Smart Caffeine contains very special amino acid,  L-theanine 

Smart Caffeine’s L-theanine is a very special amino acid, which works brilliantly in combination with caffeine. It modulates the negative side effect of high caffeine doses, such as increased anxiety and jitters, while not interfering with the positive effects. It was also shown to work synergistically with caffeine to enhance brain function. Studies have shown that the cognitive effects of the caffeine-theanine combination are not found with either substance alone. The addition of L-theanine to Smart Caffeine, therefore results in a state of calm mental focus, improved working memory and enhanced brain performance without overstimulation or anxiety.

Although L-theanine, also known as gamma-glutamylethylamie is an amino acid, it is not the constituent of any of the proteins in the human body. In fact it is only found in any appreciable quantity in tea leaves and the mushroom Boletus badius. Theanine is an anologue of glutamic acid, an amino acid that is found in human proteins. Glutamic acid is not just a building block of protein chains, glutamate also works as a neurotransmitter in the brain and plays a crucial role in long-term potentiation, memory and learning. L-theanine can also cross the blood-brain barrier and it is though that its effects on brain function and behaviour are due to its ability mimic the actions of glutamate and bind its post-synaptic receptors.

 L-theanine can only bind the glutamate receptors, AMPA and NMDA, weakly. However it does cause the release of dopamine, which controls reward and motivation, in the brain. Scientists can’t agree on whether it also increases the release of serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for mood and behaviour. Some studies it shows that it does, but other studies contradict these findings. However, whatever its mode of action, it is well established that L-theanine improves mood, reduces anxiety, and improves thinking.

These positive effects have not only been seen in subjective descriptions from volunteers taking the amino acid, they were also objectively recorded on EEG traces. EEG (electroencephalography) can detect oscillations in electrical activity in the brain. There are four major types of waves produced, alpha, beta, delta and theta. Delta and theta waves are seen in sleeping people, while alpha and beta occur in the awake state. Beta waves are associated with agitation and anxiety, and are induced by high doses of caffeine. Alpha waves, on the other hand are associated it with a calm, but alert state. These are the waves that appear to increase when people meditate and that people try to achieve on demand through the use of biofeedback. L-theanine has repeatedly been shown to be capable of inducing alpha waves. What is even more exciting is that when L-theanine is consumed together with caffeine, its alpha wave producing abilities appear to win over caffeine’s beta wave induction, resulting in a calm and alert state. In this way L-theanine can modulate the negative side effects of caffeine, getting rid of the anxiety and overstimulation that can result from taking the stimulant.

L-theanine also appears to have neuroprotective properties, at least in animals. Studies in rats have found that it can protect neurones form excitotoxicity. This is a pathological process in which overstimulation by neurotransmitters such as glutamate can damage neurons and even lead to cell death.

Not only does L-theanine do away with the negative side effects of caffeine stimulation, but it also appears to work synergistically with caffeine in improve cognitive function. Both substances are able to improve aspects of cognition on their own. However, when consumed together, as they are in Natural Stacks’ Smart Caffeine, their benefit is more than the additive benefit of each substance separately. For example in one study published in the Journal of Nutrition, 50 mg of caffeine, and 100 mg of L-threanine had no effect on the hit rate in a demanding visual-spatial task when taken alone. However when taken together they produced a significant increase in hit rate. These results where reinforced by a different study testing the effect of 250 mg of threonine and 150 mg of caffeine showed an increase in several aspects of cognition such as rapid visual information processing (RVIP) accuracy or faster simple reaction time, which neither substance produced on its own.

The combination of L-theanine and caffeine, of course, exists naturally in tea. In fact it is thought that L-theanine is the reason for tea’s famous ability to improve mood and calm the nerves. However, L-theanine in tea is present at much lower concentrations than in Smart Caffeine capsules, which have 200 mg of ultra pure theanine purified from green tea per capsule. Since L-theanine has no known negative side effects at concentrations much higher than this, you might as well take it at a level that will definitely bring you the full benefits of alpha-wave produced calm state, and to ameliorate the negative side effects of caffeine.

Smart Caffeine’s L-theanine is added to work synergistically with the alkaloid caffeine to decrease fatigue and sleepiness, and produce a calm, alert and focused mood. The two substances also work synergistically to improve cognitive function. Natural Stacks uses only the highest quality of natural L-threonine purified from green tea. You are guaranteed to get 200 mg of this excellent nootropic amino acid in every capsule of Smart Caffeine.

Further Reading:

L-theanine stimulates alpha waves in the brain:

The calming effect of L-theonine

The synergistic effects of L-theonine and caffeine on cognition: