Best L-Theanine Supplements Ranked for 2018 (Top 10 Brands)

Jump Ahead to the Best L-Theanine Products

Life in the 21st century is full of stressors that we may not be fully equipped to handle. There is constant pressure to keep up in school and work and to catch up to modern technology that advances every year.

We are working longer hours and sleeping less. We now sleep an average of around 6 hours a night, and in 1900 the average was around 9 hours every night. On top of all of this, there are chemicals, pollutants, processed foods, and toxins that we are constantly consuming and being subjected to. This takes a toll on your body, and as we all know, can make us really stressed!

Taking initiative to manage this daily stress can make a world of difference in your life. It can improve your physical health and help you feel more well rested, and it can sharpen your mental skills and improve your productivity. There are different stress management techniques, and one of them includes healthy supplementing.

L-Theanine, an amino acid found in green tea, is a great supplement for stress management and has many health benefits. This guide is all about the best theanine supplements and how these theanine benefits may enhance your health!

What is L-Theanine?

Theanine, also referred to as L-theanine, is an amino acid that is found in green tea. Green tea has been around for thousands of years and originated in China, and is the most popular type of tea in China. It is said that the ancient Emperor Shennong was traveling and stopped to rest with his convoys beneath a tea tree. Some of the tea leaves fell from a burning twig into Shennong’s cup of hot water, turning it a darker color, but the emperor did not see and took a sip. He found it pleasant and had his convoys prepare it for him from then on, or so the story goes.

Green tea has been used throughout history by Buddhist monks to help them meditate, because of its relaxing effects on the body. However, we did not know about theanine in green tea until 1949. It has since been discovered to be contained in black teas as well. Relaxation is one of the effects theanine is well known for. It has also been studied for its effects on mental clarity and alertness. Some studies have found that its effects on the brain are observable on an EEG scan, which tracks and records electrical impulses in the brain. It seems to enhance a particular form of brainwave activity, called alpha activity, which plays a role in sustaining mental attention.

Speaking of alpha activity, there is another amino acid that has this effect on brain waves that you may be familiar with called glutamine. Glutamine an essential amino acid that your body has to consume from your diet in large amounts, and it promotes digestive and brain health as well as muscle growth and athletic performance. Theanine is an analog of glutamine and helps to enhance the production of  GABA (a neurotransmitter that is critical to relaxation) and alpha brainwave activity.

What Are L-Theanine Supplements?

Theanine supplements generally come in the form of L-theanine, which is the bioavailable supplement form of theanine. There is another supplemental form of theanine that can be used in supplements called suntheanine. Suntheanine is a theanine supplement made with a patented fermentation process that is supposed to ensure effectiveness and consistency.

Technically, suntheanine is a derivative of theanine because the fermentation process reduces theanine to the ingredient suntheanine. It is promoted as being more pure and requiring a lower dosage. In general there does not seem to be any significant difference between the efficacy or quality of L-theanine and suntheanine, so you can consider them equals. Theanine supplements come in different forms including capsules, pills, and tablets.

Benefits of L-Theanine

Theanine acts as a nootropic supplement by crossing the blood brain barrier to support and enhance cognitive function and promote relaxation. It is a derivative of glutamate that is capable of enhancing GABA levels in the brain to promote relaxation. It also can help to sharpen attention by enhancing alpha activity in the brain, which has been consistently associated with mental attention and concentration.

Theanine supplements are ultimately great for protecting the body from damage due to stress, which results from the hormone cortisol, as well as reducing symptoms of stress and anxiety. It helps the body to relax both mentally and physically. In a hectic and stressful world, theanine can help support your overall health and help to improve your quality of life.

Who May Benefit from L-Theanine?

