Subscribe Today & Receive 15% Off

< class="article__title title 5-science-backed-reasons-to-use-l-theanine-for-adhd"> 5 Science-Backed Reasons To Use L-Theanine For ADHD>
5 Science-Backed Reasons To Use L-Theanine For ADHD
Nov 01, 23
This article has been vetted by the Onnit Advisory Board. Read more about our editorial process.
Author: Sony Sherpa

5 Science-Backed Reasons To Use L-Theanine For ADHD

  • by Sony Sherpa

    Medically reviewed by

    Sony Sherpa

    Dr. Sony Sherpa is a board-certified Clinical Doctor and dedicated advocate for holistic medicine, specializing in functional mushrooms. Her blend of medical expertise and passion for alternative wellness lends authenticity to her role as a contributor for Natures Rise.

  • |
  • 13 min read
5 Science-Backed Reasons To Use L-Theanine For ADHD

L-Theanine, a unique amino acid predominantly found in green tea, has shown significant promise in managing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). 

Its ability to enhance focuscomes as a boon for individuals with ADHD, who often struggle with concentration challenges. By promoting a calming effect, L-Theanine effectively reduces the hyperactivity and impulsiveness symptomatic of ADHD without inducing sedation. Moreover, its potential to improve cognitive functions aligns perfectly with the needs of those with ADHD, aiming to bolster attention and reduce distractibility. 

This article delves into how L-Theanine works, its specific benefits for ADHD, and why it's emerging as a preferred natural alternative in ADHD treatment strategies.

1. Enhances Focus and Concentration

Enhances Focus and Concentration

Ever wondered how to tackle the challenge of staying focused when ADHD symptoms are knocking at your door? Enter L-Theanine, a natural component found in green tea, renowned for its ability to boost cognitive performance. 

This remarkable amino acid has a unique way of enhancing brain function, offering a calm alertness that's perfect for those moments when concentration seems like a distant dream.

  • Boosting Alpha Brain Waves: L-Theanine is a whiz at increasing alpha brain waves (1), leading to a 'wakeful relaxation' state. This is crucial for improving overall cognitive performance in individuals with ADHD, offering a balanced blend of relaxation and alertness.
  • Improving Sustained Attention: By decreasing mind wandering and enhancing impulse control, L-Theanine helps maintain sustained attention. This is especially beneficial for tasks that require extended periods of focus, a common hurdle for those with ADHD.
  • Synergizing with Caffeine: The combination of L-Theanine and caffeine, particularly in green tea, is a dynamic duo for brain health. Together, they amplify each other's effects, improving mental health and helping manage symptoms effectively in healthy adults and those with ADHD.

Incorporating L-Theanine into your morning routine for ADHD, whether through a calming cup of green tea or as a supplement, could be a turning point in managing ADHD symptoms. It's not just about short bursts of focus; it's about cultivating a state of mind that supports sustained attention and overall cognitive health.

2. Calms Hyperactivity and Impulsiveness

Calms Hyperactivity and Impulsiveness

Navigating the waves of hyperactivity and impulsiveness can be one of the trickiest parts of managing ADHD. But here's some good news: L-Theanine, a naturally occurring amino acid often found in green tea, is a soothing ally. 

Without the drowsiness often associated with calming agents, L-Theanine elegantly promotes relaxation and mental clarity, making it a standout choice for those seeking to ease these ADHD symptoms.

  • Promoting Calmness in the Brain: L-Theanine easily crosses the blood-brain barrier, working its magic to calm the brain (2). This results in a significant decrease in impulsivity, a common challenge for people and children with ADHD.
  • Complementing ADHD Medications: For those already on stimulant medications, taking L-Theanine can be a game-changer. It works in harmony with these medications, enhancing overall cognition and helping manage ADHD more effectively.
  • Improving Multiple Cognitive Domains: Regular intake of L-theanine supplements has shown measured outcomes in improving various cognitive functions. This includes better stop signal reaction time, indicative of enhanced impulse control, and improvements in the total cognition composite, highlighting its comprehensive health benefits.

Taking L-theanine, whether in supplement form or through natural sources like green tea, offers a promising avenue to treat ADHD symptoms. It's not just about reducing hyperactivity or impulsiveness; it's about enhancing overall cognitive function and sustained attention, making daily life more manageable and serene for both male children and adults with ADHD. 

