Are you looking for efficient and safe supplements for anxiety?
Anxiety is one of the most common psychological issues among the US population. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), about 6.8 million adults suffer from generalized anxiety disorder while 31.9% of adolescents struggle with different types of anxiety disorders. And the numbers are rapidly increasing.
Struggling with anxiety can become especially unbearable when you can’t find ways to regulate the symptoms. However, the latest research suggests that different types of supplements for anxiety can help reduce the severity.
In this blog post, we’ll review the 4 effective supplements for anxiety that you should keep in your medicine cabinet: L-Theanine, Thiamine, GABA, and Magnesium L-Threonate.
L-theanine is the most common form of the amino acid theanine that is usually found in some mushrooms, herbs, and supplements (Web MD, 2022). Theanine supplementation has been studied for its efficacy in balancing brain neurotransmitters (Wang, L., 2022), counteracting the effects of stress, reducing anxiety, (Williams, J.L, et al, 2020), and improving sleep (Kim, S., et al, 2018).
Supplementation with L-theanine supports mood and health via several mechanisms:
- Theanine reduces inflammation (Gong, Z., 2019)
- Theanine reduces excitatory neurotransmitter, glutamate (Wang, L., 2022)
- Theanine increases relaxing neurotransmitter, GABA (Wang, L., 2022)
- Theanine promotes feel-good emotions by promoting dopamine (Wang, L., 2022)
Finding the right source of theanine is an important step in finding solutions to calm anxiety. A favorite source of theanine is green tea, otherwise known as Camella Sinensis. Camella Sinensis has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine and has been lauded for its beneficial effects on mental and physical health (Healthline, 2021). One disadvantage to green tea, however, is that it naturally contains caffeine which often makes anxiety worse. Therefore a great alternative is L-Theanine in supplement form, which you can find in our Happy Sleepy Powder.
What is L-theanine good for? Here are the most common benefits of L-theanine for anxiety:
- Helps racing thoughts – L-theanine’s zone of genius is calming Thought Anxiety. If you struggle with racing thoughts, intrusive thoughts, obsessive thoughts, or persistent thoughts, L-Theanine might be a great supplement for calming your mind and brain.
- Helps you get zzzz’s – If you struggle with falling asleep or staying asleep because of annoying, repetitive or intrusive thoughts, L-theanine should be on the top of your supplement list. L-Theanine calms the mind and boosts sleep-inducing GABA to help you fall asleep. That’s why we included it in our Happy Sleepy Powder.
- Improves concentration – In addition to calming your thoughts, theanine can help them become more clear and crisp. In fact, a randomized control trial published in the journal Nutrients, revealed that “has the potential to promote mental health in the general population with stress-related ailments and cognitive impairments (Hidese, S., et al, 2019).
- Calms racing heart – Theanine is also heart-healthy. Studies have found that theanine can calm heart palpitations, relieving symptoms of Chest Anxiety and promote greater calm and peace in your core and torso (Evans, M., et al, 2021).
Recommended dosage: 200-600 mg/day
Thiamine (Vitamin B1)
Thiamine, which is more widely known as vitamin B1, is a water-soluble vitamin that takes part in the growth and function of specific cells. Vitamin B1 is usually found in foods such as cereals, bread, pork, nuts, whole grains, or eggs. But also, doctors nowadays often recommend taking this vitamin as a supplement.
The reason is that thiamine is accompanied by multiple benefits for both physical and mental health, such as providing energy, relieving pain, or regulating sleep patterns.
On the other hand, thiamine deficiency might lead to mood changes, irritability, frustration, or more serious symptoms such as short-term memory loss, shortness of breath, or nerve damage.
Studies also demonstrate that people develop anxiety disorders as a result of vitamin B1 deficiency (Lương & Nguyễn, 2010). That’s why it’s important to take thiamine as a supplement if you have a deficiency and are struggling with symptoms of anxiety. Based on the study about the roles of vitamins in psychiatry, thiamine also reduced symptoms such as insomnia, chronic fatigue, nausea, aggression, and headaches.
