Matcha Tea: A Better Alternative to Coffee
Coffee has been a go to for many for energy and concentration for as long as we all can remember. Our dependency on the energy it gives us and the distinct nutty taste, has made coffee one of the top grossing products in the United States. This mass production of coffee has come with some definite negatives along the way. Coffee if not bought organic, is highly sprayed with pesticides and processed with harsh chemicals/ solvents that are extremely detrimental to our health and gut microbiome. Most main stream coffee shops (including Starbucks) use low quality coffee beans and Americans consume an average of 3.2 cups of coffee per day! Most people I know actually consume a lot more than that ;) In addition to the chemicals, it is also common knowledge that coffee comes with a detrimental effect on the adrenals when it is constantly relied on for energy.
Now, don’t get me wrong - I am not demonizing coffee. I do believe that good quality coffee in is something that should be enjoyed in moderation but if you find yourself a bit more reliant on this bean as of late, I am here to tell you about coffee’s kinder, smarter sister: matcha tea.
What is Matcha Tea?
Authentic Matcha is a special type of green tea that is grown and produced in Japan. It is most commonly used in powdered form. Matcha comes from the camellia sinensis, which all teas are made from, but unlike other teas, matcha is stoneground whole tea leaves which in turn yields the highest amounts of nutrients and potency. Good quality Matcha is also shade grown before harvest which is believed to increase chlorophyll content giving its its vibrant green color. This shade grown process increasing antioxidants and amino acids in the leaves before harvest.
Health Benefits of Matcha
- Research suggests matcha is gram for gram one of the most powerful antioxidants in nature. One study found that Matcha has 137 times the polyphenol EGCG of regular green tea.(1) Polyphenols are plant compounds, micronutrients that provide numerous health benefits including reducing inflammation and protecting our overall internal health. Matcha contains over 60x the antioxidants of spinach and 14x the antioxidants of blueberries.
- 1 tsp of Matcha has about 60 mg of caffeine so you are still getting a natural form of caffeine but one which your body is not accustomed to. Matcha gives you a longer more steady stream of energy without the crash.
- Matcha contains L-Theanine, an amino acid which is known too create calmness without drowsiness by increasing activity in the alpha frequency brand of the brain L-Theanine is also known for its ability to increase mental alertness, improve memory and attention span with combined with caffeine.
- Studies have shown that the catechins in Matcha increase the body’s rate of calorie burning each day and can offer additional fat burning benefit during exercise.
As you can see the benefits of matcha are many. This earthly tea is one way to diversify your caffeine regimen with multiple added health benefits. Matcha is quickly gaining popularity for a very good reason. When it comes to the new hot pick me up beverage, green really is the new black.