A Beginner’s Nootropic: L-Theanine and Caffeine

Imagine you wake up in the morning, begin your routine, and have a hot cup of coffee to jumpstart your day. Things are going well, but suddenly you feel a bit jittery and anxious.

Your heart is fluttering, you feel euphoric, but it’s also a little hard to focus on the task at hand. Here is the reality…

There are negative side effects of caffeine… by itself.

The combination of caffeine and L Theanine is considered by many to be the best place for a beginner to start with nootropics.

The reason caffeine and theanine are useful for beginners is because of the simplicity and amount of data supporting the combination.

Theanine is an amino acid found primarily in green tea (but also in other types). Caffeine is found in coffee, cocoa, and there is even some in tea as well. Combined, these two ingredients do some magical things.

 

Better Together: L Theanine and Caffeine

What makes L-Theanine and caffeine so great together?

Synergy.

Caffeine is great for concentration, improving attention, and focus. The downside is increased heart rate, blood pressure, and anxious / jittery feelings.

L Theanine is a relaxant that can reduce heart rate and blood pressure [1], promote alpha brain waves (associated with relaxation) and provide balance for the brain to avoid jitters.

But combined, caffeine and L-theanine work better together.

You can concentrate on your work more thoroughly, be more creative, and achieve more success with the absence of headaches, crashes, and anxiety. The combination gives you the power to perform better than taking either alone.

Don’t believe me? Here is some evidence:

  • “…suggests that L-theanine and caffeine in combination are beneficial for improving performance on cognitively demanding tasks.” (Journal of Nutritional Neuroscience, 2008) [2]
  • “…’Headache’ and ‘tired’ ratings were reduced and ‘alert’ ratings increased. There was also a significant positive caffeine x L-theanine interaction on delayed word recognition reaction time.” (Journal of Biological Psychology, 2008) [3]

According to the Reddit Nootropics group “The combination of L-theanine and caffeine may improve attention more than caffeine alone.” [4]

Most companies find individual ingredients with studies, but have no evidence for the combinations that they make.

Unlike many other popular nootropic combinations, such as Alpha Brain or CILTEP, the combination of L Theanine and caffeine has a lot of independent evidence.

Safety Concerns: I’m Not Going to Die, Right?

I’ll admit, when I was first introduced to names like “L theanine”, the idea of combining things and consuming it scared me a little bit.

Combining L-theanine and caffeine is incredibly safe.

There are 409 independent studies on caffeine cited on Examine.com. The side effects of caffeine are well documented and (I’m guessing) if you are a professional or student that has your own experience.

L-Theanine also has a great safety track record. The United States Food and Drug Association (FDA) considers L Theanine G.R.A.S. – “generally regarded as safe”, which is a rare distinction. High doses in animals doesn’t cause toxicity [5]. The L theanine side effects are few and far between, so there is little to worry about (even if you take a high L-theanine dosage).

L-Theanine: There is More Than Meets the Eye

L-Theanine is definitely one of those “under the radar” supplements that can drastically improve your brain health.

The Alternative Medicine Review published a study showing L theanine anxiety benefits for children with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). The L theanine helped hyperactive kids get more sleep and a better sleep quality [6].

You know that relaxed feeling you get where work effortlessly flows through you? Usually, that happens when your brain is in an alpha wave state. One of the L-theanine benefits is an increase of alpha brain waves [7], which promotes relaxed, creative, and stress free thinking.

But here is a little secret most people don’t know…

Theanine can even improve your memory. A 2014 study in Nutritional Neuroscience showed theanine to improve BDNF (fertilizer for your brain) by 25%, which helps improve memory and general cognitive function [8].

Making it Better: The Power of Chocolate

I’m a chocolate fanatic. I’m healthy and exercise a lot, but my vice is chocolate. And I don’t mean a piece of chocolate… I enjoy the entire bar.

There is a reason for that. I’m super sensitive to caffeine in high doses (even 1 cup). I get jittery easily so I had to come up with an alternative stimulant just as good as caffeine without the crash.

Theobromine is the stimulant found in cacao (chocolate) and it is stimulatory without causing jitters like caffeine (at least for some people).

caffeiine-L

Getting Started with Caffeine and L Theanine

When getting started with a caffeine + L-Theanine supplement, there is a proper ratio you must try to maintain. Numerous studies show the caffeine L Theanine ratio must be 1:2.

This caffeine theanine ratio is best for improving your concentration and alertness while reducing the negative side effects and jitters.

There is approximately 100 mg in a single cup of coffee, but sometimes that can still be a bit much. I prefer 80 mg of caffeine. Then I add 160 mg of L theanine. This L theanine dosage is regarded as the best for your L theanine and caffeine combination.

If you want to buy and make your own, caffeine pills are fairly cheap. It will not cost more than $10 – $15 for a bottle. You can also buy your own L Theanine, which is a bit more expensive. If you want L-theanine pills, you will probably pay $15 – 30.

Unlike other nootropics, L theanine and caffeine isn’t cost prohibitive to nearly anyone. For a 2 month supply of caffeine and L theanine you only have to pay 40 cents per day.