  • College Students – Everyone knows that college is extremely stressful. College students now report higher stress levels than ever before according to Time Magazine. However, the most powerful theanine supplements may come to student’s aid. A Japanese study found that students who take L-theanine experience less anxiety and have smaller increases in blood pressure when subjected to physical or mental stress. Another study found that graduate students who take L-theanine experience less anxiety when assigned stressful work.
  • Those with Sleeping Troubles – There are many different things that may hinder your ability to fall asleep or have quality sleep. Some common sleep disorders include insomnia, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, and narcolepsy. Sleeping problems may be derived from a shift in your sleep-wake cycle (otherwise known as the circadian rhythm) or things such as stress and anxiety, or unhealthy eating habits and lack of exercise. No matter what the issue may be, theanine may help you get a good night’s sleep. By enhancing alpha brain activity and GABA production, theanine can help you reach a mental state of deep relaxation that can help you to fall asleep and achieve a deeper quality of sleep throughout the night. For the best results you should generally take theanine 30 minutes before bed.

How to Take L-Theanine Supplements

Theanine is a water soluble supplement, so you can take it with or without food at any time of day. If you are taking good theanine supplements to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation, taking more than 200 mg in isolation is recommended. To take advantage of its cognitive benefits, the best theanine supplement dosage is around 200 mg theanine stacked with 100 mg caffeine. If you are taking it to enhance sleep quality, taking it around 30 minutes before bed is ideal.

Are There Any Side Effects?

Theanine is very well tolerated by a majority of people and does not have consistently reported negative side effects. It is in green tea, and has been consumed for thousands of years without side effects. Some people have experienced dizziness or headache after consumption. In large doses, it may reduce your blood pressure too much.

What to Look for in a Good L-Theanine Supplement

When searching for a good theanine supplement you should pay attention to a couple of different aspects about the product. The first and most important thing to pay attention to is the supplement facts. The supplement facts will tell you everything that is in the supplement and how much is included in that particular formula. You want a top theanine supplement to have a quality theanine dosage, and the best theanine supplements tend to have theanine dosages of around 100 to 200 mg per serving.

You should also check if there are other ingredients in the supplement formula, because some theanine supplements are not pure theanine and may be intended for a particular purpose such as enhancing sleep or improving attention and focus. The theanine formulas for focus may include caffeine, which would not be beneficial to improving sleep quality.

You should also pay attention to the manufacturer and their reputation. You can do this by doing a little bit of research on the company or brand. Generally, a trustworthy and reliable brand will be open and transparent about their products and they will not attempt to hide ingredients inside of proprietary blends. They also may provide information about their manufacturing facilities and let customers know that they are GMP certified or registered with the FDA.

Finally, you want to take both of these factors into account when determining if the price is right. The supplement facts will tell you how much theanine you are getting and the quantity of servings. You should look for a product that has the best theanine quality and quantity with a reliable manufacturer for the best price. Make sure to compare prices and shop around to get an idea of the market. However, we do all of this for you in our list of the top 10 theanine supplements, so you can find everything you need if you keep reading!

Top 10 L-Theanine Products Compared

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1. Now Foods L-Theanine

Now-Foods-L-Theanine

NOW Foods L-Theanine is a vegetarian and vegan theanine pill that offers an effective theanine dosage and is fortified with inositol. Inositol is a vitamin-like substance that is naturally present in citrus fruits, whole grains, and beans, and is approved as a dietary supplement. This is the best theanine supplement on the market because it can be taken by anyone and it is effective, high quality, and affordable.

Highlights:

  • Affordable
  • Includes inositol
  • Vegan and vegetarian
  • Quality theanine dosage
  • Acts as an antioxidant

What’s in it:

  • 200 mg theanine
  • 100 mg inositol

Who makes it: NOW Foods is an all natural dietary supplement producer that offers affordable natural products to support your health. They have been a leader in the industry since 1968, and their mission has always been to provide value in products and services that empower people to lead healthier lives. They are also environmentally conscious and charitable, their facilities are sustainably built and they have donated to conservation and environmental causes, as well as world needs, disaster relief, and more.

Bottom line: This is one of the best theanine supplements on the market right now, and it offers top of the line theanine fortified with inositol to enhance its beneficial health effects. It is manufactured by a reliable company and is made with all natural, vegan ingredients, which means that most people can take this effective theanine supplement. It boasts a quality theanine dosage at an affordable price under a great brand, which is pretty hard to beat.

