Did You Know that L-Theanine Can Help With Mental Fatigue?

Did You Know that L-Theanine Can Help With Mental Fatigue? by Article Motron

The health benefits of tea seem never-ending. Studies in connection with its purported roles in treating just anything are well underway, including the discovery of the polyphenolic antioxidant catechin. In the past few years it has also been associated with L-theanine widely known to reduce both physical and mental fatigue. Having been granted the status GRAS, generally recognized as safe, by the US Food and Drug Administration, L-theanine is now commercially touted as a therapeutic agent for stress-related illnesses with no adverse effects even in extremely high dosages largely owing to the fact that it has adaptogenic properties, which translates to warding off degradation at the cellular level and repairing damaged cells.

Tea is a universal non-alcohol beverage with an unrivalled history of consumption encompassing a multitude of cultures. The name itself has transcended significant vernacular changes, having derivatives that sound noticeably similar to the Chinese "te" or "cha". It is a link to a number of cultural ties among nations nowadays, even evolving into local practices, such as the Japanese tea ceremony and the British tea culture. Its health benefits also date back to its antiquity and have been rediscovered throughout the centuries, explaining tea's overwhelming presence up to now. When antioxidants became a popular subject in the twentieth century, tea was revealed to be a natural source of polyphenols. In addition, L-theanine was identified as a substance naturally occurring in tea.

L-theanine has an effect on the production of the amino acid called gamma-aminobutyric acid, more commonly known as GABA, which is at the same time a neurotransmitter directly connected to the supervision of muscle contractions. Low levels of GABA have been tied to lesions in the upper motor neurons, contributing to a reduction in the neural activities that influence muscles to produce the desired force outputs, in other words muscle fatigue. One of the causes of mental fatigue is related to neurocognitive deficits in the brain, pointing to insufficient releases of neurotransmitters, like GABA, implicated in processes involved in every action the human body engages in. This is the reason why the increased production of GABA due to L-theanine intake leads to relaxing, anti-anxiety effects.

One neurotransmitter also known to be involved in mental fatigue is dopamine. Dopamine influences the processes that mobilize other substances in the body and coordinate their interrelated functions under stress. These processes slow down as we engage in the same kinds of activities for long periods of time, causing what we experience as mental fatigue. Since we feel stressed out we do not work as fast as we used to due to the mistakes we make, let alone meet the desired levels of productivity. Chronic fatigue syndrome results from the continuing decrease in dopamine levels among others. There is strong evidence that L-theanine restores the required dopamine levels in the brain, reversing the effects of mental fatigue.

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