That is less than two quarters to improve your concentration and achieve more success while preventing negative side effects and feelings of caffeine.

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FitTeam Global Fit – Weight Loss Supplement

FitTeam Fit Review – Does It Work?

FitTeam Fit is a new diet supplement that comes in the form of a powder stick. It’s made by an MLM called FitTeam Global. Here’s our review.

What is FitTeam?

FitTeam Global is a dietary supplement maker that operates with a multilevel marketing-style compensation structure.

The company recently launched its flagship product, FitTeam Fit. It’s a powdered dietary supplement that promises to boost your energy and encourage weight loss.

The company describes itself as “a family-like network” and “the premiere coaching & training network”. By signing up with the company today, you can achieve independence and enjoy a support network through other FitTeam employees.

So how does the company’s flagship product work? Let’s take a closer look.

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FitTeam-Fit (1).jpg

What is FitTeam Fit?

FitTeam Fit is a powdered dietary supplement that comes in stick packs. You tear open each stick pack, mix it with an 8 ounce container of water, and drink it to boost your energy and encourage fat burning.

Each “Fit Stick” comes in a 30 stick package. The formula is described as “organic” (although FitTeam never says Certified Organic).

The formula also contains non-GMO ingredients and is gluten-free, lactose-free, soy-free, and vegan-friendly. It also has zero calories and is sweetened with the zero-calorie sweetener stevia.

By taking FitTeam Fit daily, you can enjoy the following benefits:

-Increased energy
–Enhanced fat loss
-Better mental focus
-Antioxidant benefits
-Mood enhancement
-Appetite control
-Blood glucose control
-Improved fat metabolism

To achieve these benefits, FitTeam Fit uses a proprietary formula containing a blend of herbal extracts and fruit extracts, including matcha green tea, citrus aurantium, grapefruit seed extract, garcinia cambogia and “several additional organic ingredients”.

FitTeam claims the one single serving of Fit is “the ultimate healthy solution to energy and fat loss.”

One ingredient that the manufacturer doesn’t mention upfront is caffeine, which is actually the second listed ingredient in the formula.

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the ingredients inside FitTeam Fit.

FitTeam Fit Ingredients

FitTeam Fit posts its full ingredients list on the side of its product packaging. Here’s what that list looks like:

 

As you can see, nearly all of the ingredients have an unlisted dosage: they’re all hidden within a proprietary blend. We know that the total dose of FitTeam Fit contains 580mg of proprietary formula, but we don’t actually see the breakdown of each ingredient.

You may not think that’s a big deal, but it is: the second-listed ingredient in caffeine. The first listed ingredient is green tea powder, which also contains a small amount of caffeine on its own.

In other words, out of a total of 580mg, the two most common ingredients are caffeine or caffeine-like substances.

A single cup of coffee contains about 100mg of caffeine. It seems likely that Fit’s proprietary blend contains more.

The lack of dosage information is also a problem when you’re looking at ingredients like garcinia cambogia extract, which is a trendy dietary ingredient that has demonstrated limited evidence that it actually helps you lose weight. But the studies that have showed a connection between garcinia and weight loss typically use a dose of around 400 to 600mg.

The only other ingredient with any weight loss benefits is cayenne pepper extract. The chemical “capsaicin” in cayenne pepper extract has been linked to a moderate boost in weight loss. Capsaicin heats up your body, causing a thermogenesis effect.

Some dieting websites recommend taking 500mg of cayenne pepper extract to help you lose weight. It’s unclear how much cayenne pepper is found within FitTeam Fit.

Ultimately, it’s never good when a manufacturer hides its ingredients list from us and then lists “caffeine” as one of the top ingredients.

If you’re caffeine-sensitive, then taking the FitTeam Fit powder may have an immediate effect on your body. Even those who drink the occasional cup of coffee may find themselves affected.

FitTeam Fit Pricing

FitTeam Fit is a relatively expensive dietary supplement, priced between $50 and $70 for a 30 stick supply.

The exact price depends on your FitTeam affiliate. Affiliates who are further up the pyramid can purchase the packs closer to $50 or less, while affiliates lower down the pyramid will pay a premium.

Meanwhile, the official Amazon FitTeam Fit account sells a box of 30 Fit Sticks for $66.99.

FitTeam Global has a 90 day return policy. You can request a refund on your FitTteam product any time within a 90 day period.

Should You Use FitTeam Fit to Lose Weight?

FitTeam Fit advertises itself as a world-class dietary supplement. In reality, it’s a stick of caffeine mixed with small amounts of other ingredients. Making matters worse is that most of the other ingredients are botanical or herbal extracts that have demonstrated a limited connection to weight loss.

We don’t even know how much caffeine is in each stick of FitTeam Fit. So if you’re a caffeine-sensitive individual, then FitTeam Fit may be dangerous.

Ultimately, at a price of $70 for a measly 30 day supply, you can find plenty of better diet pills and dietary supplements online. Don’t forget: over half of that $70 will go towards affiliates somewhere on the pyramid of FitTeam Global.

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