May 5th, 2020
May 5th, 2020
Matcha green tea is all the rage, but what is matcha? And is it healthy? The simple answer is YES!
Since 2015, matcha has been rising in popularity amongst tea drinkers and Instagrammers alike.
But it turns out, matcha is nothing new. It’s actually been used in ritual tea ceremonies since the 12th century.
So why all the hype about matcha? Is matcha green tea actually good for you? And how can you add it to your diet? Read on to find out why this green tea is a matcha made in heaven...
If you were thinking the word matcha means something special, think again. It literally means “powdered tea.”
Matcha tea comes from the same plant that all tea comes from: Camellia sinensis.
Unlike regular green tea, matcha is shade grown 20-30 days before it is harvested. This process not only increases the amino acid content of the tea, but also the chlorophyll content which gives matcha its bright green color.
After the leaves are harvested, the leaves are steamed, dried and ground into a fine powder. When you drink matcha tea, you’re getting the nutrients from the entire tea leaf. This means you’re getting consuming more antioxidants. (More on that later!)
Because matcha is made from the entire tea leaf, it contains more caffeine than regular steeped tea — three times the amount, to be exact.
But how does matcha compare to coffee?
On average, one cup (8-oz) of brewed coffee contains 95mg of caffeine, although that number can vary greatly depending on the type of coffee. For example, 12-oz of cold brew can contain 150-240 mg caffeine.
Matcha, on the other hand, contains around 70-80 mg of caffeine per cup.
While the difference in caffeine is minimal, the type of caffeine in tea makes all the difference. Why? Because the body metabolizes it differently.
Unlike the caffeine in coffee, which is quickly released into the bloodstream, the caffeine in matcha is slowly released. This is because the caffeine molecules in matcha (and green tea) bind to the catechins. As the catechins break down, caffeine enters the bloodstream slowly over a 6-8 hour period.
This process also prevents adrenaline and insulin spikes, which prevents the dreaded caffeine crash and drop in blood sugar.
MATCHA BENEFIT #1 - It's high in antioxidants.
Good things come in small packages — and tea leaves are no exception!
Matcha green tea has one of the highest antioxidant ratings. The Oxygen Radical Absorbence Capacity (ORAC) value is 1348 units per gram. That’s 13x the antioxidants in pomegranates and 15x the antioxidants in blueberries.
Studies have shown the high antioxidant content in matcha tea can prevent cell damage caused by free radicals.
Matcha green tea also contains a class of antioxidants known as catechins. And it’s particularly high in epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG — 3 times more than other green teas.
MATCHA BENEFIT #2 - It protects against some cancers.
Speaking of EGCG, multiple studies have shown this catechin is protective against many types of cancers.
According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), EGC, ECG, and EC are also powerful cancer fighters.
MATCHA BENEFIT #3 - It's calming.
Want to feel more zen? Drink matcha!
Matcha green tea contains L-theanine, an amino acid that puts you in a calm and meditative state. No wonder Buddhist monks have been drinking matcha for centuries!
Because matcha is shade grown, the L-theanine content in matcha green tea is 5 times the amount than other green teas (20 mg vs 4 mg).
Unlike the caffeine in coffee, when the caffeine in matcha green tea is combined with L-theanine, you won’t end up with the jitters. Instead, you’ll feel more calm and alert.
MATCHA BENEFIT #4 - It can help improve your focus and concentration.
The L-theanine and caffeine combo can also increase your focus.
In 2008, researchers tested the effects of cognition with and without caffeine. Participants were tested on word recognition, rapid visual information processing, critical flicker fusion threshold and attention switching.
The results, which were published in “Nutritional Neuroscience,” found L-theanine and caffeine improved both speed and accuracy of performance and reduced distraction.
Other studies have shown matcha is beneficial in sustained attention as well as memory.
MATCHA BENEFIT #5 - It can help improve your heart.
Green tea is one of the best drinks for heart health — and matcha, which is a kind of green tea, is no exception!
Here’s how green tea (and matcha) can benefit your heart:
MATCHA BENEFIT #6 - It can help you lose weight.
Are you looking to lose weight? Matcha may help.
According to a 2009 meta-analysis of 11 different studies, researchers concluded there’s a link between green tea (specifically, the antioxidant EGCG) and weight-loss and weight management.
A 2005 study published in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” also supports green tea’s weight-loss properties. Over the course of 12 weeks, participants who consumed catechin-rich green tea extract showed significantly lower body fat mass, BMI, and body weight than those who consumed less.
MATCHA BENEFIT #7 - It can help you improve your physical performance.
Forget Gatorade! If you’re an athlete, matcha is where it’s at!
Caffeine is commonly used as a stimulant in sports. And studies have shown, on average, caffeine can increase physical performance by 11-12%.
Caffeine can also improve physical performance by making the fatty acids in fat tissue available for use as energy.
Our favorite way to enjoy matcha green tea is in a matcha latte! We make our matcha lattes with our Power Matcha mix. Not only does it include matcha, which we source from Japan, but also 4 other brain-boosting superfoods and a serving of greens!
Of course, there are plenty of other ways you can enjoy matcha green tea than as a warm beverage. Here are some of our favorite matcha-fied recipes:
Matcha Oatmeal — Instead of a latte, get your morning matcha fix with a bowl of Matcha Oatmeal. We especially love Matcha Overnight Oats during the summer — matcha without the heat!
Matcha Pancakes — What do you get when you combine matcha with pancakes? An amazing brunch that will keep you energized and focused all day long!
Matcha Guacamole — Guac is already extra, so why not add some extra nutrition with matcha.
Matcha Ice Cream — Ice cream is always a good pick-me-up, but add a little matcha to the mix, and it’s even better!
If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to coffee, matcha may be just what you need! Not only will you be consuming natural caffeine, but matcha also has some amazing health benefits that you won’t find in your morning cup of joe.
Optimize your focus and productivity without the jitters and energy crash!
Written by Reigna
2 Superfood Recipe E‑books with over 50 clean-eating recipes!
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* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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