What’s better than caffeine? More caffeine, of course!
Or so one would think after feeling all good from that first cup of coffee.
However, as anyone familiar with caffeine (i.e., all of us) would know, more caffeine isn’t necessarily a good thing.
In fact, in the same way that many of us swear off alcohol after a long, sleepless night of drinking, we often make weak promises to quit coffee while feeling the hard, late-afternoon crash that inevitably follows sucking down seven cups of morning joe in a couple hours …
….and we make those promises only to come crawling back to the coffee machine the next morning.
Because we don’t actually want to quit caffeine. We just want to drink it more responsibly. We want the come-up without the comedown.
And, fortunately, there is a way to supplement caffeine without feeling like a static-electric puddle of goo later in the day. Because what’s better than caffeine isn’t more caffeine but caffeine and L-theanine!
But what exactly does mixing caffeine with L-theanine do?
Why is it better than standalone caffeine, and what is the Best Caffeine and L-Theanine Supplement?
Read our Best5 Caffeine and L-Theanine Guide to find out.
The Best5 Caffeine and L-Theanine Guide
You take caffeine, you take L-theanine, you mix them together, and you gulp them down.
How difficult can it be?
Not difficult at all, in fact, which makes the caffeine and L-theanine combo one of the best starting places. Especially for athletes, academics, workers, and coffee-drinkers of all varieties to get into the wild, complex world of stacking nootropics.
However, having said that, there are plenty of supplements that promise a simple caffeine + L-theanine stack, yet ultimately fail to deliver. Due to cheap, ineffective ingredient forms, bad dosage ratios, and other various manufacturing setbacks.
So, in our Best5 Caffeine and L-Theanine Guide, we’ll set you up with all the good info on caffeine and L-theanine, how they work, and what to look for in a caffeine + L-theanine.
Not to mention the best caffeine and L-theanine supplement that money can buy.
If you’re here to learn, then read on. Let’s start with:
Why Stack Caffeine with L-Theanine?
We don’t need to be convinced to take any more caffeine.
If anything, many of us are trying to cut back on our daily caffeine intake. Up to a point, caffeine is great for improving cognitive performance and energy expenditure (i.e., fat loss).
Beyond that point, caffeine actually impairs cognition, resulting in jittery, jolted thinking and fuzzy mental focus.
Of course, tolerance to caffeine varies from person to person. Yet, in general, there’s a rising call among caffeine users for a better way to consume caffeine.
Stacking L-theanine seems to be the answer to that call.
But to understand why you should stack your caffeine with L-theanine, we should go over exactly what caffeine and L-theanine do individually:
How Does Caffeine Work?
Virtually everyone knows how caffeine feels, but how does it work? Essentially, caffeine is actually less a pro-energy stimulant, per se, than it is an anti-tiredness one. Though the result is stimulant, the bio-mechanism of caffeine is inhibition, namely inhibition of:
- Adenosine, a byproduct of brain activity that binds and activates adenosine receptors, which basically tell the brain to calm down.
By mimicking adenosine’s structure, caffeine binds to adenosine receptors to prevent their activation. Thereby disrupting one of the brain’s primary “calm down” feedback loops.
As a result, the brain stays alert and engaged, burning through catecholamine neurotransmitters (e.g., dopamine, norepinephrine) to maintain prolonged alertness.
Likewise, caffeine acts as a diuretic, increasing urinary output, which leads to a decrease of vitamins and minerals through
…well, urinary output. In other words, there’s a cost to caffeine’s anti-tiredness benefits.
How Does L-Theanine Work?
There’s really no other nootropic, natural or synthetic quite like L-theanine. Sourced from green tea leaves, L-theanine is an anxiolytic amino acid best known for its ability to calm the mind without also sedating it.
The non-sedative aspect of L-theanine’s relaxation effects is what makes this amino truly special and endearing to the nootropic community.
For many of us, angst and anxiety are major barriers to having a productive, fulfilling day. Yet, many of us are also hesitant to try any anti-anxiety substances, due to their cognitive impairing sedative side effects.
We don’t want to be too relaxed, just enough to get some work done.
And that’s exactly what L-theanine does.
It works through an unknown bio-mechanism that calms excitatory brain activity. By promoting alpha brainwaves, the brain frequency states associated with calm, composed, creative thinking.
The result is a sort of “in the zone” calm, yet focused mental state that pairs incredibly well with stimulants like caffeine.
The Combined Benefits of Caffeine and L-Theanine
What happens when an unstoppable force meets an unmovable object?
In the case of caffeine and L-theanine, only good things apparently!
