L-Theanine and Caffeine: Benefits and Effects

L-Theanine and Caffeine for Energy and Focus

Ever been so involved in a project you lost track of time and thoroughly enjoyed yourself? You weren’t tired, you didn’t feel forced, you weren’t watching the clock, and you had an intense amount of focus on whatever it was you were doing?

Congratulations, you were in the zone.

The “zone” or “flow” is a fantastic, coveted place to be when you’re working or trying to focus on any particular task. Two components of that state are focus and energy. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to get into a state of flow.

You may be focused for a bit, but start drifting because you’re tired. Or the opposite may be true – you may have energy, but can’t get your mind to settle on one task. There is a way to bring the two together more easily.

How L-Theanine Contributes to Flow

If you experience too little stimulation or stress, you may be disengaged, or bored, with your work. This is often the result of menial or repetitive tasks which you do not find challenging.

However, you can artificially increase stimulation through stimulatory supplements like caffeine or medications like ADHD medicine. This is why you hear about students or workers taking Adderall or other stimulants to study and complete work. It’s often not because the course or job is too mentally taxing. It’s that the coursework or tasks are too boring without artificial stimulation.

Before we get into how stimulation increases are chances of achieving flow, let’s examine the Yerkes-Dodson Law. Below is the original curve which illustrates this law:

The Yerkes-Dodson law states that performance increases with mental arousal (stimulation). But this is only true up to a point. If there is too much stimulation or stress, then performance decreases.

We can view the “peak” areas of the Yerkes-Dodson as the “flow” area. We want to stay within this peak area for optimal work efficiency and enjoyment.
If you’re feeling sluggish or unmotivated, caffeine pushes you toward this peak. However, if you keep taking caffeine or take a dosage that’s too high, you will overshoot the peak and become overstimulated. You can tell this is happening when you feel jittery and have trouble staying focused.

In this hyper stimulated state, you may also feel a state of mania and your mind starts to wander or daydream. A common state of overestimation is checking emails, browsing the web or social sites. This keeps your mind unfocused and wandering from subject to subject.

This is where L-Theanine helps. Theanine reduces the negative stimulatory effects of caffeine and other stimulants. This will bring you back to the center of the Yerkes-Dodson curve and closer to achieving flow. Once a state of flow is achieved, be mindful not to keep taking more stimulants or you will find yourself pushed to the right of the “peak” once more.

This article at psychologytoday.com further explains the concept of flow, applies it to the workplace, and describes how different mental states affect employees.

Energy Benefits of Caffeine Supplements

Finding energy isn’t difficult. Drink some coffee, pop a caffeine pill. Problem solved, right? Not necessarily. Caffeine supplements alone can definitively give you an edge on your energy levels, but the type of energy may not be what you want. Having a jittery, jumpy mental state can leave you with the temporary energy for running laps around a building and subsequently crashing – hard.

Focus with Theanine Supplements

L-Theanine is an amino acid . While occurring naturally in tea, L-Theanine extract is most effective. L-Theanine is processed very efficiently by the body and crosses the blood brain barrier easily [1].

L-Theanine Benefits [2] [3]:

  • Mental relaxation
  • Reduced stress
  • Improved memory
  • Enhanced learning
  • Increased alpha-wave activity (waves produced in a relaxed awake state)

So, supplementary L-Theanine alone can improve your relaxed awake state. You will be able to think clearly and  easily sort through life.

L-Theanine and Caffeine

For thousands of years, monks have used L-Theanine and caffeine in tea to help with meditation. It’s unlikely they were aware of the individual components, but the combination has stood the test of time. Energy and motivation gained with coffee is harnessed by a smoothed over mental state with L-Theanine and creates an ideal environment for intense focus[4]. You get all the alertness and focus of caffeine supplements and none of the stressful anxiety.

