WHAT MAKES MATCHA DIFFERENT THAN GREEN TEA LEAVES?
matcha contains a more concentrated amount of caffeine than green tea, packing in 35 mg of caffeine per half teaspoon (about 1 gram) of matcha powder.
Matcha also contains a compound called L-theanine, which alters the effects of caffeine, promoting alertness and helping avoid the crash in energy levels that can follow caffeine consumption (source)
L-theanine has also been shown to also increase alpha wave activity in the brain, which may help induce relaxation and decrease stress levels.
Check this out!
23 people were studied (here) over a period of time on how they performed on a series of tasks designed to measure brain performance.
Some participants consumed either matcha tea or a bar containing 4 grams of matcha, while the control group consumed a placebo tea or bar.
The research results found that matcha caused improvements in attention, reaction time, and memory in the controlled group compared to the placebo group.
In this study the elderly were tested and results showed that consuming 2 grams of green tea powder daily for 2 months helped them improve brain function!
Some of the jam-packed health-promoting compounds in matcha have been linked to cancer prevention in test tube and animal studies.
In this study, green tea extract decreased tumor size and slowed the growth of breast cancer cells in rats.
EGCG is a type of catechin matcha is well known to contain and has been shown to have powerful anti-prostate cancer cells in this study.
*Keep in mind that these were test tube and animal studies looking at specific compounds found in matcha. Further research is needed to determine how these results may translate to humans.
Studies show that drinking green tea, which isn’t even as strong and potent as matcha, may help protect against heart disease.
Green tea has been shown to reduce levels of total and “bad” LDL cholesterol, as well as triglycerides (source).
It may also help prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, another factor that may protect against heart disease (source).
These two studies (here and here) have also shown that drinking green tea is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke.
So it goes without saying that green tea, especially matcha green tea can benefit ones heart – just be sure it’s quality!
Now I’m not one to talk about weight loss much as it’s not a personal goal of mine, but I’m not “anti-weight loss” if you personally need to do it. There’s nothing wrong with losing weight if it can help your health, as you’re doing it in a healthy way! So if you’re someone on a weight loss journey, matcha may be able to help!
Several studies show that matcha can help speed up metabolism to increase energy expenditure and boost fat burning.
This small study showed that taking green tea extract during moderate exercise increased fat burning by 17%.
This review of 11 studies also showed that green tea reduced body weight and helped maintain weight loss.
BUT NOT ALL MATCHA IS CREATED EQUAL
Make sure to choose organic matcha, as it is chock full of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals that boast a wide range of health benefits. Low quality, impure, and non-organic matcha can be full of harmful chemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers. So to avoid these pitfalls, always look for organically grown matcha tea powders.
I love Further Foods Japanese matcha because it not only is ORGANIC CERTIFIED, but also contains additional superfoods such as organic cordyceps and ashwagandha to pair perfectly for a body boost without the jitters!