L-Theanine: an Instant Charisma Upgrade

By Jonathan Roseland

I'm not a doctor, medical professional, or trained therapist. I'm a researcher and pragmatic biohacking practitioner exercising free speech to share evidence as I find it. I make no claims. Please practice skepticism and rational critical thinkingYou should consult a professional about any serious decisions that you might make about your health. Affiliate links in this article support Limitless Mindset - spend over $150 and you'll be eligible to join the Limitless Mindset Secret Society.

Introduction: I frequently receive emails and Facebook messages asking me something to the effect of: "What is the best Nootropic for increasing social confidence?"
Near the top of my list of exotic molecules to achieve that is L-Theanine. in about 30 minutes it consistently brings me a measure of tranquility to manage social situations with grace and gravitas. As the active ingredient in green tea, it's an exceptionally safe nutraceutical with virtually no downside. Finally, it's VERY cost-effective, a year's supply of it runs about $25.
Fatjong of TheanineZone.com has an entire blog, with numerous articles devoted to explaining different L-theanine uses. Check out this article he wrote for Limitless Mindset on the neurobiology of confidence.
- Jonathan Roseland

Take a look at these two guys; which of them seems more competent, more intelligent, and more leader-like?

You probably chose Russell. These two guys ran for a Senate seat in Wisconsin; Timothy Michels a Republican and Russell Feingold a Democrat - who won the seat!

This is crazy because in one second you (likely) predicted the voting outcomes of a couple of millions of people; who had a lot more information than (Pro-gun? Pro-abortion? More or fewer taxes? Etc…) you did.

Want to try another time? Which of these two seems more competent, more intelligent, and more leader-like?

The politician with the slightly more masculine visage and darker suit won. What does this teach us?

  1. People put price tags on you.
  2. If you don’t look like a million dollars people are not going to see the positive things in you.
  3. We already knew this information, we have tags around our necks.

So how can we change the price people put on our tag? Charisma.

Charisma is symbolic influence coming from values and emotions. The personification of an ideal. Think of Martin Luther King (civil movement rights movement), the Wright Brothers (inventors of the airplane), or Steve Jobs (founder of Apple). All these people had one thing in common; they had a large amount of charisma, and people around them knew it.

This TEDx Talk was given on a Swiss research study on the influence of charisma on the workplace

They gave three groups of workers a manager that would do three things. The first gave a standard speech. For the second group, he promised bonuses and gave a standard speech and for the third group, he gave a charismatic speech.charisma diagram

The results speak for themselves in the chart below. The second and third groups that both got incentives to work hard actually worked harder.

charisma graph

This is, in economic terms, astounding. Without giving any resources there was an increase in performance.

Now think about what Apple does. Everyone on the market has the same amount of resources, yet Apple has always been the one pushing the boundaries. I'll tell you a little secret, Steve Jobs had a lot of charisma, resulting in the workers at Apple being more creative than their competitors.

What is charisma and how do I get it?

As said earlier, charisma equals values and emotions able to clearly send an image of what you are talking about. It should come from what you stand for - what is your "why?" And if you never heard of the concept of your why I urge you to watch five minutes of Simon Sinek explaining the concept of starting with why; why Apple (a computer company) was able to sell MP3s and Dell (also a computer company) tried it but completely failed.

Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter, and those who don’t mind matter - do this and you will master charisma. Easier said than done right? But this is still the best way to get charisma. While we may know it or not, many of us are doing only behaviors that are socially accepted.

 About L-Theanine

L-theanine is a substance that comes from green tea. It is available in pill or powder form. And many consider it a Nootropic when combined with caffeine; it is considered the safest beginner Nootropic because of the lack of side effects.

charisma 5The recommended dosage ranges from 100 to 200 milligrams; going beyond 400 milligrams will not give you any more benefits than 250 milligrams. So far as people know you cannot overdose on l-theanine nor are there any significant side effects. The only issue with going over 400 milligrams is that you would waste your money.

On a biological level l-theanine does the following things in the human body; it increases the levels of GABA, dopamine, serotonin and some even say oxytocin. But what are the results from all these chemicals increased in our body? 
The most known are: reducing anxiety, enhancing the user's sleep, mental clarity, and relaxation. To see the relationship between l-theanine and charisma we first must break down the happy chemicals in our bodies.

The happy chemicals

charisma 6The human animal is like a machine, there are systems inside our body that are trying to get us to do things that are in the interest of our survival.