Caffeine and L-Theanine Dosage

A highly recommended dosage of Theanine to caffeine is a ratio of 2:1 (2 parts L-Theanine for 1 part caffeine). If that sounds complicated at all, don’t worry; it’s not.
Base the caffeine dosage on your normal caffeine intake and tolerance. For example, if you’re used to drinking a cup of coffee each morning and it has 100mg caffeine, combine 200mg L-Theanine. If you want to start small, you can use a small amount of caffeine, 50mg, and then 100mg of L-theanine.
If taken on an empty stomach, the effects can be felt within 15-20 minutes and will add a few hours of blissful flow to your day. Since the combination has more of a focused energy effect than the sheer rush of caffeine alone, the effects, while noticeable, are much more subtle and provide a perfect background for any activity.

L-Theanine and Caffeine Online

Prices for caffeine and L-Theanine are fairly standard across the board. You can find green tea or coffee in any number of stores and on any number of websites.

The trick is in finding quality supplements.

Many sites do not use third-party testing and so you cannot be sure if what you are purchasing is high quality or not. Many of the major online retailers do not disclose whether or not they use third-party testing, which poses an issues.

Examples of vendors which sell L-Theanine that have confirmed US lab testing are purebulk.com, nootropicsdepot.com, and nutravitashop.com. Unlike some of the bigger brands, they will provide lab testing results upon request.

Be careful if you purchase from Amazon or eBay from small brand vendors or from unknown websites. Many of these small vendors only rely on the manufacturer’s (usually from China) certificate of analysis, or COA, since US lab testing is a significant cost. US lab testing can double the materials cost for a small vendor since they purchase raw materials in smaller quantities and lack the economies of scale of bigger companies.

If you’re not sure about a vendor, send them a message and ask for US lab testing or third-party lab testing results. Some quality vendors like nootropicsdepot.com have their own lab. Although this technically isn’t third-party testing, they can still validate their quality claims with in-house, US lab testing results.

Theanine and Caffeine Sources

[1] L-Theanine Wiki

[2] http://www.med.nyu.edu/content?ChunkIID=653856

[3] http://www.smartbodyz.com/L-Theanine-Information.htm

[4] http://jn.nutrition.org/content/138/8/1572S.full.pdf

Top Four Supplements to Boost Energy and Mood

how to relaxEveryone wants to feel better. In today’s hectic and fast paced life, we all want more energy and an improved mood.

The problem is that most of what is being touted as mood or energy enhancers is really anything but. If they even work at all, another problem is that they are not natural and can have harmful long-term effects.

The good news is that if you are actively looking for a solution to this problem, there are amino acids. Yes, amino acids are the supplements you learned about back in school as the building blocks of protein. Take a look at four of the most popular.
Continue reading “Top Four Supplements to Boost Energy and Mood”

Energy and Mood Boosting Supplements

Introduction to Mood and Energy Boosters:

supplements to boost energyNearly everyone seems to be interested in either improving their mood or boosting energy levels. In fact, it is safe to say that if these two things could be done safely and naturally most people would be interested. There are indeed natural supplements on the market known as mood enhancers that do exactly this. While some of them may also be good for quick energy bursts, it would be better to combine them together with another energy booster.

Mood Boosting Supplements:

Basically, when you are looking at taking something to help enhance mood, you are trying to also level things out. Mood swings are often caused by unusual rises and falls in neurotransmitter levels within the brain. There are some nice supplements that can help to even things out. Continue reading “Energy and Mood Boosting Supplements”

Does Modafinil Disrupt Sleep?


does modafinil disrupt sleepModafinil is in a class of supplements known as eugeroics. Modafinil is actually a chemical stimulant, although its specific mode of action is not entirely understood. Even though it does not appear to work in a similar fashion to caffeine, there is a big interest in this supplement from those who are having sleep problems since it can be useful for staying awake and alert. Of course, this also raises the question as to whether or not Modafinil actually disrupts sleep.

Why Modafinil Is Used:

The main and stated clinical use of this supplement is for helping with narcolepsy. However, many people use Modafinil for a number of sleep problems and issues. People with sleep apnea who are using continuous positive airway pressure therapy to deal with sleep apnea will wake up and not feel rested on a regular basis. The thought is that this supplement can help. Also, people who work night shifts sometimes find it helpful to use such a supplement in an effort to stay awake. Continue reading “Does Modafinil Disrupt Sleep?”

