Relieve Stress and Improve Cognition With L-Theanine

Everybody experiences days where stress levels hit their peak. It is in times like these that everyone should have access to L-theanine, which is an amino acid that can take the anxiety and stress away from a hard day.

What exactly is L-Theanine?

A precise description would say that L-Theanine (also known as just Theanine) is an amino acid and a glutamic acid analog commonly found in green tea, and is widely used as a way to relieve both mental and physical stress [1]. A more simple answer would be that L-Theanine is used around the world (whether it be through drinks such as green tea or food such as chocolate) to help people feel relaxed, yet perked up [2].

How does L-Theanine work?

L-Theanine works by crossing the blood-brain barrier, and then increases the brain’s dopamine and alpha wave levels [3], which makes the user feel calm and at ease. On top of that, Theanine does not take long to kick in, with most users feeling better within moments of the theanine being digested [4].

What else should I know about L-Theanine Benefits?

It Helps With Short-term Memory

Studies have shown that L-Theanine is also capable of improving a user’s short term memory, and can have a significant effect on the general state of mental alertness or arousal [5]. This evidence was obtained through tests which compared human electroencephalograph (EEGs) levels, which in the end showed that L-Theanine had a direct effect on brain wave levels.

It Can Increase Attention Span Levels

When tested, L-Theanine showed that at realistic dietary levels it could manage to improve alpha levels, which are known to play an important role in critical aspects of attention span levels.

Boost Mood levels and reduce anxiety

In a manner similar to caffeine [6], theanine can boost the mood of its user, and can do so without providing the excess of energy that caffeine provides.

No harmful psychological or physical effects [7]

In several tests, L-Theanine proved to have no adverse side effects on the brain of its test subjects. In fact, in some test subjects, the usage of L-Theanine proved to have neuroprotective properties, which actually helped slow the damage of afflictions such as spine and brain damage [8].

Tests and consumers from around the world have testified to the positive results of L-Theanine. With its ability to stimulate the mind while simultaneously relaxing the mind, it’s no wonder Theanine so popular.


Resources

[1]   http://link.springer.com

[3]    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18296328

[4]    http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/jmf.2009.1374

[5]    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18296328

[7]    http://www.sciencedirect.com

[8]    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ptr.2261/abstract;jsessionid=7FFE89F035E50EF433894CB0E66FD099.d01t03

Better Sleep with Melatonin

Sleep is a necessary function in keeping our bodies healthy.  Sleep deprivation can result in emotional and physical fatigue, as well as a breakdown in cognitive functions.  Our post-industrial society offers distractions and barriers that inhibit sleep.better sleep

The Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School has found that in the short term, sleep deprivation can affect judgment, learning, emotions, and other cognitive functions.  In the long term, chronic deprivation can result in higher rates of “obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even early mortality.”

What is Melatonin?

Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone, found in people, plants, and animals.  Hormone levels fluctuate during the day, increasing or decreasing, depending on the environment.

Melatonin Benefits

Free radicals are unpaired groups of atoms that interact with certain molecules, such as our DNA or cell membranes.  These interactions can lead to poor cellular function, and even cellular destruction.  A powerful antioxidant, melatonin absorbs free radicals in the body, arresting these reactions and preventing molecular damage.[1]

One of the major benefits of melatonin is it is paramount in regulating the sleep cycle, making a proper balance of the hormone a critical component to an individual’s health. The absence of light causes an increase in melatonin production, which aids in sleep.  When light is introduced, melatonin production decreases. If the body is deprived of light during the day, or receives too much at night, levels of melatonin can deviate outside an optimal balance. This inconsistent and unnatural frequency of exposure may disrupt the sleep cycle.

Based on medical research, the University of Maryland Medical Center has found evidence that individuals who take melatonin supplements are able to fall to sleep more quickly.  Further, sufficient levels of melatonin help an individual to maintain sound sleep, through the night. Melatonin levels can decrease as one gets older.  Taking the supplement helps to establish a healthy and consistent sleep cycle over time. Hormone levels can also fluctuate seasonally and the introduction of supplements assists in adjusting to the seasonal changes.