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2. Country Life L-Theanine

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Country Life L-Theanine is a one of the best theanine supplements and it offers a quality theanine dosage in a gluten free and vegetarian capsule. It can be used to promote physical and mental relaxation for a number of reasons. Due to theanine’s ability to enhance the neurotransmitters GABA and serotonin, good theanine supplements can promote quality sleep and muscle relaxation. It is also fortified with vitamin B6 to help support a healthy nervous system and support adrenal function.

Highlights:

  • Gluten free
  • Vegetarian
  • Uses vitamin B6
  • Acts as an antioxidant

What’s in it:

  • 200 mg suntheanine (as L-theanine)
  • 5 mg vitamin B6

Who makes it: Country Life Vitamins is a dietary supplement brand that uses clean, fresh, and authentic ingredients in their products to enhance accuracy and consistency of their products formulas. You know that with Country Life, you are getting exactly what is stated on the label without any hidden ingredients. Their facilities operate NSF-GMP compliant and they are certified USDA Organic. Founded in 1971 in New York, they have been passionate about your health for over 40 years.

Bottom line: Country Life L-Theanine utilizes suntheanine and vitamin B6 to help promote relaxation, support mental and cognitive health, support cardiovascular health, and enhance your overall health and well being. It is one of the best theanine supplements on the market and is sold at an affordable price in a gluten free and vegetarian theanine pill. If you are looking for a top theanine supplement to help you relax, get better quality sleep, and help sharpen your cognitive function, this may be the product for you.

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3. Doctor’s Best Suntheanine L-Theanine

doctors-best-suntheanine-l-theanine

Doctors’s Best Suntheanine L-Theanine is a pure theanine pill that provides you a quality theanine dosage in a vegetarian theanine pill. The capsule is made with cellulose and rice powder, and without any harmful additives and preservatives. The formula is made using suntheanine, which is L-theanine made with a patented fermentation process that may help to enhance its efficacy and potency.

Doctor’s Best Suntheanine L-Theanine harnesses the health benefits of tea in one easily consumed vegetarian theanine pill that will help to enhance you overall health and well being.

Highlights:

  • Vegetarian
  • Affordable
  • No harmful additives

What’s in it:

  • 150 mg suntheanine (as L-theanine)

Who makes it: Doctor’s Best is a physician founded vitamin and supplement brand that has been around since 1990. They produce over 200 different nutritional products that are based in science and tested rigorously to meet high quality standards. Their facilities are GMP certified and their products are entirely transparent. They also support research into new products and testing to continuously search for better health products.

Bottom line: This is one of the best theanine supplements on the market and is placed higher on our list due to its quality, efficacy, and affordability. This pure theanine pill offers a quality theanine dosage in a vegetarian and gluten free capsule. It also has no harmful additives or preservatives. Doctor’s Best Suntheanine L-Theanine is an affordable product that can help you relax and focus.

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4. Source Naturals L-Theanine

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Source Naturals L-Theanine is a theanine supplement that is fortified with calcium. Calcium is an essential mineral that is known for its ability to support bone strength and density. Coupled with theanine, this supplement helps to support mental health, cognitive functions, mental and physical relaxation, deeper sleep quality, and stress reduction.

Highlights:

  • Includes calcium
  • Supports bone health

Drawbacks:

  • Contains more additives and fillers than alternatives

What’s in it:

  • 200 mg L-theanine
  • 76 mg calcium

Who makes it: Source Naturals is a is a vitamin and dietary supplement company that can be considered one of the leaders of the wellness revolution. It was founded in 1982 with the goal of helping each and every individual reach optimal states of health. They were one of the first supplement brands to combine many nutrients, herbs and nutraceuticals in one formulation.

Bottom line: Source Naturals L-Theanine is a good theanine supplement that is fortified with calcium to help enhance the cognitive and adrenal benefits of theanine. It comes in tablet form and helps to support mental and physical relaxation, cardiovascular health, cognitive function, mental health, attention, focus, and memory. However, this product does use more additives and fillers than some alternatives.

