Stress and Anxiety Survival Kit
KEY SUPPLEMENTS SHOWN TO RELAX THE MIND AND EASE ANXIETY
Theanine: 200 mg This amino acid found in green tea is helpful in improving mood and increasing a sense of relaxation. In fact, it’s used in Japan for just that purpose. The calming fect of theanine is probably the reason that drinking green tea—even though it contains caffeine—doesn’t produce the jittery experience that drinking coffee does. Theanine is also known to block the binding of L-glutamic acid—a neurotransmitter that “excites” or stimulates the brain—to its receptors. Theanine is known to help generate alpha brain waves, associated with relaxation.
B-Vitamins Vitamin B6 is necessary to make both GABA and serotonin, another “relaxing” neurotransmitter. So make sure you’re getting all your B vitamins by taking a good B-complex vitamin, which should contain all the vitamin B6 you need (50–100 mg), as well as vitamin B12 (2,000–10,000 mcg), low levels of which are also associated with anxiety. ef-
GABA: 200 to 500 mg GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that also has significant calming effects in the brain. Some supplements combine GABA with theanine.
Inositol: 500 to 1,500 mg A member of the B-vitamin family, inositol may be helpful for treating panic disorders and possibly obsessivecompulsive disorder, according to some research. It hasn’t been studied specifically for anxiety or sleep, but anecdotal evidence suggests it’s good for both. I take it in powdered form before bed on nights when I’m feeling jittery, and it definitely helps.
Magnesium: 400 to 800 mg a day Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant and can help with sleep and anxiety as well. Most people don’t get enough of this important mineral.