Melatonin has other benefits beyond helping to maintain a restful sleep cycle. There is evidence that melatonin may decrease deterioration in the cognitive ability of Alzheimer’s patients, possibly by defending brain cells from “beta-amyloid,” a toxic protein.[2] The hormone has also demonstrated the ability to fight various types of cancer and counteract the harmful effects of chemotherapy. Scientific trials have provided evidence that melatonin supplements increase the life span of individuals suffering from cancer.[3] Melatonin has also proven to be an effective treatment for migraines.[4]

Sources

[1] Reiter RJ, Tan DX, Leon J, Kilic U, Kilic E. When melatonin gets on your nerves: its beneficial actions in experimental models of stroke. Exp Biol Med (Maywood.). 2005 Feb;230(2):104-17.

[2] Cardinali DP, Furio AM, Reyes MP. Clinical perspectives for the use of melatonin as a chronobiotic and cytoprotective agent. Ann NY Acad Sci. 2005 Dec;1057:327-36.

[3] Lissoni P, Barni S, Mandala M, et al. Decreased toxicity and increased efficacy of cancer chemotherapy using the pineal hormone melatonin in metastatic solid tumour patients with poor clinical status. Eur J Cancer. 1999 Nov;35(12):1688-92.

[4] Peres MF, Zukerman E, da Cunha TF, Moreira FR, Cipolla-Neto J. Melatonin, 3 mg, is effective for migraine prevention. Neurology. 2004 Aug 24;63(4):757.

Reduce stress and elevate your mood with NALT

Stress and low moods can create havoc in your body, brain, and life and there doesn’t seem to be any shortage of sources these days. When the body is under stress it goes into survival mode and stops performing at its best. Mental, physical, and emotional functions all suffer when stress is prevalent and the long term effects can be lethal. The body does havestress relief natural ways to combat stressful situations, however.  One of the main neurotransmitters produced in the brain that help elevate mood and improve brain function in many ways is dopamine [1]. Amongst other things, dopamine is responsible for mood, memory, body movement, and attention. While dopamine occurs naturally in the brain, you can help maximize the levels with proper supplementation. NALT (N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine) is one of the most efficient supplements for boosting dopamine production.

How does NALT work?

NALT is a more bioavailable derivative of l-tyrosine, a non-essential amino acid that can be taken in through food or synthesized by the body [2]. NALT works by increasing neurotransmitter levels in the brain, primarily the important neurotransmitter mentioned above: dopamine.  Dopamine controls a wide range of functions in the brain, but primarily gives you an overall sense of wellbeing. Suboptimal levels of dopamine can adversely affect your brain’s reward system and leave you feeling down or depressed. In fact, severe dopamine deficiency is linked to serious medical conditions [1]. Stress also reduces the body’s ability to synthesize chemicals appropriately, so during periods of stress all the effects of deficiencies in essential neurotransmitters like dopamine can be magnified, causing you to feel even more stressed out, overwhelmed, and helpless.

What are the benefits of NALT?

Since NALT promotes the formation of dopamine in the brain, it’s a popular supplement in the health community for naturally elevating mood. Users of NALT report a sense of attentive relaxation, a general sense of well being or feeling good and an ability to focus more intently on and enjoy projects or tasks that they may not have been able to before (this could be attributed to an increase in dopamine since dopamine is an important part of the brain’s reward mechanism). The positive effects of NALT supplementation are further enhanced when stressful conditions arise. As you can imagine, being able to relax and not overreact when you are under emotional or physical stress is very valuable. You can think more clearly, plan out your next actions more effectively, and cope with situations better. Through the elevation of dopamine and other chemicals in the brain, NALT supplementation may help improve memory and mental performance under stressful situations like fatigue, times of grief , prolonged work, or sleep deprivation.

How should you take NALT?