As said here most of the Nootropics will do two things for you; boosting your serotonin and dopamine. These two neurotransmitters are one of a couple of chemicals that made us as a human species. It is the reason we as a species survived while others went extinct. You may ask what are a couple of others? Good question. There are a total of four happy chemicals: Endorphins, Dopamine, Serotonin, and Oxytocin.



Endorphins are the chemicals that get released after a long intense run, also known as a runner's high. We feel great after a long run, but two days later we can barely walk. It’s because of the endorphins. 
All these chemicals helped us survive as a species. Thanks to endorphins your ancestors could have kept on running; hunting down dinner and even had enough energy to drag it back to the campfire. Thus our biology and feel-good neurotransmitters rewarded us for doing something that ensured our survival. Nowadays with supermarkets, we hardly get any endorphins in our bodies except for athletic people.



The famous chemical that probably everyone has heard of; we get it when we see food, eat food, smell food, or do something we said we would do (that great feeling you get after checking something off your to-do list). So why do we have this chemical? Remember all these chemicals are there to reward us for keeping ourselves alive. Getting food in ancient times was hard and if we only went hunting when we were hungry it was probably already too late. So our body gave us a little shot of dopamine when we saw a fish in the distance, another shot when we neared the fish, and when we caught it another shot of dopamine - it keeps going until we take the first bite of that delicious fish. The incremental rewards keep us focused.

A warning: Dopamine unmoderated is HIGHLY addictive - just ask your friends who are trying to quit smoking. You can see the dopamine addiction in gambling, booze, and even with our smartphones. If you wake up with a craving for alcohol you are an addict. Well, if you wake up and the very first thing you do is check your smartphone, you might be an addict!


SerotoninThe chemical that makes us hierarchical animals, I'll go as far as calling it the confidence chemical. Take a look at these two animals; crocodiles and lions. If you've ever watched a documentary about these animals you noticed the difference in how they eat. The crocodiles are in petty competition fighting with each other for food while the Lions have a clear hierarchy in eating order from the alpha male of the pack on down to the scruffiest of cubs.

Serotonin instills a sense of social pride, a bond between people. It stops the petty infighting because we recognize an alpha leader. The alpha leader gets the luxury of eating first. However, it comes with responsibility - when the pack is in danger they turn to the alpha, and it is the alpha’s responsibility to defend them - and the alpha doesn't have to be a male, imagine the mother lioness defending her offspring.

As can be seen, serotonin works as follows, we as a group recognize a leader. We give the leaders some perks first in food, first to mate (in the modern world it’s a bigger office, fancy cars, etc.) - but we are not stupid - there's a tradeoff. We expect that when danger threatens us the leader, full of serotonin and confidence faces it head-on to protect us all.

Caffeine300L-Theanine and charisma

We know that to be charismatic we need to have a clear set of goals and values, invigorating our communications with our emotions. We need to be a lighthouse of who we are. People will understand who we are by what we do.

Alone l-theanine may not enhance your charisma - it has a cofactor. The yin and yang combination, l-theanine, and caffeine. The caffeine will increase your brain activity while still having mental clarity, along with imbuing increased levels of dopamine and serotonin.

The mental clarity and enhanced brain activity will help you find your clear set of goals and values. And the increased levels of dopamine will let you communicate better with emotions while the serotonin will give you confidence.

caffeine infographic

What will happen when you are who you are and say what you believe?

You will find people who don’t like what you think (well, more often than not, they will find you) and that’s ok. Not everyone has to be your friend, but what also happens is that people who think the same, and do the same things as you, will be attracted like you. You will find your own group with the same mindset as you. A nice side effect of doing so is increasing your Oxytocin (the trust neurotransmitter) levels.

The time and place to use it vary for every other user. The golden rule I always follow is... 

Use L-Theanine before any important event.

Think of an interview, presentation, or even your driving license exam. Of course, important event is a very abstract description and in the end, you can decide for yourself when to and when not to use it. Use the combination of l-theanine and caffeine about half an hour before you need the effects.

What makes L-Theanine such a winner as a Nootropic is its lack of side effects; the fact that we have been drinking green tea for more than 4000 years without anyone reporting significant negative side effects should suffice as weighty proof of its safety. A final (Much more debatable! - JR) positive is that with L-Theanine (a charisma stimulator as Dual N-Back is a working memory stimulator) is that after gaining a few anchoring reference experiences in social situations, you will internalize some of that charisma, and be able to call on it on demand.


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