Mixing caffeine’s anti-tiredness effects with L-theanine’s calming effects sounds like the perfect recipe for a dangerous cognitive chemical reaction. But the combo is actually incredibly complementary.
And, yes, healthy for improving cognitive performance.
According to clinical research, stacking caffeine and L-theanine may significantly improve cognition and mood:
One study compared 50mg caffeine with 100mg L-theanine to 50mg caffeine without L-theanine to gauge the combo’s effects on cognition and mood among healthy volunteers. Measuring cognitive measures related to alertness and multi-tasking, the researchers found that “L-theanine and caffeine in combination are beneficial for improving performance on cognitively demanding tasks.”
And this study corroborates with the findings of another promising study on caffeine + L-theanine:
Another study observing the caffeine + L-theanine combo’s effects on cognition and mood, as compared to placebo, found significant improvements on self-reported mental fatigue, reaction time, and working memory, leading to the conclusion that “L-theanine and caffeine may have a different pharmacological profile to […] caffeine alone.”
Together, these studies demonstrate that not only does combining caffeine and L-theanine—ideally, at a 2:1 ratio of L-theanine to caffeine—improve mood and cognitive performance.
But it does so to a degree that, as many have suspected, nets a greater degree of enhanced cognition than what we might estimate from each ingredient’s standalone performance benefits.
In other words, the nootropic whole of the caffeine + L-theanine combo is greater than its parts.
Other Nootropics to Stack with Caffeine
If you’re looking to live the nootropic lifestyle, L-theanine is a near-must companion to caffeine.
However, if you’re looking to live the advanced nootropic lifestyle—and to low-key gloat on /r/Nootropics about your membership in the advanced nootropic lifestyle—you can go further than L-theanine with your caffeine intake.
Here are but a few additional cognitive enhancers to take your ‘feine game to the next level:
Considered by many to be the ultimate anti-stress nootropic, L-Tyrosine is a fast-acting, nootropic amino directly involved in the catecholaminergic pathway.
Really, the nootropic is more replenishing than enhancing.
However, when your catecholamine levels are depleted, which is more often than you think (especially if you’re frequently getting sub-standard sleep), the replenishment is one of the most enhancing feelings you’ll ever …well, feel.
Again, caffeine depletes catecholamines as a consequence—or, rather, cost—of its stimulant activities.
It’s the price you pay (i.e., feel) in the form of that weirdly wired-yet-tired (let’s call it “t’wired”) mental state that follows a day after intense caffeination.
The way an overheated engine feels after a long, long road trip? That’s kind of a good analogy for how your brain and body feel after an overcaffeinated day.
And, in that analogy, L-tyrosine is (probably) the coolant. Or maybe the oil…
I don’t know—the point is: this amino supplies additional precursor material to synthesize additional catecholamine neurotransmitters.
This allows your mind to stay reasonably awake and alert and clear-headed after the caffeine rush has worn off and depleted your otherwise limited catecholamine reserve.
The bottom line: you’ll feel neither tired nor wired. Simply focused and relaxed.
Caffeine makes you go number one (and, usually, number two, too). And a lot of caffeine makes you go number one a lot.
This isn’t due to the liquid content of, say, coffee, as powder caffeine has the same effect on urinary output.
Essentially, the compound acts as a diuretic, leading to an increase in urination.
And with that urinary excretion, we lose a lot of minerals and vitamins, including essential B vitamins.
To list everything that B vitamins do for our brains and bodies would take me all month to write and you all week to read. But, briefly, B vitamins are essential to our health and performance due to their involvement in energy metabolism, neurotransmitter production, and blood vessel integrity.
- Healthy B vitamin levels leave you feeling good and motivated.
- Low B vitamin levels leave you feeling blue, which partially explains the post-energy crash that comes with caffeine.
Taking B vitamins with caffeine helps replenish *[sentence not finished]*
If L-tyrosine is the best anti-stress amino, Rhodiola rosea is perhaps the best anti-stress herb.
Classified as an adaptogen, Rhodiola helps your body adapt to stress (hence adaptogen). It works by directly acting upon the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, or the stress response system.
Essentially, when we’re stressed, the mind triggers the HPA axis to release stress hormone cortisol for “fight or flight” energy expenditure. Certainly, this is one of consequences of most stimulants, including caffeine.
When we’re in fight-or-flight mode, we’re focused.
However, overactivation of the HPA may lead to excess cortisol and/or prolonged stress responses. Resulting in metabolic energy disorder, mood disorders, and, well, a lot of other unhealthy disorders.
Pairing Rhodiola with caffeine may help mitigate the cortisol response to caffeine while sustaining the drug’s positive performance enhancing benefits.