Herbal Teas with Nootropic Effects


These days it seems like we are seeing more learning-related issues than ever before. These issues include general brain ‘fogginess’ and lack of clear thinking ability. We could all use a little extra boost or a brain pick-me-up. One of the ways this boost can be accomplished is by choosing the right herbal teas.various teas that have a nootropic effect can help with studying


Huperzine is an extract from the Chinese moss huperzia serrata. This substance has been known to increase memory and recall speed due to the fact that it increases Acetylcholine levels within the brain. Acetylcholine is a powerful brain chemical thought to play a key role in memory, learning, and other cognitive processes. This supplement has been receiving increased attention and is beginning to be added to certain types of teas, so be on the lookout for it.

Ginkgo Biloba:

Another interesting herb that is also found in many teas is Ginkgo Biloba. Used for thousands of years in traditional Indian and eastern herbal remedies, this supplement has a well-known history of cognitive enhancing benefits. Research indicates that it can be helpful at improving memory and may also reduce anxiety. As an added benefit, it also acts to improve circulation within the brain and body, as an anti-inflammatory, and as a way to improve visual acuity.


Another well-known and researched herb with potential cognitive-enhancing properties is Ginseng. In fact, a major part of its current popularity is due to the potential improvements in memory, concentration, focus, and overall clarity of thought. It has also been shown to improve working memory and support feelings of relaxation and calm in healthy individuals. This herb is added to many teas and should be very easy to find. It also is thought to act as an anti-oxidant and provide immune system support.


Simply drinking tea can be an excellent—and easy—way to increase nootropic effects like enhanced cognition, reductions in stress, lessening of anxiety, and improved brain health and function. Of course, knowing which specific herbs to look for in the various tea formulations is also important. Watch for a few of the herbs listed above and try them for yourself.

NALT for Energy and Alertness

NALT Overview:

With many studies showing that the majority of Americans are overworked, a number of people would welcome something that helps increase energy levels. Of course, it is also important to use only all-natural sources that are completely safe. NALT shows promise in the energy arena. But what exactly is NALT and how does it work? What benefits are offered?


The official name of NALT is N Acetyl L-Tyrosine. It is an all-natural derivative of L-Tyrosine, a non-essential aminoNALT for energy and alertnessacid. This substance is made from Phenylethylamine or PEA. Interestingly enough, PEA is another closely-related amino acid. Tyrosine is also found in a number of foods including meat, fish, eggs, nuts, beans, wheat, oats, and dairy products.

How does NALT Work?

As an energy booster, NALT works by helping to produce two powerful brain chemicals, noradrenaline and dopamine. These chemicals are primarily responsible for mood and movement. This effect helps users to relieve feelings of stress and anxiety as well as improving mood and induces a feeling of general well-being.

Many studies have also indicated that NALT result in an increase in excitement. Neural receptors within the brain are either inhibitory (reducing activity) or excitatory (increasing activity). Those which increase activity, such as those affected by NALT, are usually responsible for improving energy, alertness, mental energy, and improving mood.

NALT Additional Benefits

In addition to helping to boost mood and energy levels, NALT has evidence to support that it may increase focus and concentration. It may even help to release a hormone in the stomach that has been shown to be helpful at controlling appetite. This release could be great help for those looking to diet more effectively or better control their weight.

Several studies have also shown NALT to be effective at increasing blood flow and improving circulation in the body. These benefits may also lead to a reduction in blood pressure, especially for those who are already experiencing periods of high stress.

This supplement is also very fast-acting and capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier. Evidence also supports that it may have an effect on improving memory and general cognition. There are even some researchers who feel this supplement might also act as an antioxidant and potentially help to protect neurons within the brain.

NALT Dosage

The recommended dosage for NALT is 350 mg about 30-45 minutes before any acute stressor like exercise.

