Time-dependent changes of theanine (gamma-glutamylethylamide) and other amino acids in various tissues of rats were investigated during the 24 hrs after theanine administration. When theanine (4 g/kg of body weight) was intragastrically administered to rats, the concentrations of theanine in the serum, liver and brain were significantly increased 1 hr after its administration, and thereafter gradually decreased, but reached the maximum level in the brain after 5 hrs. Theanine in these tissues had completely disappeared 24 hrs after its administration. In contrast, the administration of theanine resulted in the concentrations of theanine, urea, ethylamine and glutamic acid in the urine being significantly enhanced. These results suggest that theanine might be degraded via glutamic acid.