The combination of caffeine and the amino acid L-theanine is proven to improve mental performance. Now, a new clinical trial has discovered that this well-known combination can enhance physical performance when taken with Tyrosine.
This November 2019 study used a proprietary supplement which did not release the specific amounts of each supplement, but it did state that it was a low-dose supplement. Caffeine and L-Theanine is traditionally used with a 2:1 ratio (2-parts L-Theanine to 1-part caffeine), as this has been the ratio on which the clinical trials have been based.
The combination of caffeine and L-theanine is synergistic. It provides the benefits of caffeine for focus and alertness and L-theanine for calmness, while enhancing mental performance better together than when taken independently. Though its cognitive effects are well-known, research related to its effects on physical performance is new.
Tyrosine (also known as L-Tyrosine) is an amino acid supplement which is known to improve exercise performance, cognition, and moderate stress during acute stress events. It is found in dietary sources from meat, nuts, seeds, soy products, avocados, and bananas.
In this study, 24 healthy men, currently or formerly involved with college athletics, were divided into a placebo group or a group who took the supplement containing Caffeine, L-Theanine, and Tyrosine before exercise sessions. They took mental and physical assessments before and after their exercise sessions. Researchers determined that the accuracy was enhanced in the supplement group, and the combination of the 3 supplements would benefit athletes who needed accuracy and speed during sports.
This is an interesting beginning to learning what other benefits the synergistic effects of caffeine and L-Theanine may provide. Some pre-workout drinks already include all 3 of these supplements. Stacking various amino acids with caffeine is gaining popularity and should continue to be on the radar as more research appears.
Zaragoza, Javier, et al. “Effects of Acute Caffeine, Theanine and Tyrosine Supplementation on Mental and Physical Performance in Athletes.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, Dec. 2019, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s12970-019-0326-3.