Best Caffeine and L-Theanine Supplement:
Performance Lab Stim
Easily, the best caffeine and L-theanine supplement is Performance Lab Stim. It’s one of the newer caffeine pill supplements on the 2020 market.
Upholding Performance Lab’s well-known high standards of quality and potency, Performance Lab Stim supplies an impressive mix of easy-to-absorb B vitamins and aminos. In addition to natural caffeine sourced from Coffea robusta seeds (coffee beans!); effectively qualifying as something much greater and better than a mere caffeine and L-theanine supplement.
Without diving full bore into overcomplicated “hybrid” supplement territory, Performance Lab Stim goes beyond caffeine and L-theanine with ingredients that help amplify the familiar, feel-good effects of this classic nootropic duo.
With that in mind, let’s check out all ingredients in this formula:
Performance Lab Stim: Ingredients
*To learn more about its ingredients, visit: www.performancelab.com
Sourced from Coffea robusta seeds (i.e., coffee beans), Performance Lab’s Caffeine content is the real deal—not that cheap, synthetic crap lining the shelves. Also, whereas other stim stacks supply caffeine at an overdose of 200mg+ per serving, Performance Lab Stim supplies a modest amount of 50mg caffeine per pill, allowing the user more flexibility with serving size.
High caffeine tolerance? Take two to three pills per serving.
Low tolerance? Take one.
Either way, the customization aspect is a huge plus-plus here.
Compared to your plain jane L-Theanine ingredient, Performance Lab’s Suntheanine® is 100% pure L-theanine—an advanced L-theanine brand clinically demonstrated to promote alpha brainwave cognitive states. Supplying the L-theanine equivalent to 10 cups’ worth of green tea, this 100mg dosage accomplishes the proper 2:1 L-theanine to caffeine ratio for caffeine + L-theanine mental performance enhancement.
Using the patented, eco-friendly Ferment-A-Pure technology, Ajipure® is part of an old-school amino supplier that turns non-GMO, gluten-free vegetable carbohydrates into easy-to-absorb, bio-enhanced amino acids. Which is perhaps enough of a backstory for the Ajipure® L-Tyrosine supplied by Performance Lab.
As the highest dosed ingredient here, Performance Lab Stim’s L-tyrosine is packed and powerful enough to deliver this anti-stress amino’s caffeine-balancing benefits. Combined with the 50mg caffeine and 100mg L-theanine, this 250mg L-tyrosine is more than the icing on the cake, if it’s not the cake itself. This is surely enough to get your mood and motivation up to Git-R-Done levels of mental productivity.
As enzymatic co-factors required to synthesize catecholamine neurotransmitters, Performance Lab’s B Vitamins (B2, B6, B9, B12) are smart additions to this stack, both in terms of caffeine recovery and mental performance enhancement. And, unlike the weak, impotent B vitamin forms, this NutriGenesis® B-complex has been specifically designed to improve absorption and, therefore, bio-availability, making this B-complex particularly effective at countering caffeine-induced B-vitamin depletion.
Why Performance Lab Stim is the Best Caffeine and L-Theanine Supplement
Performance Lab Stim bills itself as an “ultramodern caffeine for cleaner, calmer and healthier stimulant,” and that sounds about right.
It’s a simple stack that, if you had the time and ambition, you could perhaps stack yourself by buying the ingredients individually.
However, what sets this stim stack apart from other stim stacks and DIY alternatives are:
- Quality: there’s simply no match to the potency of the easy-to-absorb ingredient forms used by Performance Lab Stim;
- Synergy: the positive ingredient interactions, facilitated by the high-quality ingredient forms, provides a unique 1+1=3 degree of synergy;
- Affordable: based on the quality and reliable power of its formula, the value of this deceivingly simple stack exceeds the price.
There are plenty of caffeinated nootropic stacks that include L-theanine. Some work very well, some don’t. But if you’re taking several brain health supplements, it quickly becomes obvious that, though the caffeinated nootropics are individually nice, it’d be much better to have a solid, yet simple caffeine stack that can be optionally included with your otherwise stim-free brain health stack of supplements.
That’s Performance Lab Stim’s role, especially as part of the Performance Lab line of supplements at large which, other than this supplement, are all caffeine-free. As such, it’s a much-needed, much-welcomed addition to the P-Lab crew and the best caffeine and L-theanine supplement overall.
How to Take Performance Lab Stim
Thanks to the recovery aspects of this formula, as well as the modest caffeine dose, there isn’t much risk here of *overdoing* it, even for caffeine sensitive users.
With that in mind, the usual caveat that this supplement shouldn’t be taken in the evening so as to avoid poor sleep quality remains… but, I mean, you have your caffeine preferences. Do what you want, dood.