Here are the advantages of taking thiamine supplements for anxiety:
- Calms anxiety – Thiamine is considered one of the most efficient vitamins for severe anxiety or generalized anxiety disorder. It can help you regulate your feelings of worry and concentrate.
- Supports energy – Thiamine is one of the major vitamins that produce energy from nutrients. It takes part in the growth of cells, and as a result, a proper dosage of vitamin B1 can help you feel energetic throughout the day.
- Regulates appetite – While deficiency of B1 might cause weight changes and eating disorders, enough intake of Thiamine can help you regulate your appetite and avoid further difficulties.
- Relieves pain – the group of B vitamins, including thiamin (B1), has been demonstrated to be effective in reducing pain. It’s useful for various types of pain, and as studies show, thiamine can help people relieve 50–80% of their pain.
Recommended dosage: 250 mg/day
If you’ve ever heard anything about GABA, you probably recognize it as a neurotransmitter in the CNS (central nervous system). Indeed, Gamma-amino butyric acid carries chemical signals to one neuron from another and blocks specific signals in your brain and spinal cord. As a result, this amino acid has the power to control nerve cell hyperactivity which causes anxiety and stress.
Consequently, GABA is widely known for its calming effects. That’s why GABA supplements are highly recommended for coping with symptoms of social anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder, and other anxiety-related issues.
One of the reasons why taking GABA supplements is considered an effective way to reduce anxiety symptoms is that they stimulate magnesium in the brain. And since this chemical element regulates anxiety and depression, scientists suggest that GABA can also alleviate the symptoms of anxiety.
Here are some of the reasons why you should consider taking GABA supplements for anxiety:
- Promotes sleep – Researchers claim that GABA is an efficient way to deal with insomnia and sleep problems. Studies show that taking 100 mg of GABA before bed can help you fall asleep and improve your sleep quality.
- Stops panic – GABA attaches a specific protein to your brain that can help you deal with feelings of anxiety, focus, and stop panic.
Which type of GABA is best for reducing anxiety?
- Sublingual is fastest – If you’re looking for faster ways to alleviate anxiety symptoms, sublingual GABA is the best possible option as it’s absorbed quickly. In fact, the effect of GABA administered orally is usually evident after 30 minutes.
- PharmaGABA is best – While there are plenty of GABA-providing companies on the pharmaceutical market, PharmaGABA is the safest and most studied supplement for dealing with anxiety.
Recommended dosage: 250 mg/day
And the fourth of the supplements for anxiety that you should always keep with you is Magnesium L-Threonate. It’s a synthesized form of magnesium that can be absorbed easily. This supplement is especially helpful with cognitive dysfunction and memory problems. Therefore, it can also improve concentration and help with anxiety.
Studies show that magnesium L-Threonate has neuroprotective effects on brain cells, which results in improved cognitive functioning (Kim et al., 2020). Other studies have also demonstrated that this supplement is recommended as an anti-anxiety supplement for people who tend to experience stress and fear.
The major benefits of magnesium L-Threonate supplements for anxiety are the following:
- Relieves restlessness – If you find it hard to rest or relax, taking magnesium as a supplement might help you to relieve this symptom of anxiety. In addition, studies have also found that it’s considered an efficient supplement to reduce the symptoms of restless leg syndrome (RLS).
- Slows racing thoughts – Considering the calming effects of magnesium L-Threonate, it’s helpful to deal with your racing thoughts and focus on one issue at a time.
- Relaxes muscles – This supplement is also known for its beneficial effects on muscles. It can help you relieve overall tension and relax muscles, which is important for overcoming anxiety.
- Combats constipation – Surprisingly, magnesium can also help you deal with constipation. Often, difficulty emptying the bowels is a symptom of tension and anxiety. In this case, magnesium L-Threonate is a great way to combat constipation.
Recommended dosage: 400 mg/day
These are a few of my go-to supplements for anxiety that I like to keep on hand. I even have some of these in my panic pack.
So, if you’re looking for safe ways to reduce the symptoms of anxiety such as muscle tension, sleep difficulties, or appetite changes, keep these four supplements handy. Don’t forget to reach out to your doctor before determining the right dosage for your unique condition!
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