What is matcha? Matcha is a type of green tea that is the central focus of Japanese tea ceremonies. It is traditionally prepared using a chasen, or a bamboo whisk, to knead matcha powder into hot water. It takes a lot of practice, precision and dedication to obtain the perfect frothy and creamy mixture.
Just in case the intriguing traditional tea ceremony wasn’t persuasive enough, here are nine health reasons why you should be incorporating matcha into your life.
1. Matcha is 137 times more powerful than regular brewed tea.
Matcha is made from finely ground whole green tea leaves, making it more potent than other brewed teas. When you drink matcha, you get 100% of the nutrients, including vitamins, fiber and 137 times the antioxidants of a cup of regularly brewed green tea.
2. Matcha has more caffeine than coffee does.
One teaspoon of matcha has 70 mg of caffeine, while a shot of espresso contains just 64 mg of caffeine. This means that one cup of matcha tea will give you a greater energy boost than your average cup of Joe.
3. Improve mental clarity without the coffee jitters.
Matcha contains the amino acid L-theanine, which calms the mind and relaxes the body without inducing drowsiness. By consuming matcha, you’ll get 6-8 hours of steady energy, and you won’t have to worry about feeling wired or suddenly crashing.
4. Boost metabolism and burn calories.
Studies have shown that regular matcha drinkers have 35-40% higher metabolic rates than those who don’t drink matcha. A higher metabolism means that at resting state, your body uses more calories than a person with slower metabolism. Drinking tea to lose weight? We’ll take that!
5. Get rid of bad breath.
Matcha contains a LOT of chlorophyll, which detoxifies your blood, liver and digestive tracts. Having a clean gut also eliminates bad breath and body odor. (Mom was right about greens, after all.)
6. Stabilize blood sugar levels.
7. Slow down aging.
Green tea leaves have high levels of antioxidants, specifically catechin, which prevent free radicals from destroying body cells. Studies show that catechin can prevent skin-aging, cardiovascular diseases and possibly even cancers.
8. Lower blood pressure.
Specific catechins inhibit angiotensin, which allows for less contraction of blood vessels
and lower blood pressure. The lower your blood pressure, the lower your chances of stroke, heart disease, kidney failures and other health problems.
9. Skip the milk.
While green tea lattes are the craze, adding dairy might not be a good idea. German researchers discovered that milk neutralizes the effect of catechin. The protein in milk, casein, binds to catechin, inhibiting it from providing the benefits mentioned in #7 and #8.
All in all, moderation is the key to everything. But with all its healthy benefits, matcha might just be the new coffee. What are you waiting for? Get your matcha groove on!