3. Enhances Sleep Quality

Enhances Sleep Quality

Getting a good night's sleep can feel like a distant dream for those grappling with ADHD. Enter L-Theanine, a gentle yet effective ally in the quest for restful sleep (3). Known for its calming properties, L-Theanine is stepping up as a natural solution to the sleep disturbances (4) often exacerbated by ADHD and its medication.

  • Boosting Sleep Efficiency: L-Theanine works wonders in improving sleep efficiency. This means not just falling asleep but staying asleep, resulting in more restorative, quality sleep.
  • Reducing Anxiety-Induced Sleep Issues: For many, anxiety is a significant barrier to restful sleep. In its calm-inducing glory, L-Theanine helps soothe the mind, addressing one of the root causes of sleep disturbances.
  • Dose-Dependent Improvement: The beauty of L-Theanine lies in its dose-dependent manner. This means that the right dosage tailored to individual needs can significantly enhance sleep duration and overall sleep quality.

A systematic review of studies on L-theanine points to its efficacy in promoting relaxation and tangibly improving sleep quality. This isn't about sedation; it's about nurturing a natural calm that leads to better sleep. 

And for those with ADHD, this can be a game-changer. Better sleep often translates to better management of daytime ADHD symptoms, making L-Theanine a dual-purpose tool in the ADHD toolkit. 

4. Alleviates Anxiety and Stress

Alleviates Anxiety and Stress

In the whirlwind of managing ADHD, anxiety and stress often tag along, making every day a bit more challenging. But here's some uplifting news: L-Theanine, a naturally calming agent, offers a beacon of hope. 

Its anxiolytic properties (5) are not just about feeling relaxed; they're about empowering better overall functioning for those with ADHD.

  • Enhancing the Effects of ADHD Medication: By incorporating L-Theanine into your regimen, you're not just reducing anxiety; you're amplifying the positive effects of your ADHD medication. This synergy leads to more balanced and effective management of ADHD symptoms.
  • Boosting Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) Levels: L-Theanine increases gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels (6) in the brain, a key neurotransmitter that promotes relaxation. This action helps decrease impulsivity and fosters a sense of calm, which is often a challenge for those with ADHD.
  • L-Theanine-Caffeine Combo: The dynamic duo of L-Theanine and caffeine is more than just an energy booster. This combination works together to enhance focus while keeping stress and anxiety at bay, making it an excellent choice for those looking to manage ADHD symptoms with a clear and calm mind.

Both L-Theanine and caffeine, in their unique ways, contribute to reducing the anxiety and stress that often exacerbate ADHD symptoms. 

This means including green tea in your morning routine for anxiety could mean feeling less overwhelmed and achieving a state where managing daily tasks becomes more feasible. By the way, this is one of the reasons people use green tea for ADHD.

5. Boosts Cognitive Functioning

When it comes to ADHD, the hurdles aren't just about focus and hyperactivity; cognitive functioning often takes a hit, too.

That's where L-Theanine, a versatile and natural component, steps in to turn the tables. Known for its cognitive-enhancing properties, L-Theanine isn't just about calming the mind; it's about sharpening it.

  • Enhancing Memory: One of the key cognitive benefits of L-Theanine is its ability to improve memory (7). For individuals with ADHD, this means better recall and retention, crucial for academic and everyday tasks.
  • Improving Information Processing: L-Theanine can also boost the brain's information processing capabilities (8). This leads to quicker and more efficient thinking, helping those with ADHD navigate complex tasks more efficiently.
  • Increasing Mental Clarity: Mental fog is a common complaint among those with ADHD. L-theanine helps cut through this fog, providing increased mental clarity. This clarity is vital for tackling the multitasking and complex problem-solving that daily life often demands.

Incorporating L-Theanine into your morning routine checklist could be a game-changer if you're dealing with cognitive challenges associated with ADHD. It's not just about easing symptoms; it's about empowering your mind to function at its best.

Ideal Dosage of L-Theanine for ADHD

Ideal Dosage of L-Theanine for ADHD

Finding the right dosage of L-Theanine for ADHD is crucial for its effectiveness and safety. While the ideal dosage can vary depending on individual factors such as age, weight, and overall health, there are general guidelines to consider.

