The first time I got introduced to matcha was 10 years ago at my first job as a Starbucks barista. It was a new thing that just came out in the chains, and I remember wondering why in the world anyone would get a green Frappucino when there was a perfectly good caramel one on the menu. I was also young, last year of high school, and my meals consisted of pizza and burgers. Fast forward 10 years later and many months of my life spent on health related activities (+ marrying my husband, who’s absolutely obsessed with green tea frappucinos): my pantry now contains some matcha green tea powder.
My reasons for buying this (costly) powder are many, not just for the delicious post-workout green tea ‘soft-serve’ fuel I happen to have made several minutes ago.
1. Antioxidant Superpowerhouse!
It’s packed with catechins, which are anti-carcinogenic. One cup matcha has 137 times the amount EGCg catechin than the usual cup of brewed green tea from tea leaves.
2. Anti-Aging Superpowers!
Because of its high concentration of antioxidants (see above), matcha helps with UV protection, suppler skin and clean-up of life accumulation (read: pollution/carcinogens) in our bodies. Not to mention it may aid with longevity, as displayed by the people of Okinawa, Japan.
3. Aids with Weight Loss
While we’re on a roll with the physical manifestations of the goodness that matcha powder brings, according to a study in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, green tea rich in catechins increased the body’s rate of burning calories to 35-43% of daily energy expenditure. More simply, it increases metabolism. Hooray!
4. Increases Energy
Put that Red Bull down! There’s a new energy drink in town! It’s called…matcha! Corniness aside, matcha contains slightly more caffeine than a usual cup of green tea, but that’s not exactly why we get a burst of energy from it. In addition to the caffeine, L-Theanine plays a role in supporting steady flow of energy without the caffeine rush side-effects such as jitters. If samurai did it, so should you.
5. Fiber Party
You can get a nice fiber boost by drinking a cup of matcha tea. It’s easily absorbed by the body to keep your blood sugars nice and steady, resulting in less hunger spikes throughout the day.
6. Lower bad cholesterol
Scientists are still unsure of why or how, but it still stands that drinking matcha tea lowers cholesterol. Hooray!
7. Boosts mood, memory and concentration
A side effect of L-Theanine is the production of dopamine and serotonin (happy feel good hormones!!). The most obvious effect is improved mood. In addition, memory and concentration are given an extra boost in the process.
8. Helps you Keep Calm and Carry On
L-Theanine is also, interestingly enough, responsible for alpha waves in the brain, which induce relaxation.