Matcha Benefits: How This Energizing Green Tea Can Help Your Health


You’ve probably already seen matcha on the menu of your favorite coffee shop. For a while, this was a hot topic in the health world. But is matcha good for health? ut it this way, matcha is no exception, “if it’s green, then it’s good.”
To convince you to add this herbal green tea to your caffeine rotation, we’ve prepared a cup full of reasons why it’s so good for you, according to research and experts. Here’s what you need to know.
Matcha is simply a powdered form of green tea leaves specially harvested to be dark green in color. Like white, black, green, and oolong teas, matcha is made from the Camellia sinensis tea tree.
Traditionally, mix a teaspoon of matcha powder with two ounces of hot water in a bowl and stir vigorously (use a bamboo whisk if you want to keep it clean), then sip from the bowl. Drinking matcha may be trendy right now, but it’s an ancient tradition—in fact, Buddhist monks are believed to drink it to help them meditate, because of the calming alertness it provides.
“The [matcha] unique growing method amplifies the bioactive compounds,” said Yasi Ansari, MS, RDN, CSSD, national media spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. In other words, matcha has some additional health benefits that you may not see in other types of tea. “Matcha tastes similar to coffee and tends to have more caffeine than regular green tea, but less than coffee. A cup of matcha can help you stay alert without feeling the highs and lows of energy you experience with regular coffee,” she adds.
First, antioxidants help protect you from free radicals (unstable atoms or molecules that can damage cells).
When there is an imbalance between the reduction and accumulation of these free radicals, Ansari says, they can cause oxidative damage that can damage our health. According to Ansari, oxidative damage can be caused by factors such as environmental pollution, toxins, excess consumption of certain nutrients (especially supplements), or even high-intensity exercise such as cycling.
Matcha is especially rich in a type of antioxidant called catechin or EGCG. Matcha contains 137 times more EGCG than regular green tea, according to Ansari. This may be because, unlike green tea, matcha contains all the nutrients found in whole green tea leaves.
Catechins can go a long way in maintaining overall health. A study published in Current Advances in Nutrition in June 2022 found that drinking green tea extract for four weeks improved blood sugar levels and reduced gut inflammation in people with metabolic syndrome (a group that causes heart disease, diabetes, and stroke). ) and in healthy participants.
Matcha is also rich in chlorophyll, which has antioxidant properties. Because matcha grows in the shade, it contains more chlorophyll than other teas.
Due to the high levels of antioxidants in matcha, matcha tea can bring balance to help prevent cell damage, longevity, and overall health, Ansari says.
A 2021 systematic review published in the journal Molecules confirmed the health benefits of matcha, noting that matcha “is high in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds and has shown potential health benefits, mainly through high concentrations of catechins. happen.”
Another benefit of matcha is natural L-theanine. L-theanine is an amino acid (found mainly in green and black teas, as well as mushrooms) that is known to help relieve stress, improve relaxation, improve sleep, improve mental focus, and also help support the immune system, the guard said. Sarri. .
Research confirms the benefits of this amino acid. According to a small 2019 study published in the journal Nutrition, 30 healthy participants who took L-theanine for 4 weeks had significantly lower self-reported symptoms of stress, depression, and anxiety, as well as improved sleep quality.
What’s more, L-theanine has significant benefits when combined with caffeine. “The combination of L-theanine and caffeine improved focus and performance more than either compound alone,” Ansari said. According to a study published in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience, researchers found that the combination of caffeine and L-theanine was associated with increased speed and accuracy of attention switching tasks and decreased. A study involving 27 participants showed favorable results in terms of susceptibility to distraction.
What’s more, thanks to the L-theanine contained in matcha, you won’t feel the nervousness usually associated with regular coffee. L-theanine increases the levels of certain neurotransmitters (chemical messengers in the body that send signals from one nerve cell to another), producing a calming effect that counteracts the stimulating effects of caffeine.
Speaking of caffeine, Ansari says that a serving of matcha (1/2 to 1 teaspoon of matcha powder) contains 40 to 180 mg of caffeine.
According to Ansari, one of the benefits of matcha is that it can taste better than a regular cup of coffee because it contains L-theanine, a slow-release caffeine. The slower release of caffeine usually means it’s better tolerated, and you’re less likely to get nervous or experience any of the gastrointestinal upset that can result from drinking too much coffee, she says.
Caffeine also has some performance benefits. One of the benefits of caffeine consumption for athletes is its effect on perceived effort. According to Ansari, caffeine reduces perceived effort, which makes workouts easier on the body, and those involved in endurance sports like cycling may see more of these benefits.
She also points to the International Society of Sports Nutrition’s position that caffeine “significantly improves various aspects of athletic performance in many, but not all, studies.”
First, as with any caffeinated beverage, you need to know your tolerance level for matcha before exercising, as caffeine can sometimes cause gastrointestinal problems. “It’s generally recommended to consume caffeine one to two hours before an event,” says Ansari.
If you drink coffee regularly, Ansari recommends alternating matcha with regular coffee.
Ansari prefers to pour some matcha into a bowl, add hot water and stir with a bamboo skewer. “It helps create a smooth consistency, and I love the earthy flavor of matcha,” she says.
You can then add some milk or milk replacer to make it creamy. “The advantage of homemade matcha is that it’s more economical and you’re less likely to drink a matcha drink that has a lot of extra ingredients,” Ansari adds.

Post time: May-08-2023