May 04, 2022 4 min read

L-theanine is an amino acid found in green and black teas, and consumers and researchers alike think there may be plenty of reasons to add more to your diet. Some evidence suggests that theanine can help regulate neurochemicals like GABA, dopamine, and serotonin to help boost focus, improve sleep quality, and even promote relaxation. The question is–when is the best time to take L-Theanine to reap optimal benefits?

The answer? It depends what exactly you want L-theanine to do for you. Here, we’ll discuss what a daily L-Theanine dosing routine looks like for most people, including all of the most important details concerning when to take L-Theanine, whether to take it with food, and more.

Table of Contents
L-Theanine Benefits
When to Take L-Theanine?
How Long Will It Take for L-Theanine to Work?
How Much L-Theanine Can You Take?
Tips for the Best Time to Take L-Theanine?
Resources

Key Takeaways

  • The best time to take L-Theanine depends on how you intend to use it and other unique factors concerning your wellness routine.
  • Taking L-theanine daily, sometimes at multiple points throughout the day, is the best way to reap maximum benefits.
  • You should discuss your wellness routine with your doctor to determine the best time to take L-Theanine surrounding other supplements or medications.

L-Theanine Benefits

A 2012 study found that participants who drank tea, specifically black and green varieties containing a combination of 100 mg of L-theanine and 50 mg of naturally occurring caffeine, experienced increased focus and made fewer errors in attention-demanding tasks.

A hot cup of green tea, a natural source of L-theanine appropriate for daily dosing

Other research suggests that L-Theanine could be useful for enhancing sleep. A 2018 study found that participants reported better sleep quality after taking doses of up to 900 mg of L-theanine daily for up to 8 weeks.

An extensive 2016 review reports on several potential benefits, including L-Theanine’s potential ability to improve relaxation, lower heart rate, enhance the efficacy of certain chemotherapy drugs, increase cognitive performance, reduce blood pressure, and boost the immune system.

Much of the evidence available is still in it’s preliminary stages, of course, so you should always speak to your doctor when trying to determine if L-Theanine may be beneficial for you.

Read “L-Theanine Benefits” to learn more.

When to Take L-Theanine

There are a lot of different reasons you may choose to take L-Theanine each day, and your specific needs will affect when you should take your L-Theanine dose. Some factors that may impact your decision include:

  • The reason you intend to take it
  • Your total L-Theanine dosage
  • Your sleep-wake routine
  • What time of day is most convenient for regular doses
  • Whether you intend to take your L-Theanine with caffeine

Although there is some leniency in when you should take L-Theanine, here are some of the most common reasons and times it is used:

When to Take L-Theanine for Focus

If you're using l-theanine to boost your focus or energy levels, we recommend taking it first thing in the morning, ideally about 30 minutes before breakfast.

When to Take L-Theanine for Sleep

If you intend to use L-Theanine to help you sleep at night, take your dose about 30-60 minutes before bed.

When to Take L-Theanine for Anxiety

Some sources suggest that L-Theanine may have benefits for anxiety. If you intend to take L-Theanine for anxiety, you may try taking L-theanine in multiple doses spaced evenly throughout the day. Some people take a small to moderate dose of L-theanine every 3-4 hours for these purposes.

How Long Will It Take for L-Theanine to Work?

L-Theanine may take about half an hour to be absorbed, and it may take up to an hour to feel the full effects of your L-Theanine dose. Moreover, L-Theanine relies on a systemic response that helps create balance within the body, so you may need to take it daily for 2 to 3 weeks to experience optimal benefits.

How Much L-Theanine Can You Take?

On average, people take between 100-500 mg of L-theanine daily, and the total dosage may be divided into three smaller doses taken throughout the day.

We recommend you start with small doses and increase slowly as needed, allowing several days to evaluate the effects before changing your dosing routine. An L-theanine powder makes it easy to adjust your dosage. Talk to your doctor for help adjusting your wellness routine.

Read “L-Theanine Dosage” to learn more about how much L-Theanine to take for different health benefits.

Tips for the Best Time to Take L-Theanine

  • Many people take L-Theanine at multiple points throughout the day. You should do this by splitting your total daily dosage into two or three doses.
  • In some cases, (depending on the effects you seek) you may need to take a larger L-Theanine dose in the morning or at night.
  • Use an L-Theanine powder if you’d like to be able to easily alter the dosage size.
  • Take L-Theanine with plenty of water to help avoid heartburn and improve absorption. Alternatively, you can take L-Theanine as a tea.
  • L-Theanine works best when taken everyday and not when used as a spot treatment.
  • Talk to your doctor about your L-Theanine dose if you take other supplements or medications. L-Theanine is not commonly associated with many drug interactions, but you should always include your doctor when adjusting your wellness routine.

Resources

  1. “Assessing the effects of caffeine and theanine on the maintenance of vigilance during a sustained attention task” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22326943/
  2. “L-theanine in the adjunctive treatment of generalized anxiety disorder: A double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30580081/
  3. “l-Theanine as a Functional Food Additive: Its Role in Disease Prevention and Health Promotion” https://www.mdpi.com/2306-5710/2/2/13/htm

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