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Top Nootropic Supplements to influence brainwaves and improve mood 🌊🗲

A big outcome for Calm Nootropic was to create a delicious product that is capable of reducing the noisy brain, increasing feelings of calm and improving mood at the end of a busy day.

Increasing "calming brainwaves" was done by adding 300mg of L-Theanine and improving mood is achieved primarily with the addition of 800mg of L-Tryptophan. 

L-Theanine is a plant based amino acid that helps quiet the chatter of your noisy mind. You spend most of the day in a high frequency "beta wave" brain state. L-Theanine actually modulates your brain and helps slow down the frequency of brain waves to get into the "Alpha wave" state more readily which is often associated with calm, meditative states. This is just one of the awesome modes of action of L-Theanine.

L-Tryptophan is another key amino acid and pre-cursor to 5-HTP and Serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is most associated with improved mood and L-Tryptophan is a natural pre-cursor that may help your body create more of this neurochemical as needed!

Let's take a deeper diver into these 2 key ingredients for BRAINWAVE AND MOOD SUPPORT.

1. L-Theanine 🍵

Summary

L-Theanine is a non essential and non-protein amino acid, commonly found in small quantities within green tea, black tea and some mushroom species.

When extracted from these sources and taken at higher doses (typically 100–400mg), there seem to be very unique and promising therapeutic properties for this compound.

It has a similar chemical structure to glutamine, and both neurotransmitters that are produced from it, GABA and glutamate.

L-Theanine is mostly taken for its ability to promote a relaxation feeling, and help calm down your nervous system. It is also commonly used with coffee or caffeine to reduce the negative side effects that can often occur, such as sweating, jitters or anxiety.

L-Theanine is thought to provide a relaxing effect without sedation.

Nootropic Effect

L-Theanine is able to support the following effects:

  1. Lower stress and anxiety
  2. Increase sense of calm and wellbeing
  3. Reduce blood pressure and heart rate
  4. Reduce time to fall asleep
  5. Increase quality of sleep

Mechanisms of Action

  1. Binds to glutamate receptors (glutamate receptor antagonist) thus inhibiting its excitatory characteristics
  2. Increasing GABA and potentially serotonin/dopamine
  3. Increases alpha brain wave frequencies
  4. NMDA receptor antagonist 
  5. May increase BDNF and NGF levels in the brain

Research

 

  1. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluating the effects of caffeine and L-theanine both alone and in combination on cerebral blood flow, cognition and mood (nih.gov)
  2. Effects of L-Theanine Administration on Stress-Related Symptoms and Cognitive Functions in Healthy Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial (nih.gov)
  3. L-theanine, a natural constituent in tea, and its effect on mental state — PubMed (nih.gov)

Study 1 is a double blind, placebo controlled study evaluating the effects of caffeine and L-Theanine on cerebral blood flow, cognition and mood. 12 habitual and 12 non-habitual consumers of caffeine each received 75mg caffeine, 50mg L-theanine, 75mg caffeine plus 50mg L-Theanine, and placebo in a counterbalanced order across four separate visits. Cerebral blood flow (CBF) was measured via near-infrared spectroscopy with cognition and mood assessed at baseline and 30 minutes post-dose. This study found that the combination of L-Theanine with caffeine, eliminated the vasoconstrictive and behavioural effects of caffeine. 

Study 2 examined the effects of 4 weeks of L-theanine administration on stress-related symptoms and cognitive function in healthy adults. 30 individuals took either 200mg of L-Theanine or placebo each day. Stress related symptoms and scores all decreased after L-Theanine administration. Scores for sleep latency, sleep disturbance and use of sleep medication all reduced after L-Theanine administration. For cognitive function, verbal fluency and executive function scores all increased after administration.

Study 3 looked at electrical brain activity using EEG technology after ingestion of L-Theanine. A total of 35 healthy, young participants consumed 50mg L-Theanine or placebo. They were resting with their eyes closed during this period. EEG recordings were taken at baseline and 45, 60, 75, 90 and 105 minutes after ingestion. There was a statistically significant increase in alpha brain wave activity in the L-theanine group as compared to placebo. This was also replicated in another study, showing that L-Theanine, at realistic dietary levels can have a significant impact on mental alertness and arousal. 


2. L-Tryptophan😴

Summary

L-Tryptophan is an essential amino acid used to create proteins that must be taken in from the diet. It is a precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin, melatonin and vitamin B3.

L-Tryptophan first converts into 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) before converting into serotonin and finally melatonin in the body. L-Tryptophan, therefore, gives your body the building blocks to create serotonin if required, as opposed to taking 5-HTP which bypasses the rate limiting step and outright increases brain serotonin levels.

Increasing serotonin can affect mood and is known as the “feel good” neurotransmitter. 

L-Tryptophan is often supplemented and used as a natural remedy for depression, pain, insomnia, hyperactivity and eating disorders.

Within Calm, L-Tryptophan is used for its potential to support mood and wellbeing, and increase sleep quality.

Low levels of L-Tryptophan has been shown to impair cognitive function, and increases feelings of anxiety, tension and nervousness.

It’s important to not combine L-Tryptophan with other serotonin increasing supplements or drugs such as MAOI’s or SSRI’s. 

Nootropic Effect

  1. May support mood and wellbeing
  2. May aid in depressive symptoms
  3. May increase sleep quality

Mechanism of Action

  1. Precursor to 5-HTP and therefore serotonin and melatonin

Research

 

  1. L-Tryptophan: Basic Metabolic Functions, Behavioral Research and Therapeutic Indications (nih.gov)
  2. Letter: Tryptophan and depression — PubMed (nih.gov)
  3. Sleep-inducing effect of L-tryptophane — PubMed (nih.gov)
  4. Evaluation of L-tryptophan for treatment of insomnia: a review — PubMed (nih.gov)
  5. Sleep induced by L-tryptophan. Effect of dosages within the normal dietary intake — PubMed (nih.gov)
  6. Influence of Tryptophan and Serotonin on Mood and Cognition with a Possible Role of the Gut-Brain Axis (nih.gov)

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