Recommended dosages of quality NALT products begin between 100-150mg/day and increase up to 500mg/day depending on your stress levels and desired results. Since NALT affects dopamine levels, it’s imperative that you consult with your doctor before beginning a regimen of tyrosine, especially if you are already on any kind of medication to treat depression.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dopamine

[2] http://www.livestrong.com

[3] http://www.webmd.com

5-HTP, Melatonin, and Valerian Root

Relax with 5htp and MelatoninRelaxation is key to leading a fulfilling life.  However, between work, school, and family life, it can often be difficult to find the time to do so.

Even if you do find time, winding down from a stressful day can be difficult when tomorrow’s worries are on your mind.  Luckily, there are many supplements that can aid in relaxation.  While they each work on their own, many times a combination of supplements will do you amazing things.

Synergy

Sometimes, it can be greatly beneficial to stack supplements to achieve a greater and more desirable effect than the sum of its parts. This is known as a synergistic effect.

Oftentimes, one will hear that two particular supplements or nootropics will have synergistic effects. A common example of these phenomena is a racetam paired with choline. Individually, they are powerful nootropics, but when paired together they complement each other very nicely.

5-HTP for Vivid Dreams

A great relaxation stack that synergizes well is pairing 5-HTP, valerian root, and melatonin. These supplements work great on their own, but oftentimes people will find the effects to not be strong enough. 5-HTP is known to be a precursor to serotonin, which is a vasoconstrictor that stimulates muscle relaxation which regulates the brain in learning, mood, and sleep.[1]

Taken alone, 5-HTP gives a sensation of relaxation and has reportedly been known to increase the vivid nature of dreams which suggests an increase in recall memory.

Valerian Root

Valerian root is another great addition to the relaxation stack because it is known to reduce anxiety and is also known to be possibly mildly sedating. [2][3]

It is usually brewed in tea, but can be taken as a general supplement as well. Similarly to 5-HTP’s effects, people have reported valerian to be responsible for more vivid dreams.

Melatonin

Finally, melatonin is a great addition to any relaxation stack. Most people only take melatonin before bed (as it is the chemical in the brain responsible for being “tired”), but can also be taken during the day for general relaxation.

As the safest of the three compounds in the relaxation stack, melatonin can be taken daily without any worry of side effects. In addition, it is also anecdotally reported that “less is more”. This means that melatonin seems to be more effective when taken in smaller doses (<5mg). It is greatly attributed to decreasing insomnia, adrenaline (hence the relaxation), and blood pressure among other great health benefits.[4]

For those days when you just need to relax and those nights when you can’t fall asleep, consider stacking 5-HTP, melatonin, and Valerian.

How to Assure that you Buy High-Quality Supplements

I know that it can be a crap-shoot when picking a supplement supplier.  With the prevalence of brick and mortar stores and online stores, it can be confusing and frustrating trying to find the best deal.

While finding the lowest price for a particular supplement may be tempting, it can often lead to purchasing a lower-quality supplement.  Some shady manufacturers will use low-quality supplements in order to increase profit margins.

It is your best bet to stick with a supplier who uses third-party testing to assure supplement quality.

Sources

[1]: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/232248.php

[2]: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20042323

[3]: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18160026

[4]: http://examine.com/supplements/Melatonin/

Exercise and Meditation for Better Relaxation

One of the best ways to relieve stress is through a physical activity. It is common knowledge that exercise is an essential aspect of life to maintain a healthy lifestyle and a good evening’s rest. Oftentimes people will turn to addictive behavior in order to escape a stressful lifestyle; however, exercise and meditation is a constructive method to release daily stress.exercise and meditation

Meditation

Meditation has a long history, and today many practice the art which in theory allows the meditator to sit in harmony, eliminating all thought and desire from the conscious thought process. This is supposed to relieve stress and be very relaxing. Many find meditating in the morning during the dark hours to be quite peaceful and fulfilling, and even experience an increased energy and focus throughout the rest of the day.

Others meditate by imagining what lies ahead. Professional athletes often visualize their movements and victories in their mind as a type of meditation in order to perform better in their field of sport. Actors meditate as a warm up exercise in order to better focus on the scene that they are about to perform. The idea is that the actors focus purely on their breathing and nothing else, which allows for an increased cognitive thought process during the scene post-meditation.

