Trying a new dietary supplement is always a roll of the dice! I’ve purchased supplements based on the many 5-star reviews by other consumers and they had no remarkable effect on me!
It is a known fact that each supplement may work differently for different users based on many varying individual factors, such as age, weight, diet, lifestyle, health, etc. That’s why basing your supplement buying decisions solely on others’ reviews may not always pay off.
One of the popular supplements on the market that has many rave reviews is Theanine Serene with Relora. This will be more of a scientific and objective review of the ingredients of this supplement where I’ll focus on the findings of relevant clinical studies.
What is Theanine Serene with Relora?
This is a dietary supplement that is mainly used to promote calmness and relaxation of the mind and body. Many people take it to combat anxiety and improve sleep.
This product is made and distributed by Source Naturals. Headquartered in Scotts Valley, CA, Source Naturals has been selling nutritional products for decades, and they are quite reputable in this field.
Theanine Serene with Relora is a formulation of several natural compounds that have different medicinal effects contributing to the overall calming effect of the product.
The following are the active ingredients in the formula with the corresponding dosage per serving (2 tablets):
- Magnesium (as chelate) [300 mg]
- GABA [500 mg]
- Taurine [450 mg]
- L-Theanine [200 mg]
- Relora [150 mg]
- Holy Basil Leaf Extract [100 mg]
So, let’s take these ingredients one by one and examine the scientific evidence supporting their suggested benefits.
Note: Some ingredients may have other benefits not related to the suggested uses of this product, and those won’t be discussed here. The reference numbers in brackets link to supporting studies.
Magnesium for Anxiety, Insomnia and Mental Disorders
Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays many roles in the body. It is especially important for brain function as it has a key role in nerve transmission and it protects against excessive neural excitation. 
Since most people don’t get enough amounts of this mineral from their diet, supplementation may help improve cognitive functions like memory and learning.  It may also protect against some mental disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and major depression. 
GABA Promotes Relaxation
GABA, or gamma-aminobutyric acid, is an amino acid that functions as the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. GABA slows down neural excitability, reduces anxiety and induces calmness. 
Many sedative and anti-anxiety drugs, like benzodiazepines, work by mimicking or enhancing the effect of GABA in the brain.
As a dietary supplement, GABA is used by many to promote relaxation and improve sleep quality, however, there isn’t conclusive evidence to support the efficacy of dietary GABA for increasing the brain’s GABA activity. 
Taurine Alleviates Anxiety
Taurine is an amino acid that is found in brain and heart tissue as well as in other parts of the body. It has many functions associated with the nervous system and cognitive functions. 
There is very limited clinical evidence for taurine’s health benefits, but it has been suggested to have anxiolytic properties and it is commonly found in anxiety relief supplements. 
L-Theanine Enhances Cognition and Induces Calmness
At the center of the formula is the amino acid (L-)theanine. This compound is naturally found in tea leaves and it has a few uses in alternative medicine.
Besides its potential benefit as a general cognitive enhancer, theanine is commonly used to promote relaxation and rest. Studies have noted significant anxiolytic effects of theanine,  although no significant improvement was achieved in patients with generalized anxiety disorder. 
A recent study found that a combination of theanine and GABA had a synergistic positive effect on sleep quality in tested lab animals. 
Relora Counteracts Stress and Anxiety
Relora is a proprietary formula that consists of extracts of two plants: Magnolia officinalis and Phellodendron amurense.
Magnolia has a long history of medicinal use in traditional Chinese medicine. Magnolol and honokiol are two bioactive compounds in magnolia bark that have been found to act as GABA(A) receptor modulators and possess potential anxiolytic and sedative effects. 
The bark extract of phellodendron amurense has potential cognitive-enhancing and anti-inflammatory effects. 
Holy Basil Protects Against Stress
Holy basil is an aromatic plant in the mint family that is native to India, where it has several uses in traditional Indian medicine (Ayurveda).
The leaves of this herb are used as an adaptogen: a substance that helps the body adapt to stress and enhances mental and physical performance under stressful circumstances.