Which One Is Better For Relaxation? GABA Or L-Theanine?

Everyone needs to be able to relax now and then. Relaxation is really important, as it helps you to have a better night’s sleep in the evenings. In addition to that, if you suffer from anxiety, being able to relax will help you to calm down and enjoy your day.

Which One Is Better For Relaxation GABA Or L-Theanine

The primary neurotransmitter that permits your brain to unwind is GABA. Given that 44% of your brain is covered by its network, it is quite important, when it comes to relaxation.

The amino acid L-theanine, which was initially found in green tea, is a popular antianxiety supplement with demonstrable advantages for relaxing. Both of these supplements should be considered when it comes to relaxing.

In this article, we will go into more detail on GABA and L-theanine. We will discover which one is better when it comes to relaxation. 

What Is GABA?

The brain naturally produces gamma-aminobutyric acid, generally known as GABA. It is an effective neurotransmitter for reducing anxiety.

Stress causes the adrenal glands to release hormones that cause what are known as fight-or-flight reactions. This includes an increase in heart rate or an adrenaline rush. By calming the brain, GABA works as an antagonist to these organic stimulants.

The brain is where GABA serves its most significant purpose. The body finds it challenging to unwind following a stress-induced neurotransmitter release when GABA levels are too low. Anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, and mood problems are caused by low GABA activity.

GABA is a mood-enhancing, naturally occurring brain relaxant. GABA, however, can also aid in the management of various medical conditions. Such as:

  • Stabilize blood pressure.
  • Anxiety management.
  • Reduces body fat.
  • Insomnia.
  • Stress and fatigue.

Where Can You Find GABA?

Both plants and animals contain GABA. GABA is produced by the bacteria in your gut and benefits your immune system, heart health, and muscle relaxation.

Kimchi, fermented soybeans, sourdough, fermented salmon, and white tea are dietary sources of GABA that have relatively low concentrations. 

If you reside in the US, you can acquire GABA by going into a health store. It is prohibited to sell it as a food supplement in the UK because it is classified as medicine.

Potential Side Effects From GABA

There are a couple of potential side effects from taking a GABA supplement. It is important, if you do take a GABA supplement, that there have been various tests on it to make sure it is safe for consumption. A few of the most common side effect include:

  • Headache,
  • Muscles weakness,
  • Upset stomach,
  • Fatigue.

You shouldn’t drive or operate heavy machinery following ingesting GABA till you understand how it affects you. This is because it can make some individuals drowsy.

Furthermore, it is unclear whether GABA interacts with any drugs or additional supplements. If you want to take GABA, think about consulting a physician first.

Be careful to let them know if you take any prescription or over-the-counter drugs, as well as any herbs or dietary supplements. They can help you understand any possible interactions you could encounter while taking GABA.

What Is L-Theanine?

Tea and other natural sources contain the amino acid L-theanine. This is a naturally present non-proteinogenic amino acid. Non-proteinogenic amino acids like L-theanine are not used as building blocks for protein synthesis.

Unlike the 20 normal proteinogenic amino acids which are encoded in the genetic code and integrated into proteins in the body. 

L-theanine content varies depending on the type of tea, and is typically under 50 mg per serving. L-theanine is also frequently consumed as a food supplement when greater dosages are sought.

Effect Of L-Theanine In Tea

Effect Of L-Theanine In Tea

Green tea contains the amino acid L-theanine, which accounts for 1-2% of the dry weight of the tea leaves. Up to 10–20 mg of L-theanine can be found in a typical cup of tea.

L-theanine prevails over GABA when it comes to crossing the blood-brain barrier. Once ingested, it easily crosses the blood brain barrier, and within 30 minutes, the effects on the brain become apparent.

L-theanine aids in relaxation while keeping you awake. Similar to meditation, it causes a rise in alpha waves in the brain, which promotes a deep state of relaxation while being aware. The relative concentration of GABA rises when L-theanine is consumed. 

Researchers examined 15 years’ worth of L-theanine supplementation trials and came to the conclusion that frequent consumption of 200–400 mg L-theanine (13–26 cups of tea’s worth) for up to two weeks had a soothing and stress-relieving impact.

Studies on anxious and depressed patients have shown that anxiety levels drop after taking L-theanine. Hence, they were more relaxed overall.

Possible Side Effect Of L-Theanine

Due to the fact that tea has been one of the most extensively drunk beverages in the world for many years, L-theanine is regarded as safe even at large dosages (up to 1200 mg).

However, individuals taking prescribed blood pressure medication should speak with their physician before consuming L-theanine supplements. This is because it can lower blood pressure in some situations.

Can You Consume GABA And L-Theanine Together?

While both GABA and L-theanine can help produce relaxation. You may have wondered whether these two supplements can be consumed together. 

L-theanine is a fantastic supplement on its own, but it works even better when combined with other supplements like GABA. As we’ve discovered, one of the ways L-theanine functions is by encouraging normal GABA concentrations that are available for usage in the brain.

You’re off to a head start if you utilize a supplement that contains both L-theanine and GABA.  As a result, you could combine the two supplements together for even better relaxation, and other benefits. 


Both GABA and L-theanine are two supplements that you can take to aid in better relaxation. L-theanine, is a much more well known and trusted supplement to take, as it is found in all types of teas, especially green tea.

With that being said, GABA also helps in enhancing relaxation. Yet, there are more possible side effects that can be caused from taking GABA. 

In addition to that, you could take GABA and L-theanine together. You just need to be aware of how this could potentially affect any other medication that you are taking. As both supplements don’t just aid in relaxation, they have other benefits as well.

We hope this article has been informative and given you a clearer idea of which supplement between GABA and L-theanine is better for relaxation.