Exercise

Physical, strenuous exercise is very similar to meditation in this aspect. Oftentimes people find the most successful time to exercise is after a long stressful workday. Many people often feel too tired or lethargic to exercise at the end of the day, but those who do find themselves acquiring energy and personal satisfaction. Not only that, but fit people often report higher overall energy levels and positive influences on their social life.

Every sport has a certain level of stress-relief and meditation involved: A bowler will pause before rolling his ball down the lane and focus on his positioning and angle of release, a golfer will test the wind and focus greatly on getting their ball on the green, a climber will pause on the rock finding a solid handhold to hang off of, and a basketball player will stand at the free throw line and visualize the ball swishing in the net above.

These physical activities and meditation both often fill the individual with a clear focus and energy that persists throughout the day and the weeks ahead. Those who build a habit of regular exercise multiple times a week will find much greater benefit than those who only exercise when time permits. Those who are undecided should know that daily exercise is a wise investment. Just remember one hour is only 1/24 of a single day, less than 5%. Those who exercise will notice an overall improvement in the other 95% of their day, even when asleep.

Yohimbine Powder for Energy

Being short on energy when you need it most can leave you feeling flat. Whether you’re at work, in the gym, or in a social setting, you want to feel the best you can and be at the top of your game. Dragging yourself from one place to the next is no way to live life. Taking care of your body is the absolute first step in making sure this doesn’t happen to you. Eatingyohimbine for energyright, getting enough sleep and exercise can all help optimize your energy levels. And the right supplements can help give you even more of a boost. Even if you don’t have a perfect sleep schedule and eat a squeaky clean diet, adding some supplements for energy into your daily routine can help you shake off cobwebs. Yohimbine has been increasing in popularity as a supplement that does just that. Increased energy, more sexual vitality and fat loss have all been attributed to this fantastic herb.

What is Yohimbine Powder?

Yohimbe is a tree native to Cameroon, Gabon, and Zaire in Central Africa. Inside the soft, thick bark of this tree is the chemical Yohimbine which is often called and sold as Yohimbine HCL. Yohimbine powder has been used to help those suffering from a variety of conditions and is commonly known to aid in erectile dysfunction. This is the key ingredient in many sexual health products because it improves circulation and can increase the blood flow as well as the nerve impulses to the genitals. It causes dilation of blood vessels and smooth muscle relaxation – making it effective for helping those with erectile dysfunction and also as an effective enhancement of sexual performance [1].

Yohimbine for Energy

Yohimbine isn’t just something you pop for fun on a Saturday night. It’s also used for energy. While it does not contain any caffeine itself, yohimbine is often used instead of caffeine or in a stack with caffeine for a major boost. Yohimbine increases certain hormones released in the body, mainly norepinephrine. Norepinephrine plays a vital role in the fight or flight response to dangerous stimuli and gives you a burst of energy. The heart speeds up, your blood starts pumping. Then the increase in circulation, which could be the same foundation of the sexual benefits of yohimbine, wakes up your whole body and gets you ready to take on anything.

Yohimbine for Fat Loss

With more energy comes more fat loss. Yohimbine mobilizes fatty acids, releasing them from storage into the blood to be burned for energy. Many popular fat burners rely heavily on the fat burning effects of Yohimbine. In one popular study, the effects of yohimbine were measured on two groups of soccer players. One group was given a placebo and the other was given yohimbine. The yohimbine group lost significantly more fat percentage than the control group and reduced overall fat mass[2].

If you feel like you could use a boost of energy, in almost any situation, give yohimbine a shot. Yohimbine can provide the natural fuel you need to take your life to the next level. You can learn more about yohimbine here.

[1] Yohimbe Wiki

[2] http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/issa33.htm

Theanine for Anxiety Reduction

Anxiety affects a reported 4 million people nationwide and doesn’t show any signs of slowing. Chances are you or someone you know has dealt with anxiety on a daily basis. Whether you have severe anxiety troubles or just occasionally feel tense, there are numerous products on the market to assist you. The downside, however, is that many of them can be dangerous, addictive, or expensive. When offering advice for anxiety troubles, there is one natural supplement often overlooked that has been used for hundreds of years to safely provide a calming effect without breaking the bank. You can buy theanine supplement for as little as around $2 online.

