L-theanine is an amino acid and natural ingredient of Guayusa which increases alpha brain wave activity which enhance mood, creative thinking, and mental clarity.
L-theanine also helps one make the transition into a state of wakeful relaxation without feeling drowsy or sleepy. Studies credit this to l-theanine's ability to increase alpha brainwaves. Experts consider l-theanine as a great nootropic ingredient for activities such as studying, research, and other related activities.
L-theanine can also cross the blood-brain barrier to help regulate the brain chemicals GABA, dopamine, and serotonin for a more relaxed state. It can also inhibit activity of the excitatory brain chemical l-glutamate. Research has associated high l-glutamate levels with stress, agitation, and brain degeneration.
On that note, l-theanine can also help ward off age-related cognitive decline.
Feel good chemicals
You have probably heard of serotonin and dopamine. These are some of the feel good chemicals that the brain naturally releases to regulate mood. L-Theanine is also understood to increase the levels of these chemicals in certain areas of the brain.
L-Theanine has been the subject of studies to discover more about the potential of its abilities to reduce physical and mental stress, improve brain performance and sharpness and boost a good mood in a similar way to caffeine.
It sounds from this that the slow release caffeine energy that guayusa imparts could be to do with the Theanine.
When we drink guayusa at work we find that we are sharp all day, and have a long creative energy that lasts well into the evening.
Guayusa is one of few known caffeinated holly trees and it’s currently breaking out of obscurity.
The last ten years have seen it become popular as a clean source of caffeine energy.
But it’s not new at all - the earliest evidence of Guayusa being used by humans was in a tomb in the Bolivian Andes, dated to around 1,500 years ago!
Its effects on the body are often described as being more gentle in feeling than the caffeine effect from a cup of coffee or regular energy drink, having ‘no jitters’.
Instead it has a clean, sweet flavour, that is delicious on its own or with soy, rice or nut milk.
A natural energy source
As well as caffeine, its unique chemical make-up includes the caffeine-related compounds theobromine and theophyline, plus a whole host of essential vitamins and minerals.
More antioxidants than green tea
Guayusa is packed with antioxidants too, which could help to neutralise free radicals in the body.
You may surprised to learn that Guayusa contains a much higher concentration of antioxidants than even green tea.
It also has virtually no tannins, so lacks the bitterness of tea - this also makes it possible to re-steep the leaves a number of times.
Guayusa is from the same family of rainforest holly trees as Yerba Mate, the popular caffeinated tea that is drunk all over South America.
Yerba mate grows in the Atlantic Forest whereas Guayusa thrives in the Amazon rainforest.
Grown primarily in Ecuador, its health giving properties are well-known by indigenous people and it has been an important part of tribal life for centuries.
Because Guayusa contains virtually no tannins, it doesn’t have the bitter taste of green tea and even some black teas.
Good for the environment
Guayusa grows in the rich and fertile Amazon rainforest. It thrives in the shade and relies on ‘forest gardens’, called Chacras, where it is protected from the sun.
Growing more Guayusa is great news for the rainforest because it means planting more trees and regenerating areas of land that may have been previously deforested by the logging industry.