It’s a legitimate curse. It’s why I enjoy playing Elder Scrolls Online with my friends (almost exclusively with friends) because they can keep me centered on a goal long enough to accomplish it. I am a side-quest junky to the point where I won’t even finish one side-quest before I am sidetracked by another.
My friends hate it.
And it really isn’t different in my normal day to day life. Hence my need to discipline myself with simple time blocking and to-do lists. It keeps me focused.
But when I need to zero in and maintain my attention span for long periods of time, I turn to my favorite supplement Power Up: L-Theanine.
What is L-Theanine and how does it work?
L-Theanine is a little molecule mostly found in green tea that affects your brain in a mild yet powerful way.
Just like coffee, it elevates your Dopamine neurotransmitter which directly affects your experience of motivation, interest in tasks, pleasure and satisfaction.
Unlike coffee, it also elevates your GABA neurotransmitter which is responsible in part for feelings of relaxation. This means no more jitters (a great compliment to your daily coffee or energy drink).
Combine alert focus and internal feelings of motivation with an enhanced ability to relax and you have the best stats going into whatever task you’re trying to accomplish, whether it be a workout (I use it here) or long quests on your favorite games (I use it here too).
Furthermore, L-Theanine can be especially helpful for gamers experiencing the numb over-stimulation that can come with too much time spent at the controller. (Let’s face it, we are a population that deals with some mental health struggles. It’s why Coach Anthony, myself and Mr. Alex did a whole podcast on Mental Health which you can listen to here.)
In fact, feelings of mild depression, lack of interest and motivation, and an overall inability to focus in and control your day have been associated with less than ideal amounts of dopamine. Which makes a natural supplement like L-Theanine a fantastic go to sidekick.
L-Theanine’s super-power: Alpha Brain Waves
This is my favorite power-up benefit of L-Theanine; it promotes alpha brain waves.
If you’ve ever been in a competitive game where you’ve felt like you just can’t lose then you have most definitely experienced alpha brain waves.
Alpha brain waves are otherwise found in long deep states of meditation. Is it any wonder why green tea, the source of L-Theanine originated in China, the same place largely responsible for human advancements in philosophies around mindfulness and meditation?
Alpha brain waves are the observation of the brain chemicals we talked about above in action. A steady stead of alert, focused but relaxed attention.
How much should I take and what else should I know?
Generally, I stick to 200mg which is the standard serving size with most brands. (I use this brand here). Any more than that doesn’t have a compounding effect. I’ve taken up to 1200mg (don’t try it) and it really didn’t make a bigger difference. I did sleep fantastically however.
If you are a caffeine drinking fiend like myself and Coach Anthony, definitely combine this for enhanced effect. L-theanine is, in part, why some enjoy green tea over coffee; for the enhanced benefits of this little amino acid.
If you have any questions about L-Theanine feel free to leave them in the comments below or check out our Facebook page where we are very active in answering questions for you.
Look forward to more Performance Power-Ups we use to own our workouts, our gaming time and our life overall…
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