Matcha tea, not to be confused with maté, is a variant of green tea. It’s my absolute favorite, and not just because it’s trendy right now. I’ll be drinking matcha till I’m old and wrinkled (if I’m lucky enough to get old and wrinkled).
Real talk though, the hype around matcha tea benefits has some validity. Matcha is concentrated ground green tea leaves that are grown in a way that increases chlorophyll production and boost the amino acid content. You get all the benefits of green tea like potent anti-cancer, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory polyphenols and catechins (EGCg being the superstar), but more.
Matcha Tea Benefits
L-theanine is an amino acid that works to lower anxiety while simultaneously boosting attention and memory due to the way it interacts with caffeine. L-theanine reduces anxiety by increasing calming alpha brain wave activity.
Antioxidant and fat burning
Matcha tea contains a special type of antioxidant known as catechins. The most potent of these is EGCg, accounting for over 60% of the catechins in matcha. Matcha averages 100 times more ECGG than any other green tea on the market. EGCg has been studied for its ability to prevent cancer cell growth, reduce fatigue, and improve memory and attention.
Matcha also boosts metabolism through EGCG’s effect on norepinephrine. It slows norepinephrine breakdown, increasing the amount in the body. This signals fat cells to be broken down for energy.
Matcha tea contains chlorophyll, Vitamin A, and potassium in addition to the antioxidants listed above. The polyphenols in matcha reduce cholesterol. Polyphenols also work to counteract oxidative damage from environmental toxins like UV radiation, pesticides, heavy metals, and even stress. This makes matcha tea a wonderful anti-aging supplement.
Get the Most from your Matcha
Matcha tea benefits are greatly enhanced by choosing a high-quality product and preparing it properly.
Matcha is grown in Japan and China. It’s important to only buy matcha from companies that are trustworthy and do extensive testing for contaminants like heavy metals and radiation. I choose Japanese brands that source from provinces farthest from Fukushima. Some of my favorites are Vital Proteins Matcha Collagen, Kenko organic matcha, and Sun Potion white dragon matcha.
Good matcha is vibrant green in color, has a silk-like texture, and a bright mildly sweet flavor.
Consume with food or mixers
On an empty stomach, people find green tea can cause dizziness or nausea, and this is due to the l-theanine. I recommend consuming matcha with collagen, MCT or coconut oil, and nut milk, or a meal to counter this effect.
L-theanine supplements can be taken with a meal if you need to be caffeine-free for health reasons. Matcha contains around 25mg of caffeine per 1/2 tsp serving (standard serving size for a small cup). Coffee, in contrast, contains an average of 100mg of caffeine per cup.
Matcha is meant to be whisked. You can use a traditional bamboo whisk, an immersion blender, or a regular blender.
Don’t burn it
Don’t brew your matcha with boiling hot water. Water that is too hot will burn the matcha and cause it to taste more bitter. Water that is just below boiling temp is best. I use my electric kettle, and let it sit for a couple minutes after it reaches boiling to cool down. I also add the hot water after whisking my matcha with nut milk, MCT oil, and tocos powder which lowers the temp.
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