L-Theanine vs. L-Tyrosine: Which is Best for Increasing Mental Focus?

If you're looking for a way to increase your mental focus, there are two common amino acids that offer different benefits.

L-Tyrosine is the precursor to dopamine and norepinephrine, which can help improve moods and support cognitive function.

L-Theanine helps promote alpha brain waves, which are associated with relaxation.

So which one should you take? Let's find out!

What is L-Tyrosine?

L-Tyrosine is an amino acid that is used by the body to produce dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine.

These neurotransmitters are responsible for mood regulation as well as cognitive function.

When your levels of these neurotransmitters drop, it can lead to depression and anxiety disorders.

By supplementing with L-tyrosine you can support your mood and cognitive function.

L-Tyrosine works by helping to maintain healthy levels of neurotransmitters.

When your body is under stress, it releases catecholamines such as dopamine and norepinephrine in order to help you deal with the situation.

However, when these chemicals are released too often or not enough they can start to cause damage over time.

This will allow your body to continue functioning as it should without experiencing mood swings or cognitive impairment that is common with low dopamine and norepinephrine levels.

What is L-Theanine?


L-theanine is a natural amino acid that is commonly found in green tea. It has been shown to promote alpha brain waves, which are associated with relaxation.

It does this by crossing the blood-brain barrier where it then binds itself to glutamate receptors in the brain.

This reduces the number of stress hormones in your body while promoting relaxation.

The result is a reduction of anxiety and an increase in mental focus.

People take L-theanine for a variety of reasons including:

  • To support relaxation and reduce anxiety.
  • Reduce stress by promoting alpha brain waves.
  • Maintain healthy neurotransmitter levels within the body, which will help improve moods and cognitive function over time.

L-theanine has also become increasingly popular in the nootropic community where it is typically taken in conjunction (stacked) with caffeine.

This combination provides an increased level of focus and attention without increasing anxiety levels and jitters, which can occur when using caffeine by itself.

What are the benefits?

When it comes to L-tyrosine vs L-theanine, both offer benefits that can help you improve mental focus.

However, each amino acid has its own unique benefit as well. For example:

L-Tyrosine helps boost moods and supports cognitive function while promoting energy levels.

On the other hand, L-theanine promotes relaxation and alpha brain waves, which can help reduce anxiety.

L-theanine is great for those who want to improve their focus but don't need the extra energy boost that tyrosine provides.

L-Tyrosine is great for people with low dopamine and norepinephrine levels or anyone looking for an added energy boost.

So which one should you take?

Both l-theanine and l-tyrosine offer different benefits but ultimately, the decision comes down to your unique needs.

If you're looking for a way to reduce stress and promote relaxation, L-theanine is the better choice.

However, if you have low dopamine or norepinephrine levels and are seeking an added energy boost, then l-tyrosine could be right for you!

What are the side effects?

When it comes to side effects, both amino acids are considered safe and have very few associated risks.

The most common reported negative effect is an increase in anxiety with L-tyrosine supplementation; however, this can be avoided by cycling the dose as well as starting at a low dose and working up if necessary.

L-theanine has only been associated with one reported negative effect which is drowsiness.

It's possible to experience this side-effect if you take too much at once or build up a tolerance over time.

Overall, L-theanine and l-tyrosine are both considered safe for most people.

However, it's important that you speak to your doctor before beginning any new supplements, especially if you have an underlying medical condition or are taking other medications.

How much do L-theanine and L-tyrosine cost?

L-Tyrosine Cost

L-Tyrosine is generally sold in capsule form.

For a mid-range L-Tyrosine supplement, expect to pay approximately $24 for 100 capsules.

L-Theanine Cost

L-Theanine is often sold as a powder or in capsules.

The following are examples of typical prices:

  • Powder: $10 per 100 grams
  • Capsules: $20 per 100

Overall, L-theanine is considered the cheaper option.

For this reason, it's a great idea to start with l-theanine and see what your results are like before moving on to more expensive options such as tyrosine supplements.

How to protect your brain with L-Theanine

The main benefit of L-theanine is its ability to reduce stress.

It does this by crossing the blood-brain barrier where it binds itself to glutamate receptors in the brain, thus reducing the number of stress hormones being released into your body.

This is great news for anyone with a stressful job or who may be dealing with daily stressors such as relationship issues, money problems or family responsibilities.

Over time, L-theanine can help you lower your cortisol levels which can improve cognitive function and memory.

This is especially true for people with high cortisol who are more likely to experience mental fog throughout the day.

L-theanine also works to promote alpha brain waves which can lead to increased focus, concentration and attention.

Alpha brainwaves are also known for their ability to increase mental flow-effectively allowing you to get into "the zone" easier than ever before!

L-theanine is a great tool to help you stay calm and focused throughout your day.

For best results, take 200mg of L-Theanine per serving when needed for stress relief or increased concentration.

To promote alpha brainwaves and increase mental flow, take 100-200mg one hour before working on mentally intensive tasks.

In Summary

L-theanine and l-tyrosine are both great amino acids for promoting cognitive function and mental focus.

In terms of stress relief, L-theanine is the better option as it promotes relaxation without sedation.

L-Tyrosine can be a useful tool if you have low dopamine or norepinephrine levels but should only be taken for short periods since it can cause anxiety with long-term use.

Both L-theanine and l-tyrosine are considered safe for most people when taken at the recommended dosage.