This week, international popstar Taylor Swift extolled her words of wisdom in a listicle on the 30 things she learned before turning 30, and it was fascinating.
Writing for Elle US, the ‘Shake it Off’ singer wrote about the breakdown of her infamous ‘girl squad’, her complicated relationship with social media and the one kitchen tool that changed her cooking game (spoiler alert: it’s a garlic crusher.
It was, the supplement Swift uses to “help with” her stress and anxiety that particularly piqued our interests.
“Vitamins make me feel so much better!” she wrote.
“I take L-theanine, which is a natural supplement to help with stress and anxiety. I also take magnesium for muscle health and energy.”
While we're well aware of the benefits of magnesium for improving relaxation and enhancing energy production, we're less familiar with L-theanine. So, to get all the details behind the supplement, we spoke with dietitian Rachel Scoular (Instagram: @healthyhappyhabits) and nutritionist Rebecca Miller of Health With Bec (Instagram: @health_with_bec), and this is what they had to say.
What is L-theanine?
Basically, L-theanine is an amino acid which has been said to help promote feelings of relaxation and relieve feelings of stress and anxiety.
Explaining the science behind the supplement, Scoular says it helps release neurotransmitters throughout the body which "facilitate the creation of alpha waves in the brain." These are the same neurotransmitters we produce during periods of deep meditation and relaxation.
"It is also proposed L-theanine may be linked to regulating bodily responses which may occur during stressful events," she says.
"For example, increased heart rate and stress hormone secretion, which may possibility link to stress-reducing effects."
According to Miller, effects are generally felt around "30 minutes after consumption" and are said to last for eight to 10 hours when taken at a dosage of 50-200mg.
How can you get L-theanine in your diet?
Here's the good news: if you want to experience the calming effects of L-theanine, the easiest way to incorporate this into your lifestyle is with a good old cup of tea.
However, while white, black and green teas all contain the amino acid, there is some conjecture as to which tea contains the most.