Tired? In need of an energy kick? Why not swap your morning coffee for a vibrant cup of matcha? You may think it’s just another hipster superfood, but there’s a good reason why this stimulating beverage is slowly replacing coffee on many people’s kitchen counters. Read on to find out more.
What is matcha?
Matcha is made from tea leaves that have been stone ground into a fine green powder. What’s the difference between a cup of green tea and a cup of matcha? Drinking a cup of green tea extracts only some of the nutritional benefits available. The full potential remains in the leaves. Since matcha is made from the entire tea leaf, it contains all of green teas powerful minerals, antioxidants and amino acids. Fun fact: The nutritional goodness in a single serving of matcha equals at least ten cups of brewed green tea.
Matcha vs. Coffee
For coffee lovers, nothing comes close. But if you compare the nutritional values of coffee and matcha, it’s clear there’s a new energizer in town. Here’s why:
When you drink a cup of matcha, the caffeine is absorbed very slowly (6h), giving you a sustained energy boost rather than just an energy spike like you experience with coffee. That’s because matcha contains the rare amino acid l-theanine which helps your body process caffeine differently. It’s this combination of caffeine and l-theanine that results in matchas miracle effects, for example an increase in concentration and attention which doesn’t wear off after one hour.
Caffeine and L-Theanine – the dream team
Caffeine and l-theanine are like the perfect couple: one’s strengths compensate for the other’s weaknesses. Caffeine pushes your concentration and energy levels but also increases your heart rate, your blood pressure and bad feelings like anxiety. L-theanine, on the other hand, is like a natural tranquilizer which lowers heart frequency and blood pressure and promotes the alpha-cerebral waves in your brain, leading to a state of relaxed alertness. The result: through the slower absorption of caffeine you feel energized for longer without feeling anxious or shaky.
Just another “superfood”?
Unlike many other trendy “performance boosting superfoods” on the market, matcha actually does do wonders on the training ground. As we already mentioned, the combination of caffeine and l-theanine in matcha energizes your body and relaxes your mind. Research has also shown that it increases mental alertness during a workout. And there’s more: one specific antioxidant called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg) makes up to 60% of the catechins in Matcha tea and is widely recognized for its cancer fighting properties. As if this wasn’t already enough, matcha has been shown to have antibiotic properties which promote overall health and boost the immune system. Just in time for winter!
Whether you’re suffering from the winter blues, in need of a pick me up or just growing tired of coffee (yes it can happen), matcha is definitely worth trying out.
Stay tuned for some energizing matcha recipes. Coming soon to the Blog.