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Brain waves are weak electrical impulses emitted by your brain that can be measured on the surface of the head. The predominant frequency of these electrical impulses correlates with different types of mental states.
Brain waves are classified into four categories (Delta, Theta, Alpha, and Beta), each with an associated mental state [Fig. 1].
Stimulants, like Caffeine, promote Beta waves and suppress the others, leading to increased stress, anxiety, and over excitement. It can be very difficult to focus and concentrate when you are emitting Beta waves
Delta waves are only seen in the deepest stages of sleep and Theta waves are seen in light sleep and drowsiness. Alpha waves are present during wakefulness where there is a relaxed and effortless alertness.
Alpha waves create a calm and productive state of mind.
L-theanine is a unique amino acid that can easily cross the blood brain barrier and affect the central nervous system. Studies have shown that L-theanine directly stimulates the production of Alpha brain waves. The graphic below compares the findings when individuals were given either L-theanine of a placebo during a demanding attention task. The results show significant increases in Alpha waves and activity in the right posterior parietal cortex, a region in the brain important to visual stimulus and attention.