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5. Solaray L-Theanine

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Solaray L-Theanine is a formula that mixes an amino acid with an herbal product: L-theanine and green tea leaf. L-theanine is actually a predominant active ingredient in green tea, and is one of the reasons green tea has so many health benefits.

By using pure green tea, this product provides the holistic benefits of green tea, such as additional antioxidants and polyphenols, with enhanced L-theanine benefits. This product is primarily used to naturally promote mental and physical relaxation, and to reduce stress.

Highlights:

  • Vegetarian capsule
  • Includes green tea leaf

Drawbacks:

  • Expensive

What’s in it:

  • 200 mg L-theanine
  • 100 mg green tea leaf

Who makes it: Solaray is a nutraceutical brand that  was founded in Utah in 1973 and acquired in 1993. They helped to pioneer the concept of encapsulated herbal blends and they are now a well known leading brand in the health food industry. They have over 1000 different products such as herbs, herbal extracts, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, probiotics, and enzymes.

Bottom line: This herbal amino acid blend encapsulates theanine benefits in a vegetarian capsule to support your overall mental and physical health. It is a powerful theanine supplement that uses the benefits of green tea in conjunction with theanine to support your health holistically. Though this is a very effective theanine supplement, it is also extremely expensive in comparison to other equally effective products.

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6. Pure Encapsulations L-Theanine

pure-encapsulations-l-theanine

Pure Encapsulations L-Theanine is a vegetarian and hypoallergenic theanine supplement that provides you a pure theanine pill with minimal additional ingredients. It utilizes a patented form of L-theanine called suntheanine that is processed using fermentation and is intended to enhance its efficacy and potency.

This amino acid is found naturally in green tea and is responsible for a majority of the lasting health benefits from the healthful drink. This product encapsulates theanine, allowing you to gain the health benefits of green tea in a more concentrated and easily consumed form.

Highlights:

  • Hypoallergenic
  • Vegetarian
  • Uses suntheanine

Drawbacks:

  • Expensive

What’s in it:

  • 200 mg suntheanine (as L-theanine)

Who makes it: Pure Encapsulations is a hypoallergenic nutritional supplement brand that takes a minimalist approach to dietary supplementing by avoiding harmful additives, fillers, sweeteners, coatings, and colors. Their products are research based in order to provide you with predictable and desired results.

Bottom line: Pure Encapsulations L-Theanine is a great pure theanine pill and uses as little additives as possible, and the few additional ingredients that are used are natural and harmless. It is hypoallergenic and vegetarian so a wide range of people can safely use this product. This effective theanine supplement is a great choice for many, however it is extremely expensive.

7. Solgar L-Theanine

solgar-l-theanine

Solgar L-Theanine is a pure theanine supplement that comes in a vegetable capsule to create a vegetarian theanine pill. It uses suntheanine, which is a form of L-theanine that is derived from a patented fermentation process that is supposed to enhance absorption and promote optimum assimilation.

Theanine is an active ingredient in green tea that is able to cross the blood brain barrier and promote mental and physical relaxation, enhance cognitive function, support cardiovascular health, and mental health.

Highlights:

  • Vegetarian capsule
  • Uses suntheanine

Drawbacks:

  • More expensive than some alternatives
  • More fillers than alternatives

What’s in it:

  • 150 mg suntheanine (as L-theanine)

Who makes it: Solgar is a brand that is known for producing quality vitamins, supplements, and herbs. They use research, science based ingredients, state of the art manufacturing facilities, high quality controls, a USP water purification system, and more which constitutes Solgar’s Gold Standard. They are one of the older brands and have been around since 1947.

Bottom line: This product is manufactured by a well recognized and reliable brand and uses a quality theanine dosage to promote mental and cognitive health, cardiovascular health, and reduce stress. It provides you with all of the theanine benefits you could ask for. However, it is more expensive than some alternative products, and it uses more fillers.

