Catechins and Theanine Clarification?

by Leslie Powell
(New York)

Hi, Julian, you've got quite a site here !


I think that theanine can be taken alone (?) for same benefits as catechins? and you recommended theanine supplements (Jarrow 100, Naka, Suntheanine.)

But I'm not quite solid on whether theanine IS a catechin and/or a caffeine reducer or both; OR if I can use a loose tea that has the theanine in it ?

I get it that green tea has catechins and want that, but can't use caffeine, and don't want supplements (preferably) and get the idea Theanine is likely a supplement.

I'm a bit confused even after reading all you've said, possibly I'm overwhelmed ?

Teavigo, I believe you mentioned is near-zero caffeine, but still seems like a supplement and your site says if you use Teavigo, you "miss out on full spectrum of tea nutrition such as the 'other' catechins and theanine."

So if I'd miss out on those 'other' things and don't know what they are), can't quite get my head around why I would even use Teavigo if I then miss out on something nutritional.

Basically, what I want to end up with is a loose green tea that is decaffeinated in the best best possible way (you say co2&hot water methods are not available yet and ethyl is bad, I get that.)

And I get confused on the dosage/serving for full benefits: If decaf green tea is only 60mg vs. 180 per cup in caff green, if I'd want to drink 3 cups caff green does that mean I'd have to drink 9 cups of decaff green to get the same benefit.

That seems like such a large amount as to be quite inconvenient, I could only keep up with that if I made a 9 cup batch at one time and drank from it all day, what a drag ! Thanks for any further help you are willing to offer.

I don't know if you'll want to reword my question, or respond to me by e-mail or use it on your site. Of course if you need to rephrase my question or abbreviate it, please do. If you can send me e-mail copy of your reply, great. Your site is "Amazing" (as it says !) and has a wealth of information, but I'm not really clear on a few things.

Sincerely, Leslie Powell in Nyack, NY, USA

Answer:

Leslie, thank you for your questions and compliments. I will deal with your question one by one.

Theanine is a relaxing compound found in tea and mushroom. It helps to your mind to stay at the present, and therefore is good for concentration.

It is NOT a catechin. You will find theanine is high grade green/white tea (harvested early spring).

(Other teas have too little theanine to make a difference.)

Catechins are antioxidants. They have a very wide range of heatlh benefits including cancer protection, weight loss and general well beings.

Both theanine and catechins are found in loose tea leaves and supplements.

The difficulty is that if you want absolute quality, then you should go for loose tea leaves, but loose tea leaves do contain caffeine.

Generally speaking, the higher the tea quality, the more caffeine it contains. But the more relaxing it feels. This is because it contains far more theanine, which offsets the effects of caffeine and makes you feel calmer and in peace.

Teavigo contains mostly EGCG - one of the six types of catechins. Its strength is purity, but you will be missing out on the health benefits of the other five types of catechins, theanine and host of other minor compounds (tea has more than 200).

Finally, as for your questions regarding dosage, if 9 cups of tea feel like a lot to you - it is probably not worth doing it.

Drinking tea should come naturally. If it feels like hardwork, then you probably won't keep it up. Drinking too much low quality tea can also lead to side effects. So it is best to approach it from another angle.

The bottomline is you try a few teas and supplements and see how it makes you feel. Your feeling is the most important - if a tea contains enough theanine and antioxidants - you should be able to notice the difference after drinking.

I hope this helps.

Julian

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