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L-Theanine helps the academic performance of anxious students

May 04, 2011

Japanese researchers recruited healthy University students and assessed their anxiety levels using the manifest anxiety scale (MAS). Students with high anxiety were put in one group, while students with minimal anxiety were put in another group. Both groups received water or water plus 200 mg of L-Theanine. The test was performed repeatedly and assessments performed between 15 and 60 minutes after ingestion.

Results showed that highly anxious students receiving the L-Theanine displayed a slowing of their heart rate, improved attention performance, and better reaction times, compared to members of the same group receiving placebo. No significant benefits were observed in the student with minimal anxiety.

“It is noteworthy to mention that unlike other conventional anti-anxiety treatments, L-Theanine did not result in increased drowsiness, slowed reflexes, or impaired concentration,” wrote the authors. “Results of a present study showed that ingestion of 200 mg of L-Theanine changes the electrical activity in the brain by increasing alpha electric band measured by EEG.” The study is published in the Journal of Functional Foods.