DMAE to Boost Mood


DMAE is also known by its chemical name, dimethylaminoethanol bitartrate. It is a natural compound that has many uses including skin care and as a dietary supplement and nootropic. As a supplement, it is essential to the production of acetylcholine, a powerful brain chemical that helps nerve cells transmit signals and communicate with one another. What is DMAE and how does it help to boost mood? Are there additional benefits of taking a DMAE supplement?dmae boosts mood

DMAE Benefits:

DMAE is normally found in small amounts in the brain already. This important supplement has numerous benefits including the ability to help boost mood, improve intelligence, and even improve memory and learning. Research has also shown this supplement has the ability to stabilize and prevent the uncontrolled leakage of key enzymes within cells. More specifically, many researchers consider this type of enzymatic leakage to be a main trigger for aging as well as damage to connective tissues.

Most of the aforementioned benefits are explained by the effect that DMAE has on acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is one of the most powerful brain neurotransmitters. Once ingested, the DMAE supplement enters the bloodstream and begins the process of converting into this neurotransmitter. This transformation in turn helps to create or support many of the cognitive benefits listed above.

How DMAE Bitartrate Helps Boost Mood:

With an increase in the production of acetylcholine, mood is improved. This chemical is considered to be an excitatory neurotransmitter, making brain cells and neurons fire off rapidly. In other words, it is stimulatory and helps to make you feel good. This is especially true considering that the major parts of the brain affected by acetylcholine direct mood and movement. DMAE should also help to reduce any feelings of stress, nervousness, or irritability.

Another interesting fact about DMAE is that it is involved in the production and conservation of energy. Every time we move or contract a muscle, we use a little bit of DMAE. Supplementation actually helps to boost our energy levels without taxing the metabolism and this helps to improve or promote a feeling of general wellbeing.

DMAE Dosage:

While there is not any recommended dosage for DMAE, most experts agree that a good range to follow is between 100 and 300 mg per day.

Glutamine for Energy

Whether you wake up every morning to a 5k run or if you find it harder and harder to get out of the bed in the morning everyone can benefit from an increase in energy. It may mean the difference between finishing that last set; it could mean getting that report in to your boss earlier than usual. If you find yourself suffering from a lack of energy in your day to day life or if you just want an extra boost to increase your fitness results then look no further. Glutamine supplementation is a healthy and natural method of increasing your overall energy levels, read on to get the full scoop.glutamine for energy

What is Glutamine?

Glutamine is one of the 20 naturally occurring amino acids existing in nutritional protein. It is considered a conditionally essential amino acid in that it becomes essential during bouts of intense endurance exercise or physical trauma. Additionally, in humans, glutamine is the most abundant free amino acid.

In summary glutamine is a form of an amino acid supplement that is non-stimulatory and provides a number of health benefits when supplemented correctly, particularly in those who may have a deficiency (of glutamine) and/or those who exercise regularly. Glutamine is sold as a stand-alone supplement, can be found in high levels in whey/casein protein and can also be found in different meats and eggs.

Functions of Glutamine

Glutamine as a supplement plays a key role in a variety of biomechanical functions including: protein synthesis (all 20 proteinogenic amino acids do this), regulation of acid-base balance in the kidneys (produces ammonium), cellular energy (what we’re after!), nitrogen donation for anabolic processes (more energy), carbon donation for citric acid cycle (even more energy), and the nontoxic transportation of ammonia .

Benefits of Supplementing Glutamine

The benefits of glutamine supplementation have a wide range of impact in the human body. What we want to focus on is how glutamine can help support a healthy and consistent increase in overall energy. This is achieved due to the fact that glutamine is the primary transporter of nitrogen for your muscle cells, meaning an increase in glutamine – specifically when levels are depleted through training – can help to return that energy lost. You may be familiar with the notion that the recovery process is one of the most important factors in making real and consistent progression; therefore through the use of glutamine we can give ourselves an important advantage that allows us to recharge more rapidly and increase overall output.

Glutamine Dosage

As with all supplements, dosage should be based on a combination of high attentiveness to your body’s personal response and the adherence to the information/warnings included with your products packaging. Standard adult dosage ranges from 5g -30g and is typically broken up into several smaller doses throughout the course of the day. If you are looking for a supplement to support an increase in overall energy levels, or are just focused on recovering as fast as possible so you can get back in the gym, glutamine supplementation is a great option that is hard to ignore.




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