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When To Take L-Theanine: Timing Guide For Best Benefits
Oct 23, 23
This article has been vetted by the Onnit Advisory Board. Read more about our editorial process.
Author: Sony Sherpa

When To Take L-Theanine: Timing Guide For Best Benefits

  • 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.

  • |
  • 10 min read
When To Take L-Theanine: Timing Guide For Best Benefits

You've probably heard about L-theanine if you've looked into supplements to help your mental health and overall wellness. This naturally occurring amino acid, found predominantly in green tea, has gained attention for its possible advantages on stress reduction, cognitive function, and sleep quality.

However, like with other supplements, timing is crucial. The time you take your supplement determines how it can improve your life.

So, should you take it first thing in the morning to give you a surge of energy before you start your day? Or should you take it in the evening to help you relax after a long day and get a good night's sleep?

There is no one-size-fits-all solution. It all comes down to your personal health goals. That's why we've discussed timing in this blog post to help you get the most out of your supplement. Aside from determining the optimal time to take L theanine, we'll provide further tips for maximizing the benefits of this potent amino acid.

Let’s explore the best time of day to take L-theanine.

Understanding L-Theanine

Understanding L-Theanine

L-theanine is an amino acid in green and black teas, and researchers and consumers believe there are numerous reasons to increase your intake. The amino acid is also considered the primary component responsible for the flavor of green tea.

Some evidence suggests that theanine can help modulate neurochemicals such as dopamine, GABA, and serotonin to increase sleep quality, boost focus(1) and even relaxation. It is reputed for its ability to promote relaxation without drowsiness.

The question is–when is the best time to take L-Theanine to reap optimal benefits?

The Best Time Of The Day To Take L Theanine

The Best Time Of The Day To Take L Theanine

First and foremost, does it matter when you take this supplement? It certainly does because taking it at the wrong moment can have the opposite impact as intended.

You can take L-Theanine daily for numerous reasons, and your specific requirements will determine when you should take your L-Theanine dose.

Some of the elements that may influence your decision are as follows:

  • The reason why you want to take it.
  • Whether or not you intend to consume L-Theanine with caffeine
  • Your sleep-wake cycle.
  • Your total L-Theanine consumption.

When to take L theanine: morning or night?

If you're taking L theanine for energy, it doesn't make sense to take it at night. On the other hand, attempting to boost your sleep cycle by taking a L theanine supplement in the morning may not provide much benefit when bedtime arrives.

So, here’s how to incorporate L-theanine based on your goals.

L Theanine in the morning

If your primary goal is to improve your cognitive abilities and attention during the day, you should take your L-theanine supplement in the morning.

This is because L-theanine stimulates the production of alpha brain waves, which are connected with "wakeful relaxation" states. That's your state of mind when you meditate, are creatively engaged, or daydream.

As a result, L-theanine is a great partner for those mornings when you need to be at your best, whether for an important meeting, a creative project, or an exam.

It can help you create a relaxed focus by boosting your natural brain function without the jittery side effects of other stimulants.

L Theanine in the afternoon

The stress-relieving benefits of L-theanine are especially effective during the day. L-theanine can help you retain your cool in stressful situations by modifying the body's physiological response to stress. This reduces both mental and physical symptoms of stress.

L Theanine in the evening

L-theanine is well-known for its sleep-enhancing qualities(2), particularly its ability to promote relaxation and alleviate insomnia.

How does it accomplish this? Increasing the amounts of GABA, serotonin, and dopamine in the brain - neurotransmitters that play important roles in mood control, sleep, and relaxation. L-theanine can help prepare your body for a good night's sleep by raising these levels.

While L-theanine is not a sedative, it does help to produce a sense of calm and equilibrium in the mind, lowering tension and anxiety. This could help you unwind from the day and prepare your body for a restful night's sleep. L-theanine's support for developing alpha brain waves in the evening can help ease the transition between the alert state required for daily activities and the restful state desired for sleep.

However, timing is everything. Taking L-theanine too soon to bedtime may result in a very restful sleep, but it may make waking up the following day more difficult. On the other hand, taking it too early in the evening may result in its benefits wearing off before you're ready to sleep.

