF or GMP are really basic in my opinion and are simply boxes to tick from a manufacturing perspective.
4. Where It's Made
Always check where your supplements are made. Opt for those manufactured in countries with strict regulations, like the USA, Canada or the EU. I am going to assume you live in the USA, so USA made products are generally safe.
5. Dosage Recommendations
Dosage varies, ranging from 100mg to 400mg per day. Most brands on the list set their dose at 200 mg per serving. I typically use 200-400 mg depending on the situation.
If you are just getting started, start on the lower end of that and work your way up after a few weeks as needed. You will find that some brands version of 200 mg is not the same as another brand.
That is why you need to test a few different brands to see which one works and which does not. Lucky for you, I have done most of this work for you in the buyers guide.
Health Benefits of L-Theanine
The health benefits or L-Theanine include stress reduction, enhanced focus, mood benefits, better sleep, anti-inflammatory benefits and potential fat-burning properties. Let's dig into each of these specifically because I find them fascinating.
1. Stress Reduction
Clinical studies show that L-theanine can reduce stress and anxiety by changing certain neurotransmitters in the brain. One study found that with a daily dose of 200-400 mg, L-theanine was effective in reducing acute stress and anxiety symptoms (1).
In another 2021 study, L-theanine was thought to lower blood pressure, which shows its potential in reducing physical stress on the heart and blood vessels (2).
2. Focus and Brain Function
L-theanine is scientifically proven to enhance brain function, improving attention span and the processing of information. A 2010 study specifically found that 97 mg of L-theanine with 40 mg of caffeine reduced tiredness, significantly improved focus and alertness during mentally demanding tasks (3).
The authors mentioned that L theanine helps to lessen caffeine's negative impact on sleep. From a practical standpoint, you can use caffeine later in the day if you combine it with L theanine. That is how I stay productive in the afternoon (with young kids at home) while still being able to sleep.
Other studies from 2008 show how it helps keep you alert while increasing attention span and working memory (4).
3. Mood Boosting Benefits
L-Theanine is also known for its mood-boosting benefits. A 2019 study on people suffering from depression showed a reduction in depression and anxiety symptoms when 250 mg of L-theanine was taken daily with their prescribed medication (5).
The researchers think that it works because of how it boosts "feel-good" neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, which give you those warm and fuzzy feelings when you are in a good mood.
4. Better Sleep
L-theanine is becoming a popular choice for stress-related sleep disturbances. I tend to ruminate when I try to sleep. I'll be calm and zen all-day long, but once my head hits the pillow, my mind races in one thousand different directions.
One thing that helps me quiet my mind is 200-400 mg about 2 hours before bed. It helps me unwind.
Lucky for me, there is some research to back this up. The study shows that 450-900 mg of L-theanine daily for two months can significantly improve sleep satisfaction. Admittedly, that is a pretty high dose (6).
Another study in mice found that the combination of Magnesium-L-Theanine improved sleep by allowing your brain to slip into deep, restorative slow wave states (7).
Several animal studies have shown that L-theanine can reduce inflammation by inhibiting inflammatory pathways within the body (8). What it find interesting is how it can help with inflammation associated with asthma.
6. Fat Burning
While L-theanine may not directly lead to fat burning, it might might help you lose weight indirectly. Animal studies show that L-theanine could enhance fat metabolism and potentially help with fat loss through its effect on sleep quality and appetite regulation (9).
I know what you're thinking... but we should wait for more research on humans before we tout it as a weight loss miracle.
Possible Side Effects of Consuming L-Theanine
Side effects of L theanine include headaches, dizziness, irritability and gastrointestinal discomfort. You can avoid these issues by starting with a low dose (100 mg for example) to see how your body reacts.
Ask yourself: how do I feel after a few days on this dose? If you feel good then you can gradually increase your dose while checking for side effects.
Also, it may also interact with blood pressure and certain other medications. So, if any of these ring a bell, better get some guidance from your healthcare provider.
Can L-Theanine supplements help with ADHD symptoms?
L-Theanine is shown to reduce ADHD symptoms like hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention. If you have ADHD, it might help cognitive function, improve attention, and reduce the tendency for hyperactivity, leading to an overall better quality of life (10).
What is the recommended dosage for L-Theanine supplements?
The recommended dosage varies based on individual needs. Generally, it ranges from 100mg to 400mg per day. Make sure that you begin with a lower dose and gradually increase it over time. If you have any questions, ask your doctor.
Does L-Theanine interact with any medications?
L-Theanine can interact with medications for high blood pressure and certain antidepressants. If you're taking medication, makes sure that you check with your healthcare provider before including L-Theanine supplements in your diet.
Is L-Theanine safe during pregnancy?
While L-Theanine is generally safe, there's insufficient evidence regarding its safety during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Since it can lower blood pressure, which can be risky during pregnancy, it's advised to consult with a healthcare provider before using any supplement during pregnancy or lactation.
Can I take L-Theanine daily?
Research has shown that L-Theanine is safe to take daily for up to 8 weeks at a time. However, it's always a good idea to get your healthcare provider's approval before starting a new supplement routine.
Does brand of L-theanine matter?
There are massive differences between different brands of L theanine. Make sure you choose a brand that is 3rd party tested, made in the USA and discloses the type of L theanine they use. Brands that I like are Sports Research and Thorne.
Is it OK to take L-theanine every night?
- Absolutely. In fact, taking L-Theanine every night has shown to encourage better sleep. Due to its calming effects, it may aid in stress-related sleep disturbances. Unlike some sleep aids, it doesn't come with drowsy side effects, making it ideal to use before bedtime for a restful night's sleep.
I've got good news! L-Theanine can indeed be taken every night. It provides relaxation without drowsiness. Just remember, moderation is key. Don't overdo it, my friend!
L theanine is generally safe to take and shows promising research for it's stress reducing, sleep enhancing and mood boosting benefits. It also helps reduce inflammation and might help with weight loss.
I personally take 200-400 mg of it about 2 hours before I go to sleep. It helps me unwind after a stressful day and really helps me get to sleep. If you are looking to get started, I recommend you try Sports Research or Thorne.
If you have any questions about it or a specific brand or product, leave a comment and I will get back to you asap.
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Disclaimer: this information is for educational purposes only and has not been evaluated by the FDA or CFIA. It is not medical advise. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or healthcare issue. Please consult your primary care physician for advise on any of this.