L-Theanine is a used sparingly in the supplement industry. Is it best known and used for its ability to improve alertness and concentration. It is also used in diet supplements – so how does L-Theanine aid weight loss?
L-Theanine and Weight Loss
It’s an amino acid. Natural sources include green tea, black tea, and Boletus badius mushrooms.
As well as being included in weight loss supplements, L-Theanine is a common inclusion in nootropic formulas.
If you are not familiar with the term, “nootropic” refers to supplements that aim to boost cognitive function.
Although L-Theanine can offer support to people who are dieting to lose weight, it’s not a power ingredient. Don’t expect it to turbo-charge your fat-burning capabilities. It won’t.
However, L-Theanine can ease the journey from fat to slim in several ways. It’s a useful inclusion to any formulation that aims to help people to lose weight.
L-Theanine: A Brief Introduction
L-Theanine was first isolated in the late 1940s by researchers in Japan. The leaves of the camellia sinensis plant are the best source.
Camellia sinensis is the plant that’s cultivated to provide green and black tea. The leaves are exposed to the air and allowed to oxidize to make black tea. In the case of green tea, the leaves are not. For this reason, green tea is higher in L-Theanine than the black, oxidized version.
L-Theanine has the ability to relax the body and calm the mind. It does these things without causing sedation or the desire to sleep. Some people describe this combination as an “alert calm.” [source]
High profile supergreen product that contain a nootropic element – such as Supergreen Tonik will include this ingredient.
L-Theanine helps you to relax because it’s a precursor to gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).
Among other things, GABA stimulates the production of the mood-regulating hormones dopamine and serotonin.
Serotonin is often called the “feel-good hormone.” That should speak volumes about its ability to bring about improvements in mood.
L-Theanine also increases alpha brain wave activity in a way that’s similar to that of REM sleep.
The nootropic benefits of L-Theanine include:
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Enhances the ability to perform complex mental tasks
- Boosts attention and mental focus
- Improves memory
- Increases motivation and energy
- Boosts creativity
- Enhances determination and drive
- Improves sleep quality
L-Theanine can work particularly well alongside caffeine because it supports caffeine’s abilities as a stimulant while also reducing the risk of caffeine-related side effects.
How L-Theanine Aids Weight Loss
As already touched upon at the beginning of this article, L-Theanine mainly supports weight loss in ways other than directly influencing fat-burning capabilities.
1. Helps Prevent Cravings
Dieting can often result in varying levels of stress. That’s not surprising when you consider the sacrifices that are integral to any good weight loss diet.
When people are under stress, they often experience cravings for sweet treats, such as ice cream and chocolate. Such foods stimulate the release of serotonin and activate the pleasure centers in the brain. It’s a desire to escape stress by comfort eating.
Giving in to desires like this is counterproductive. It can also bring about sequences of binge eating followed by periods of guilt and disappointment.
By stimulating improvements in mood, L-Theanine may prevent the cravings and desire to comfort eat that are so good for sabotaging diets.
2. Aids Restful Sleep
Getting plenty of quality sleep is a good way to support your weight loss journey. Research proves this and L-Theanine has the ability to help your body get the quality sleep it needs.
There is also a relationship between sleep and immune function. Getting plenty of quality sleep can make you more resilient and capable of resisting disease.
Lack of sleep, on the other hand, can suppress immune function, impair cognitive abilities, and impair well-being in many other ways. It also causes fatigue. Thereby increasing the likelihood of comfort eating and making it harder to find the energy to use exercise to boost weight loss.
Research shows lack of sleep can also influence hunger hormone levels. It lowers leptin, while also increasing ghrelin.
Leptin is the hormone that suppresses appetite. Ghrelin is the hormone that increases it. By helping you to sleep better, L-Theanine further supports weight loss by helping you keep your appetite under control.
3. Boosts Workout Capabilities
Although you don’t have to exercise to lose weight, it certainly helps. When used alongside an energy-restricted diet, exercise can increase the existing energy deficit in the body. This necessitates the need to burn extra fat.
L-Theanine can boost energy, supporting improvements in workout capabilities. It offers even more value when it’s paired with caffeine. Many diet pills and pre-workout supplements provide this powerful combination, which is often known as “smart caffeine.”
Due to the way it stimulates mental abilities, L-Theanine, and especially smart caffeine, can also help you to focus more while training. This, of course, enables you to get the most from your workout and attain maximum fat-loss benefits.
Does L-Theanine Aid Weight Loss – The Bottom Line
Although fat-burning is the ultimate aim of every weight loss program, effective weight loss supplements need to provide more than just good fat burning ingredients. It’s very easy to place too much focus on the value of fat burners like green tea and capsicum (two of the best natural fat burners).
Fat burners help you to burn fat faster by increasing metabolism and thermogenesis. However, although these things can accelerate weight loss, you can lose weight by diet alone (with or without exercise).
Unfortunately, other factors, such as hunger cravings, fatigue, and feeling low can make it very difficult to remain true to a diet. Due to its ability as a nootropic and its unique relationship with caffeine, L-Theanine supports weight loss in ways other than directly boosting fat-loss.
Many good weight loss supplements provide L-Theanine as a standalone ingredient. However, even when it is not listed on the label it’s often still present. Don’t forget, L-Theanine is naturally-occurring in green tea.
Green tea is the most popular diet pill ingredient in the world and Mother Nature pairs L-Theanine and caffeine within its leaves.