Even so, here are the “Suggested Use” directions for Performance Lab Stim:
Take 1 capsule for stimulation. Taken as directed, Stim’s 50 mg caffeine serving size is effective for most. Those with greater tolerance or a higher optimal caffeine dose may take additional Stim NutriCaps® in 50 mg caffeine increments up to 250 mg (5 NutriCaps®) per day, due to the formula’s scalable design.
Personal experience has found this stack effective at enhancing both academic and athletic performance.
Where to Buy Performance Lab Stim
All Performance Lab supplements sell exclusively through the Performance Lab website: performancelab.com
This means that you won’t find it available to buy from other online retailers such as Amazon or GNC etc.
How Much Does It Cost?
When you go to buy Performance Lab Stim, here’s how the pricing works:
- One Bottle: $35 for 30 pills
- Two Bottles: $66.50 for 60 pills (5% saving)
- Three Bottles: $94.50 for 90 pills (10% saving)
And if your total order comes out to $200 or more, whether due to a fat-daddy order of Performance Lab Stim or a mix of Performance Lab supplements, you get a free two-day delivery.
Stack Performance Lab Stim with…
Performance Lab Mind
If your goal with Performance Lab Stim is to improve cognitive performance, Performance Lab Mind is also likely on your radar. This all-natural, stim-free nootropic stack is an awesome daily brain health supplement for improving long-term cognition.
- Citicoline (Cognizin®)
- Phosphatidylserine (Sharp-PS® Green)
- L-Tyrosine (Ajipure®)
- Maritime Pine Bark Extract
Altogether, these ingredients provide a solid foundation for daily cognitive support, hitting a surprisingly complex variety of brain bio-pathways.
From acetylcholine to dopamine, cerebral circulation to synaptic plasticity, Performance Lab Mind’s natural brainpower boosts cover a lot of cognitive territory.
Consider this the more long-term nootropic stack to pair with the more acutely performance enhancing Performance Lab Stim.
Performance Lab Energy
Wait, another energy supplement to stack with Performance Lab Stim? That’s right, except Performance Lab Energy is the real deal when it comes to boosting energy. Without using any stimulants, including caffeine, Performance Lab Energy improves cellular energy production on the microscopic, mitochondrial level. Because remember: mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell. (Thank you for that, high school biology.) Whereas stimulants deplete your catecholamine and energy stock to achieve their cognitive enhancement benefits, this formula’s mitochondrial energy boosts improve your mental and physical performance by replenishing your ATP energy levels.
Paired with Performance Lab Stim, Performance Lab Energy aids Stim’s performance-enhancing caffeine with a complex of antioxidants that promote, protect, and regenerate ATP-producing mitochondria for a deeper degree of energy enhancement.
Performance Lab SPORT Pre
Do you need caffeine to exercise? Well, *need* is a strong word, yet many would flat-out say, “YES! That’s why we buy pre-workout supplements, right?” WRONG, bucko. Many of the best pre-workout supplements are caffeine-free, and, of those, Performance Lab SPORT Pre is certainly the best, thanks to its use of high-quality creatine, for increased exercise strength and stamina, and L-citrulline, for increased circulation and muscle pumps—and much more.
The familiar mix of creatine and L-citrulline stacked with not-so-familiar workout enhancement ingredients, such as cordyceps and maritime pine bark extract, make Performance Lab SPORT Pre one of the most interesting pre-workout supplements of 2020. However, okay, yes, if you do want the PWO caffeine, it’s absolutely a smart idea to stack Performance Lab SPORT Pre with Performance Lab Stim, given the latter’s use of mood and motivation enhancing L-tyrosine.
Maybe sometimes you enjoy the caffeine for working out, whereas other times you don’t. Stacking Performance Lab Stim with SPORT Pre grants you that on-the-fly option.
Whether you’re seeking enhanced cognition or improved exercise performance, caffeine and L-theanine is an easy stack option that works surprisingly powerfully well, despite its simplicity.
Once you’ve tried stacking caffeine with L-theanine, there’s really no going back to regular ol’ coffee—or, rather, there’s no going back without rightfully feeling that you could be doing much better than regular ol’ coffee.
Whether you do or don’t drink coffee, or energy drinks, or whatever, Performance Lab Stim’s recovery aspects make this stack one of the best formulas not only for an early-day boost of energy but also later-day replenishment.
It’s a powerful energy lift with a soft landing encased in clean, additive-free, vegan-friendly capsules. An impressive caffeine pill through and through.
*To buy Performance Lab Stim for the best deal, visit its official site: www.performancelab.com.