L-Theanine: A Morning Energizer And Night-Cap

L-Theanine: A Morning Energizer And Night-Cap

You may wonder how it works so well to improve sleep quality at night while providing a cognitive boost in the morning. This is somewhat paradoxical, yet it is part of the charm and wonder of this remarkable chemical.

L-theanine is fascinating since it does not immediately stimulate or sedate the body. It generates a state of "relaxed alertness" instead. This means it can assist in increasing focus and cognitive function without giving you the jittery feeling that stimulants like caffeine do.

This relaxed awareness might translate into increased focus and productivity during the day. L-theanine can help keep your mind clear and sharp by combining it with the natural energizing effects of daylight and the energetic pace of a typical morning.

L-theanine's relaxing effects, on the other hand, can be especially effective at night. Although it does not function as a sedative, it can aid in relaxation and stress reduction, preparing your body for sleep. If you've ever woken up at night with your mind racing from the day's worries, L-theanine can help by relaxing your nervous system and producing a more peaceful state.

This means you could benefit from adding this supplement to your regimen regardless of your lifestyle or health state. Now that we've covered when to take L-theanine morning or night let's look at how it might be coupled with other supplements or beverages for better results.

Combining L-Theanine With Other Supplements Or Beverages

Combining L-Theanine With Other Supplements Or Beverages

Experts believe that mixing L-theanine and caffeine has synergistic effects on attention and attentiveness. It is well known that consuming excessive coffee can cause a person to feel agitated or nervous. L-theanine, on the other hand, has been shown to alleviate stress.

Combining these two will negate the possible stress-inducing effects of caffeine. In addition, the amino acid will not neutralize the caffeine's alerting effects. In a way, taking this amino acid with coffee allows you to reap all of the benefits without worrying about the drawbacks.

Combining these two would be ideal for enhancing mental performance and overall focus. Another reason these two chemicals complement each other so well is because L-theanine is a nootropic, whereas caffeine is not.

L theanine can also be combined with magnesium supplements.  The combination will relieve physical stress and calm anxiousness.

Dosage Guidelines And Precautions

Dosage Guidelines And Precautions

Because L-theanine is not a drug, there are no established recommendations for how much to take. People often take 100-500 mg of L-theanine per day, with the total dosage divided into three smaller doses taken during the day.

It is unlikely that the supplement will cause an overdose. However, following basic caffeine consumption guidelines can be beneficial if you drink tea.

Safety Precaution For L-Theanine

Although most people are unlikely to experience adverse effects while taking L-theanine, the supplement may interact with certain drugs. Before taking L-theanine supplements, consult your doctor about any current medications.

The following medications and supplements may interact with L-theanine:

  • Blood pressure-lowering supplements.
  • Blood pressure medications.
  • Stimulants, such as those used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Personalized Approach

Whether you benefit from taking L-theanine morning or evening depends on your preferences.

As a result, when selecting the ideal timing and optimal dosage, consider your daily routines, individual wellness goals, and sensitivities. Keep a journal to track how L-theanine affects you over time.

FAQs About When To Take L-Theanine

Can I Use L-Theanine Daily, Or Should I Cycle It?

Cycling vitamins like L theanine can help you avoid nootropic burnout. This allows you to get the most of your nutrients and your body. You can use L-theanine for three to four weeks and then cease for one week or take the weekend off.

What Is The Recommended L-Theanine Dosage And Timing For Focus And Concentration?

Most people find that taking 200-400 mg of L-theanine first thing in the morning works best for them. In general, it is advised that you do not exceed 500 milligrams (mg) each day.

Can I Take L-Theanine With Or Without Food?

L -theanine can be taken 30 mins before food. This improves the absorption of the supplement.

Key Takeaways

When to take L-theanine? This depends on the benefits you want to reap. For example, if you want to improve your focus or energy levels, we recommend taking it first thing in the morning. Similarly, if you want to use L-Theanine to help you sleep at night, take it 30-60 minutes before bed.

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  1. Effects of L-Theanine Administration on Stress-Related Symptoms and Cognitive Functions in Healthy Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial, (1) 
  2. In Search of a Safe Natural Sleep Aid, (2)

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