Gaba vs L-Theanine: Which is Better According to Long-Term Users?

Written by
Martijn Kooijman
Updated 25 April, 2024
Medically Reviewed by
Narine Poghosyan
Gaba vs L-theanine

In this article, we’ll explore L-Theanine and GABA—two popular supplements for relaxation. L-Theanine comes from green tea, and GABA is made in our brains to help calm the nerves, but it can also be made into a supplement from plants and fermented foods for extra support.

We’ll look at user experiences shared on forums like Quora and Reddit, offering insights into the comparative preferences and positive effects noted by individuals who incorporate these supplements into their routines. It’s important to remember that while these accounts provide valuable perspectives, they are anecdotal and should not be considered medical advice.

Table Of Contents

Article Methodology

For the development of this article on the choice between GABA and L-Theanine, we have followed a structured research methodology to ensure the integrity and relevance of our insights. Here is a breakdown of our approach:

  • User Feedback: The foundation of our analysis is built on user feedback regarding GABA and L-Theanine. We have gathered user testimonials from online platforms like Reddit and Quora, focusing on their personal experiences with these supplements.
  • Real Discussions: Our research prioritized in-depth discussions from platforms where discussions about nootropics are prevalent. We value the depth of experiences shared by users, which offer a nuanced understanding of the effects and applications of GABA and L-Theanine.
  • Experience Sharing: We highlight the importance of experience sharing, acknowledging that these discussions are not scientifically verified. The personal experiences shared by individuals provide practical insights but should be approached with discernment.
  • Transparency: In our commitment to authenticity, we have openly cited the sources of our discussions, reinforcing the credibility of the information shared. This transparency ensures readers understand the origin of our insights and the context in which they were provided.

Choosing Between GABA and L-Theanine: What Do Users Prefer?

User testimonials offer valuable insights into the practical use and effects of these supplements.  From how well they work to relax, to when it’s best to take them, here’s the scoop straight from the users themselves.

One user highlights a common use for GABA, noting its effectiveness for relaxation but advising against daytime use due to its potent calming effect. They also mention an interesting comparison, stating, “strong chamomile tea gives similar effects as GABA supplement,” and recommend not taking GABA every day to avoid potential tolerance issues.

On the other hand, L-Theanine receives praise for its more versatile use. Another user mentions using a product called “relax max powder” which includes L-Theanine, hinting at its benefits for relaxation without specifying day or night preference, suggesting it might be more adaptable to different parts of the day.

Key Benefits of GABA vs L Theanine According to Users

Exploring the key benefits of GABA and L-Theanine reveals a spectrum of advantages from relaxation to enhanced focus, according to user testimonials. Here’s a closer look at what individuals appreciate most about these supplements.

Gaba Benefits 

  • Promotes Relaxation and Sleep: GABA is often highlighted for its effectiveness in promoting relaxation and aiding in sleep. A user highlighted the sleep benefits, stating they take GABA with magnesium and melatonin at night for the best sleep.
  • Anxiety Management: Some users turn to GABA for its potential to manage anxiety, though this benefit seems to be more implied through its calming effects rather than directly stated.

L-Theanine Benefits

  • Stress Relief: Users find L-Theanine effective for stress relief without the sedative effects that might come with other supplements or medications. A user shares, “L-Theanine worked for me with variable success…” indicating its role in managing stress or anxiety.
  • Improvement in Sleep Quality: Although less directly sedating than GABA, L-Theanine is also mentioned in the context of sleep improvement, particularly when taken in the evening. Another user combining supplements for sleep mentioned, “I take both those with magnesium and melatonin at night and it’s the best sleep.”
  • Versatility of L-Theanine: Users appreciate L-Theanine for its versatility, being beneficial for both focus during the day and relaxation at night. For instance, a user cites, “L-theanine is safe and effective,” supporting its use for sleep with good results.

How Do People Incorporate L-Theanine vs GABA

Exploring how people use L-Theanine and GABA in their daily lives reveals their unique benefits and the optimal times for their consumption. Here’s what users have to say about integrating these supplements into their routines.


  • Daytime Use for Focus and Stress: Many users prefer taking L-Theanine during the day to benefit from its calming yet non-sedative effects. It’s often used to enhance focus and manage stress without impacting alertness negatively. For example, one of the users have mentioned incorporating L-Theanine into their daily routine to help with anxiety and stress, indicating it has variable success but can be particularly useful for managing daytime anxiety.
  • Combination with Caffeine: Some individuals combine L-Theanine with caffeine to balance the stimulatory effects with a sense of calm, aiming for improved concentration without the jitteriness that caffeine alone can sometimes induce.


  • Nighttime Use for Sleep: GABA is predominantly used in the evening or before bedtime by those looking to improve their sleep quality or unwind after a stressful day. Its potent relaxing effects are valued for promoting restfulness. Users have shared routines involving GABA to aid in relaxation and sleep, like taking it alongside magnesium and melatonin for enhanced sleep quality.
  • As Needed Basis: Unlike L-Theanine, which some people take daily, GABA usage among forum users tends to be more sporadic or as needed, possibly due to its potent effects or to avoid habituation.

Potential Side Effects of L Theanine vs Gaba According to Users

While generally L-Theanine is well-tolerated, some users, noted that L-Theanine might have variable success, with potential issues such as tension headaches in sensitive individuals.

For those who have tried taking GABA during the day, there’s a caution against its potential to induce drowsiness, making it less ideal for daytime use if alertness is required. Some discussions around GABA suggest that taking it every day might not be advisable for everyone, as it could lead to diminished effectiveness over time.

General Observations:

Individual Reactions: Across both supplements, a key takeaway from user discussions is the importance of monitoring individual reactions and adjusting use accordingly, especially when starting or combining supplements.

Mindful Use: Users advocate for a mindful approach to incorporating these supplements, suggesting starting with lower doses and gradually adjusting based on personal tolerance and effectiveness.


It’s important to note that the purpose of this article is to share user sentiments and experiences with L-Theanine and GABA. These supplements should be used with care and ideally after consulting with a healthcare professional. Additionally, consider the legal status of nootropics in your region before incorporating them into your routine.