While the nickname “magic mushrooms” is used to describe the type that sends you into an alternate dimension of reality, there is a case to be made that all mushrooms are “magical” in the sense that they provide incredible benefits for our bodies.
Mushrooms are packed with goodness and prized for their healthy nutritional content. Boasting vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, and antioxidants, these fungi have been associated with everything from boosting the immune system to lowering blood pressure.
Perhaps one of the lesser-known reasons to love these fungi is for something only a few foods contain: L-theanine. This amino acid is found in mushrooms and provides amazing benefits. Read on to learn more about the magic of L-theanine.
What Is L-Theanine?
If you are a fan of green tea, you may be familiar with L-theanine, as it is found in both green and black teas, as well as some mushrooms.
This amino acid has been the focus of numerous studies thanks to promising evidence that it is effective in managing stress, anxiety, and insomnia. Considering how widespread and common these conditions are, a natural remedy found in tea and mushrooms is music to many ears.
Beyond its properties that aid in relieving stress, anxiety, and insomnia, L-theanine is also receiving attention in other areas of the medical community.
L-Theanine and Medical Research
A number of studies have looked at links between L-theanine and:
- Anti-tumor effects
- Decreased blood pressure
- Improved immune response
Fatigue Fighter: Why We Love L-Theanine in Mushrooms
Stress, anxiety, and insomnia affect millions of people as standalone issues or combined in ways that are incredibly damaging to both physical and mental health. In many cases, patients look to prescription drugs in an attempt to address these issues, only to find that unwanted side effects or the risks of addiction can leave them feeling even worse.
We love L-theanine because it is a natural remedy. Green and black tea drinkers will often tell you their afternoon cup leaves them feeling both focused and calm; L-theanine is associated with improved sleep quality.
L-theanine interacts with the production of neurotransmitters that are essential to healthy sleep (namely serotonin, dopamine, and GABA).
Improved sleep has so many positive knock-on effects: after a better night’s sleep, we also have improved focus, stamina, and energy throughout the day. Quality sleep can also play a role in the treatment of depression and other mental health issues.
Best of all, L-theanine has no known side effects. It can be taken on its own in supplement form or found in certain mushroom supplements as well as teas.
L-Theanine and Caffeine
While some people associate the "jitters" with caffeine, L-theanine works favorably when coupled with caffeine to reduce stress and improve focus. In other words, it brings out the "good" in caffeine while reducing the "bad."
A less jittery experience when consuming coffee or tea is ideal for increasing focus and productivity, which is another reason why L-theanine is an incredibly effective amino acid.
Whether you consume L-theanine naturally in mushrooms, in a hot cup of green tea, or as a supplement, you may find it benefits everything from your sleep schedule to your blood pressure.