  • Typical Dosage Range: For ADHD, the typical dosage of L-Theanine falls within the range of 200-400 mg per day. This dosage can help in achieving the desired effects on focus, relaxation, and cognitive enhancement.
  • Start Low and Go Slow: It’s often recommended to start with a lower dose, such as 100 mg, and gradually increase it. This approach helps in assessing the body’s response to L-Theanine and minimizes the risk of potential side effects.
  • Consultation with Healthcare Providers: It's essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting L-Theanine, especially for individuals already on ADHD medication. A healthcare provider can offer personalized advice based on one's health history and current medications.
  • Monitoring and Adjusting: Pay attention to how your body responds to L-Theanine. If the initial dosage doesn’t yield the desired results or causes discomfort, a healthcare professional can help adjust the dose appropriately.

Remember, while L-Theanine is generally considered safe, its efficacy and ideal dosage for ADHD may vary from person to person. Regular monitoring and professional guidance are key to finding the most effective and safe dosage for individual needs.

FAQs About L-Theanine ADHD Benefits

Is L-Theanine Similar To Adderall?

No, L-Theanine is not similar to Adderall. L-theanine is a naturally occurring amino acid commonly found in tea, known for its calming effects and ability to improve focus and relaxation without sedation. 

Adderall, on the other hand, is a prescription medication that is a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. It is a stimulant that affects chemicals in the brain to help control hyperactivity and impulse control, commonly used in the treatment of ADHD and narcolepsy. The two substances work in different ways and have different effects and uses.

Does L-Theanine Increase Dopamine?

Yes, L-Theanine can increase dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in mood, motivation, and reward. 

L-Theanine influences brain chemistry, including the increase of dopamine, contributing to its mood-enhancing and cognitive effects.

Who Should Not Take Theanine?

Individuals who should be cautious about taking Theanine or avoid it altogether include those who are on medications for high blood pressure or stimulant drugs, as there could be potential interactions. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should also refrain from taking L-theanine due to the lack of sufficient research on its safety for these groups. 

People with liver disease might also need to avoid Theanine, as its effects on liver health are not fully understood. Additionally, anyone with a known allergy to tea or L-theanine-containing products should avoid it. 

Key Takeaways

As we've explored, L-Theanine emerges as a compelling natural ally in managing ADHD. From enhancing focus and reducing hyperactivity to improving sleep quality and cognitive functioning, L-Theanine's diverse benefits align seamlessly with the challenges faced by those with ADHD. It stands out as a beacon of hope for many seeking alternative or complementary approaches to traditional ADHD treatments.

However, it's important to remember that every individual's experience with ADHD is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. Therefore, integrating L-Theanine into an ADHD management plan should be done in consultation with healthcare professionals, ensuring it aligns with individual health needs and existing treatment plans.

We'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences! Have you or someone you know tried L-Theanine for managing ADHD? What were the outcomes? Did you notice improvements in focus, sleep, or overall well-being? 

Please share your stories in the comments below. Your insights could be precious to others navigating similar paths. Let's continue the conversation and learn from each other's journeys with ADHD and L-Theanine.

We Would Love To Here Your Comments Leave A Comment


  1. L-theanine, a natural constituent in tea, and its effect on mental state, (1),
  2. l-Theanine protects against excess dopamine-induced neurotoxicity in the presence of astrocytes, (2),
  3. In Search of a Safe Natural Sleep Aid, (3),
  4. A Novel Theanine Complex, Mg-l-Theanine Improves Sleep Quality via Regulating Brain Electrochemical Activity, (4),
  5. Psychotropic effects of L-theanine and its clinical properties: From the management of anxiety and stress to a potential use in schizophrenia, (5),
  6. A Novel Theanine Complex, Mg-L-Theanine Improves Sleep Quality via Regulating Brain Electrochemical Activity, (6),
  7. Effects of l-Theanine on Cognitive Function in Middle-Aged and Older Subjects: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Study, (7),
  8. L-theanine improves neurophysiological measures of attention in a dose-dependent manner: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study, (8),

Let Us Know Your Comments