L-theanine, a powerful amino acid found in green tea, is a compound with nootropic properties that many people take to provide a calming effect without impeding overall cognitive performance.
These benefits have drawn the eye of people who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) because many of the effects of l-theanine address some of the common ADHD symptoms.
This article covers all the available evidence on whether L-Theanine for ADHD is suitable and if taking the supplement may be appropriate.
- Does L-Theanine Help With ADHD?
- Can L-Theanine Cause ADHD or Make It Worse?
- L-Theanine Dosage For ADHD: How Much To Take?
- Are Caffeine And L-Theanine A Good Combination For ADHD?
Does L-Theanine Help With ADHD?
ADHD symptoms include impulsivity, trouble focusing and paying attention, irritability, poor stress management, difficulty with organization, mood swings, and hyperactivity.
The wide range of L-theanine benefits provides many features that may improve some of those uncomfortable and distressing issues associated with ADHD.
It can provide feelings of relaxation that can help to curb impulsive behavior and reduce restlessness.
Both body and mind can be calmed because of the improvement of GABA levels and blocking of glutamine. Also, it can regulate dopamine and serotonin (1).
These positive effects relieve anxiety and boost overall mood, resulting in better support for hyperactivity and frustration and limiting distraction caused by worrisome thoughts. In addition, it improves physiological responses to stressful activity and stimuli.
The production of neurotransmitters helps to improve thought processes and offers balanced results that do not negatively impact brain health and mental clarity.
Unlike other anxiety-supporting products and medications, l-theanine does not cause adverse effects like drowsiness, fatigue, and poor concentration.
In fact, it helps you concentrate, provides a calm focus, and can improve sustained attention. Since people with ADHD are often struck by an inability to focus, these results can help with work production and output.
Furthermore, It may help some people stay alert and feel more awake, which raises energy without using stimulants.
Research also shows that the compounds found in green tea, primarily l-theanine and caffeine, can support brain health, boost concentration, improve memory retention, and recall learned knowledge.
The resulting responses are similar to the objective of many prescription medications used for ADHD.
While many prescription medications used to treat ADHD symptoms can cause sleep disturbances and insomnia, the amino acid will not negatively affect sleep quality. Instead, it actually helps many people to get a better sleep every night.
Can L-Theanine Help You Focus?
When consuming the l-theanine supplement, it is unlikely that it will reduce all ADHD problems as much as prescription drugs.
However, the compound is known for providing an optimal focus that can reduce distraction, restlessness, and hyperactivity without any side effects.
This may help control the body and the mind, complete a task, and provide better concentration because of the impact on GABA and dopamine.
Furthermore, the substance helps with a stress response, which makes it harder to stay focused on the task. Study results show that it may assist with these responses in people diagnosed with ADHD (2).
However, further research is needed to determine if these favorable characteristics are enough to make it an alternative option to medications for those who suffer from the disorder.
Can L-Theanine Cause ADHD or Make It Worse?
While there is no single cause of ADHD, studies show that environmental factors, genetics, and biology can play a role.
There is absolutely no evidence that l-theanine could cause or contribute to ADHD or any other disorder or disease in children or adults.
It will not cause any issues with brain health either, and the possible side effects are very mild. These side effects may include nausea, irritability, and headaches.
No study shows any worsening of ADHD when the compound is introduced. Instead, it balances levels of neurotransmitters like dopamine and glutamine, which are much more likely to boost brain functions and aid in the reduction of ADHD-related issues.
L-Theanine Dosage For ADHD: How Much To Take?
Knowing how much to take is critical for getting the qualities you want without negative interactions.
Typically, L-theanine dosage starts at 100 to 200 mg one to three times per day, but you can increase that amount if necessary.
L-theanine dosages for ADHD usually range from 300 to 500 mg once or twice daily, but higher doses can be safe, up to 900 mg at a time.
Initial effects are noticed within 30 to 40 minutes and will continue for 6 to 8 hours, or even more in some cases.
Depending on the reason for using the amino acid, you may find it works better after a few days of consumption.
Are Caffeine And L-Theanine A Good Combination For ADHD?
Stimulants, like caffeine, are often used for a beneficial impact on adults with ADHD, and one clinical trial shows that the combination of caffeine and l-theanine can be excellent for the disorder (3).
These two substances are naturally found together in green tea, which is another reason why this combination is so popular. A lot of students use the combo to study as well.
A dose of caffeine can block adenosine in the brain, which can aid focus, but may also impact sleep quality at the same time. Therefore, doctors often suggest avoiding caffeine in the afternoon.
However, l-theanine can assist with your sleep habits despite caffeine intake or drinking coffee late in the day.
Both substances also help regulate dopamine, which is critical for paying close attention and focusing on things for a prolonged period. The combined qualities are likely better than merely one or the other for ADHD-related behaviors.
Caffeine helps to balance the calming qualities, and L-theanine, with its relaxing properties, counteracts the negative impact on blood pressure that caffeine can trigger.
It is important to note that these positive outcomes will likely dissipate when a caffeine dose is too high.
For example, even combined with l-theanine, caffeine in energy drinks may disrupt sleep, make it hard to relax, and make it even harder to concentrate.
Since energy drinks usually include a combination of caffeine with additional stimulants and an enormous amount of sugar, it is best to avoid them.
L-theanine can be great for adults who have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder because it can make focusing for prolonged periods easier and relieve distracting thoughts of worry and stress.
It is also helpful because it does not cause any significant adverse reactions that other prescription medications do.
You may find that these features are most prominent when l-theanine is combined with caffeine because it offers more balanced effects to boost focus and relax at the same time.
Just be careful not to overdo it with the caffeine. You may find that l-theanine dramatically boosts your productivity, supports well-being, and helps with the overall ADHD treatment.