Posted on Sun, 20 Oct 13
Theanine, an amino acid found in tea, has shown promising anti-stress effects and a new study suggests theanine can significantly lower feelings of stress relatively quickly.
The study involved a group of 5th-year university students who were preparing for a pharmacy practice placement. The students took theanine (200 mg twice daily) or placebo for 1-week before the practice started and then for 10 days over the practice period.
They also had their morning salivary α-amylase activity (sAA) measured as a marker of sympathetic nervous system activity. The sympathetic nervous system governs the "fight-or-flight" response to stress with higher activity related to symptoms such as worry and anxiety.
Compared to the placebo-group, sAA was lower in theanine-group and subjective stress was also significantly lower. These results suggest that theanine can effectively reduce feelings of stress, a benefit that may be in part due to theanine's ability to calm down your sympathetic nervous system.
Unno K, Tanida N, Ishii N, et al. Anti-stress effect of theanine on students during pharmacy practice: Positive correlation among salivary α-amylase activity, trait anxiety and subjective stress. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2013 Sep 16;111C:128-135.