8. Thorne Research Theanine

thorne-research-theanine

Thorne Research Theanine is a pure, basic theanine supplement that comes in a vegetarian theanine pill. This effective theanine supplement uses a quality theanine dosage of 200 mg theanine per serving. It does not contain soy, corn, dairy, egg, peanuts, yeast, sugar, magnesium stearate, binders, coatings, artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners.

It also does not use any ingredients that are GMOs. If you are looking for a basic theanine pill at a quality theanine dosage, this may be the choice for you.

Highlights:

  • Vegetarian
  • Does not include a variety of allergens
  • Non GMO

Drawbacks:

  • Very expensive
  • More fillers than alternatives

What’s in it:

  • 200 mg theanine

Who makes it: Thorne Research is a well known dietary supplement producer that has been in the industry for over 30 years. They have continuously been dedicated to enhancing the health and well being of their customers by providing high quality, innovative, and research based nutritional supplements. They are currently striving to become a leading worldwide healthcare company.

Bottom line: This is a strong theanine supplement that offers you the basic theanine benefits in a simple and easy to consume theanine pill. It is manufactured by a reliable company that is well known in the industry and seasoned. However, it is more expensive than some alternatives, and it uses more fillers in comparison.

9. Sports Research Suntheanine L-Theanine

sports-research-suntheanine-l-theanine

Sports Research Suntheanine L-Theanine is a suntheanine supplement that is formulated with virgin coconut oil and encapsulated in a liquid softgel for quick release and better absorption. This green tea derived amino acid acts as an antioxidant and helps to support relaxation, mental health, and cognitive function without drowsiness that some relaxing products cause.

Highlights:

  • Kosher
  • Uses suntheanine
  • Formulated with coconut oil
  • Uses softgel for fast enhanced absorption

Drawbacks:

  • Hard to swallow
  • Pricier than alternatives
  • Only available in small quantities

What’s in it:

  • 200 mg suntheanine (as L-theanine)

Who makes it: Sports Research is a sports nutrition company that is family run and dedicated to providing its customers with the highest quality products using only heavily researched ingredients. All of their vitamins and dietary supplements are packaged and manufactured in GMP certified facilities. They also test every batch of ingredients to ensure purity, and you can actually track your batch and find out the lab results of your Sports Research product.

Bottom line: This is a good theanine supplement, but it may not be the best theanine supplement for everyone. It uses suntheanine formulated with coconut oil in a liquid softgel for maximum absorption, and is manufactured by a reliable company. However, the theanine pills are hard to swallow, pricier than some alternatives, and only available in small quantities.

10. Bluebonnet Nutrition L-Theanine

bluebonnet-nutrition-l-theanine

Bluebonnet Nutrition L-Theanine is a pure theanine pill that utilizes a patented free form called suntheanine. Suntheanine is derived from L-theanine and is a reduced form that comes from a patented fermentation process which is intended to enhance its concentration and potency.

Highlights:

  • Kosher
  • Vegetarian
  • Uses suntheanine

Drawbacks:

  • Lower quantity
  • Extremely expensive
  • Lower dosage for a higher price than alternatives

What’s in it:

  • 150 mg suntheanine (as L-theanine)

Who makes it: BlueBonnet nutrition is a nutritional supplement brand that focuses on vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplements. They have been combining the best of nature and science to produce natural effective health supplements since 1991. They were awarded to first Manufacturer of the Year award in 2006 by Vitamin Retailer.

Bottom line: This is a good theanine supplement that uses suntheanine at a decent theanine dosage. It provides all of the theanine benefits you could ask for. However, it comes in lower quantities, is extremely expensive, and the dosage is lower with a higher cost.

Austin Meadows

Written by Austin Meadows

Austin Meadows is an independent writer and consultant specializing in health and wellness topics. With more than 7 years of experience writing in the natural health industry, Austin strives to deliver accurate, concise and researched based information to his readers. You can find more of Austin's work at Olympic-Creative.com, or connect with him on LinkedIn.