A question I often receive about l theanine is: “ does l theanine work right away?”. It’s a good question, since many people use it against anxiety – and if you’re having a panic attack, then you want to feel calm as quickly as possible. Now, most of you know that l theanine is a calming supplement. And that is exactly what you need when you’re feeling nervous or anxious.
Taking l theanine will make you feel calmer and more relaxed. This has obvious benefits which you can read more about in this article. However, today we’re only going to talking about how fast l theanine can work for you.
First, I’ll share the general opinion and experience of others. Then I’ll talk about my experience using this supplement. After that I’ll give you some simple and effective tips that you can use to increase the effectiveness from l theanine. These tips also work to make theanine work faster.
Does l theanine work right away?
Theanine doesn’t work right away. It’s not as with coffee (or smoking a cigarette for example), that you really feel the effect within minutes – or seconds for smoking. When you take l theanine I assume you take it orally. So first it has to:
- Enter your digestive system
- Be absorbed into your blood
- Travel to your brain
- Cross the blood-brain barrier
- And then it will have its effect on your neurons (so you feel calmer)
Now, it obviously depends from person to person how long it will take for l theanine to work. But I’ve found that somewhere between 20-45 minutes is the norm.
Maybe this sounds too long for you. But then don’t worry – in the following sections I’ve written some tips how you can make sure that l theanine works right away for you (10-20 minutes).
Tips for increasing the effectiveness of l theanine
Take it on an empty stomach
The first thing I recommend you do if you want to make l theanine work faster is to take it on an empty stomach. Since the supplement has to travel through your stomach in order to be absorbed, it of course helps to not have anything in there.
Now, this may not be the most practical tip if you want to take theanine for sudden anxiety attacks. But, if you’re looking to increase your focus to be more productive, then this is good news.
You can take l theanine first thing in the morning (before breakfast) to make sure that its effect takes place very quickly. You can try this even with a cup of coffee to feel laser-focused (DON’T do this if you’re taking l theanine to combat anxiety or restlessness!)
Don’t use it all the time
The second thing to do is a common practice with many supplements. It’s also very simple: don’t take it all the time. I see this a lot with people who have trouble relaxing on a daily basis. They find a *miracle* cure and start taking it every day.
Now, l theanine is actually one of the safest substances to do this with. Heck, there are no side effects to taking it (read more about the studies behind it). So why am I saying that you shouldn’t be taking it every day?
Well, that is because you’ll get used to its effect. You will still feel relaxed, but I’ve found that if you take a more lifestyle-based approach to relieving stress, and add l theanine as that little extra calmness whenever you really need it – you will get a lot more out if the supplement.
Lifestyle-based approaches for stress-relief are:
- Working out
- Eating healthier
- Sleeping enough
- Don’t surround yourself with stressed-out negative people
- Listen to music (or make it!)
And all that other stuff that you know are relaxing, but are difficult to get yourself to do when you’re feeling stressed.
Oh, and if you’re using it to become more focused and productive: I recommend the same thing. Take it only when you have a boatload of things on your to do list. Cause if you start taking it more than 3-4 days per week, I’ve found that it makes you a bit dull instead of productive (must have something to do with GABA, the calming neurotransmitter).
Be sure to take enough – depending on your goal with it
Another thing that might be obvious for you (but it’s not for everyone), is to take enough of theanine. Especially those who just found out about it are sometimes taking 20-30 milligrams of l theanine. And then they ask, “ does l theanine work right away?” when they don’t feel anything.
Be sure to take at least 150 mg if you’re using it to calm yourself. And since l theanine doesn’t have side effects (everything your body can’t use, it will excrete in your urine), you can easily take a bit more just to make sure l theanine works.
Later on, if you’re more familiar with the supplement you can always try reducing how much you take. Although there is no real reason for that – but it makes you stash last longer.
Let the placebo effect help you
The placebo effect is tricky thing. I’m not saying that l theanine doesn’t work. But it’s the same thing as taking a sip of beer/wine after a long day of work. You sit down at your couch and the moment you take that first sip it’s an instant unwind.
Even though there’s no alcohol yet in your blood, just the expectation and habit will make you relax instantly.
That is exactly what you’ll start experiencing too when you’re a bit more experienced with l theanine. Once you have taken it 10 + times and have experienced the calm it gives you. You will get into that mood right away when you take the supplement.
So, does l theanine work right away? Well, I’d say yes. The actual biochemical effects may start taking place some 20 minutes after you ingest it. However, simply knowing that it will work is often enough to put you in a calmer mood right away.
My experience (10-20 minutes)
You may be new to l theanine. Or you might be a veteran who swears by it. I always enjoy reading stories how other people react to a specific supplement or drug. So that’s why I’m including a little part here how L theanine works for me and how fast I feel.
Most of the time nowadays I take theanine to boost performance and become more productive. So I take it in the morning together with a cup of coffee (read here how those 2 work together). I take around ¾ of a tablespoon, which is anywhere from 100-200 mg. Then I start to get into work mode right away. It usually lasts a couple of hours, but the calmness stays with me all day. Sometimes I take another tablespoon with my second cup of coffee (around 2-3 hours after the first). This is enough to have a relaxed productive day in which I get a lot done.
However, sometimes I also take it whenever I’m feeling really stressed out. It always amazes me how fast l theanine can take the edge of a stressful situation. First, I always try to talk myself out of the stress or use one of the activities mentioned before (mainly go for a walk).
But if that doesn’t do the trick, I resort to theanine. I take a good tablespoon (so probably around 200 mg) together with a glass of water. Since I’ve taken it already 200+ times in my life, I know that soon my thoughts will get less grip on me. And I always relax very quickly.
So, for me l theanine does work right away. And since it’s a very cheap supplement (order it here from Amazon), feel free to try it out yourself!
P.S. Does l theanine work right away for you? Yes, it does – the first couple of times it may take 20+ minutes for you to start feeling calmer. But once you know that it works, you’ll start feeling relaxed right away after you take it. Get your bottle of l theanine here!