Citation: Economist. "Deep Calm Focus: An Experience with L-Theanine & Coffee (exp108733)". Erowid.org. Dec 10, 2018. erowid.org/exp/108733
I read somewhere online that taking L-theanine and caffeine together creates a state of focus and reduced anxiety (from the L-theanine) while also heightening alertness and stimulation (from the caffeine). Naturally, as a student who would be taking classes over the summer, I was interested in the idea of a non-synthetic, easy to find nootropic. And what better testing ground than a two and a half hour statistics lecture? I bought some L-theanine capsules (100 mg each) and would take one each morning with my daily 1-2 cups of coffee and go to class.
The primary effect I would notice with 100mg is that caffeine would generally make me less anxious or nervous. Before exams or quizzes, where I would usually notice my heart skipping a few beats or perhaps a little shortness of breath, I just felt a sense of preparedness. It would indeed take the edge off of the caffeine, but only if the amount of coffee I had was within the usual one to two cups.
It would indeed take the edge off of the caffeine, but only if the amount of coffee I had was within the usual one to two cups.
Any extra, and I would feel the effects of the L-theanine wane, and I would become anxious or jittery once more.
The most overt psychoactive effect I noticed came when one day I decided to take 200mg just before I walked out the door. Now, a two and half our long lecture is long by most people's standards, but I noticed quite soon that this particular lecture was just going on and on and on. Keep in mind, however, that I was paying attention the whole time. I wasn't day dreaming or anything. By the time the lecture was finally over, I looked back on everything I had learned that day and realized that I could almost create a 'mental map' of the lecture based on what I learned and at what time the professor had taught it, and I could recall a great deal of the content in more than superficial detail. I suspect that this feeling came from an actual time dilation effect of L-theanine as opposed to the lecture simply seeming long because I had learned a lot. I say this because the same day, I noticed the same effect, but in a relaxed, stimulating, recreational environment. I was home listening to music and talking to friends, and where I thought two or so hours had passed, I would find that only one had.
Overall, I do think the combination does have beneficial nootropic effects, although the effects are rather subtle. I've never tried any stimulants like Adderall, but I doubt that the feelings are comparable. Ultimately I felt that my ability to retain and recall information had increased on days when I took the combo, and there are no negative side effects that I have noticed thus far. I will likely continue to use the combo when the fall semester begins.
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