One of the challenges for people who experience both anxiety and focus issues, such as a combination of PTSD and ADD, is to calm the anxiety without decreasing focus. Many anti-anxiety drugs have side effects of sleepiness and relaxation, calming the brain, but as one woman reported, “they also make me dingier.”
On the other hand, when a stimulant like Adderall is used alone to help with focus, it can increase anxiety in those who struggle with it. Often we have to use a combination of supplements or medications to help a client achieve “relaxed focus,” an idea balance in the brain.
Can Green Tea Can Help Those With Anxiety & ADD?
However, a new study from Japan has found that daily supplements of L-theanine, an amino acid found in tea, may help people with anxiety also focus on their daily activities. A win-win for many with a dual diagnosis of anxiety with attention deficits.
L-theanine may help reduce stress, promote relaxation and improve the quality of sleep. Though it is found in tea, the level is low (less than 2 percent). So the effective dosage levels (of 100 – 200mg/day) cannot be delivered from drinking tea but must come from a supplement.
The new study confirmed the dose of 200 mg for “enhanced performance in visual attention task, and reaction time response, among the subjects with higher anxiety.”
The l-theanine appears to work by changing the electrical activity in the brain by increasing alpha waves, measured by EEG. Results of the test showed that highly anxious students receiving the L-theanine displayed a slowing of their heart rate, improved attention and better reaction times, compared to members of the same group receiving placebo. This is a significant improvement over many conventional anti-anxiety treatments that often have side effects of drowsiness, slowed reflexes or impaired concentration.
Other Health Benefits of Green Tea
In addition to reducing stress and promoting relaxation, there are other health benefits associated with green tea. In moderation, green tea is great for an energy boost since it has only half the amount of caffeine compared to coffee and the l-theanine will keep you focused and not craving more and more. Not only does green tea help keep weight off, boost exercise ability, help muscle recover faster from a workout, but it improves attention span as well.
At Amen Clinics we encourage our patients to drink unsweetened green tea two or three times a day. Researchers from China found that when people drank two to three cups of green tea per day their DNA actually looked younger than those who did not.
To get the brain you want, try practicing healthy brain habits. For instance, if you are relying heavily on coffee, make small changes to wean off coffee and add green tea into your diet. You can have better energy and focus by paying attention to the health of your brain.
At Amen Clinics, we want to help you learn more about your brain and how you can make it better, not only for yourself but for the generations that follow. Call us today at 888-288-9834 or schedule a visit.