L-theanine is an amino acid that is naturally found in tea [1]. L-theanine easily crosses the blood-brain barrier and has the wonderful psychoactive properties of reducing psychological and physiological stress [2]. When it enters the brain, l-theanine inhibits the transmitters in the brain that cause anxiety and increase dopamine levels. Generally speaking, theanine reduces anxiety and improves your sense of wellbeing. Individuals use theanine supplement to reduce anxiety on a daily basis. It is interesting to note that l-theanine has been shown to increase alpha brain waves [3]. These are the waves produced by the brain when it’s functioning at an optimal state for wakeful relaxation, so l-theanine actually impacts how your brain works.

With a reduction in anxiety and an overall calming effect come multiple benefits. For day-to-day activities, you can expect to go through them in a calmer, relaxed state and with improved brain function. After taking l-theanine, some users reported feelings of calmness in situations where they would normally feel anxious. In fact, it’s so effective at reducing general anxiety, it was shown in clinical trials to reduce anxiety even in patients with schizophrenia [4]. L-theanine can also be taken in conjunction with caffeine to help smooth the caffeine jitters and produce a sense of relaxed focus. The relaxing properties aren’t limited to the daytime either. Theanine supplement can be taken in the evening to calm your mind and help you fall asleep faster.

In addition to reducing anxiety, there are a number of emerging clinical and anecdotal benefits of l-theanine. These include [3]:

  • Improved immune system function
  • Enhanced memory and learning
  • Protection of neurons in the brain
  • Improved efficacy of cancer treatments
  • Reduced body fat percentage
  • Lower blood pressure

How Should You Take L-Theanine?

While a small amount of l-theanine can be consumed by drinking green and black tea, the amounts are too minimal to achieve maximum effectiveness. Supplementing l-theanine via capsules or powders is the best way to achieve the best results. Dosage varies from person to person, but start by taking 50mg once or twice a day and increasing until you feel a reduction in anxiety or an increase in your calmness. Many users like to use 100mg 3-4 times daily. High theanine dosages have been safely tested on rats in clinical trials with no adverse effects, so safety at these dosages shouldn’t be a primary concern.

Sources

[1] http://www.ltheanine.net/

[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16930802

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theanine

[4] http://www.stanleyresearch.org/Trial/Drug/awardedtrialdetail.aspx?id=252

Stress Relief with GABA Supplementation

Nearly everyone experiences stressful circumstances from time to time.  We are constantly looking for new ways to relieve ourselves from stress and increase the quality of our lives. A great and natural way to address this very common issue is Gamma-Aminobutric Acid (GABA).

What is GABA?stress relief

GABA is produced in the human brain from glutamine and glucose. GABA is known for being a calming amino acid and a natural regulator of nervous system excitement. It significantly helps balance your mind. When in a situation that may prove to be anxious or frightening, GABA eases your mind as well as your thought process making it easier for you to concentrate. It also comes to the rescue when you need to sleep. GABA will help “shut off” a restless mind when your body senses that it’s time to rest. After the GABA releases you should notice that your dreams are much more vivid than usual, and you will be able to enhance your sleep-cycle, which in turn will increase the amount of energy you have the next day.  The healthy sleep that you fall into will considerably reduce your stress level for when you wake up.

This naturally produced amino acid has a very high rate of effectiveness without any side effects. Unfortunately people suffering from anxiety, depression and panic disorders do not usually produce enough GABA for their bodies to function properly, and help them deal with stressful situations when they arise. These people may need an outside source to supply them with this very useful amino acid. The quality of your life will noticeably increase and you will tend to feel more alive.

GABA for Stress Relief

GABA supplements will help with your stress, and anxiety issues, providing you with higher quality of life and less stress. When GABA is released, its effects are noticed almost immediately. In some instances you may even achieve the state of mental euphoria.

Sources: