What’s the Tea with Matcha?
All the health benefits of Spring’s most trendy drink
Tea. Latte. Smoothie. All delicious ways to consume matcha—spring’s trending, insta-worthy drink.
Beloved by influencers and health experts alike, matcha is a delicious and colorful drink to add to your daily health regimen.
Matcha isn’t new to the scene by any means.
The green powder has its origins in the Tang Dynasty of China during the 7th-10th centuries.
The Tang Dynasty invented the method of steaming tea leaves to form bricks, which made tea harvest easier to transport and trade.
To make the tea, the bricks would be prepared by roasting and pulverizing leaves, and then mixing the resulting tea powder with water and salt.
Today matcha is sold in a vibrant green powder that can be mixed with water, milk or even in smoothies.
People love matcha not only for its unique taste, but for its health benefits. Many have even been drawn to matcha as a coffee alternative, as it offers high concentrations of caffeine with added nutrition.
If you’re curious about this green drink, we’re here to give you the 411 on all things matcha and its benefits.
What is Matcha?
Matcha comes from the camellia sinensis plant- the same plant that produces traditional green tea. However, it is grown differently, creating a unique nutrient concentration.
Farmers cultivate matcha by covering tea plants 20-30 days before harvest to avoid direct sunlight. This boosts chlorophyll production and amino acid content, while giving the leaves their signature dark green hue.
In the tradition of the Tang Dynasty, harvested leaves are destemmed and veined before being ground into the fine powder we call matcha.
Matcha contains components of the entire tea leaf, meaning there is a greater amount of caffeine and antioxidants present.
Recent studies of matcha have unlocked its plethora of benefits, ranging from protecting the liver, to promoting heart health, to even aiding in weight loss.
Get that Chlorophyll
Matcha’s higher concentration of chlorophyll not only makes the drink pretty to look at but creates some of its most important health benefits.
Increased chlorophyll results in increased production of L-Theanine, an amino acid that occurs naturally in tea plants. L-theanine has been shown to increase alpha wave activity in the brain, which decreases stress levels and induces relaxation. This makes matcha the perfect drink to stimulate your brainwaves and Zen your body.
Matcha is high in catechin, a plant compound found in teas that acts as a natural antioxidant. Since matcha is made with the entire plant leaf, it includes more catechins and nutrients than your average green tea.
One study estimated that the catechin content in matcha was up to 137 times greater than other kinds of green teas.
Antioxidants have endless benefits, most importantly, stabilizing free radicals. This helps prevent internal cell damage and chronic disease.
Matcha also contains Vitamin A and potassium, which have anti-inflammatory properties and support a strong immune system.
Science shows that components in matcha can help enhance brain function.
One study on brain performance found that 4 grams of matcha consumption resulted in improved attention, reaction time and memory compared to a placebo group.
Another study found that consuming 2 grams of green tea daily for 2 months improved brain function in the elderly.
Matcha also contains a higher concentration of caffeine than typical green tea, containing 35mg of caffeine per 1 gram.
Many studies have linked caffeine consumption to improvements in brain function, faster reaction times, increased attention and enhanced memory.
Heart Health Helper
Matcha and other green teas have a history of reducing levels of bad cholesterol and triglycerides. The delicious green drink can also prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which protects against heart disease.
Some studies have shown that the general consumption of green teas can help reduce overall risk of heart disease.
Green tea is known for its ability to help aid the weight loss process. Studies show that matcha can help speed up the metabolism to increase energy and boost the burning of fat cells.
One study found that taking green tea extract during exercise increases the calories burned by 17%. Another review found that green tea and matcha could reduce body weight and assist in maintaining consistent weight loss.
Whether you’re new to matcha or a tried-and-true enthusiast, matcha has several health benefits that can give your daily routine a boost. Try this vibrant green drink today to see the impact it can have on your body.
Looking for more Health Hacks?
If you enjoyed learning about the benefits of matcha, there is more where that came from. Our team of Functional Medicine Providers and Clinical Nutritionists are here to help you unlock your body’s full potential.
Our providers can help you craft an individual nutrition and lifestyle plan to feel and live your best. They may include matcha, as well as other nutritious food options, to optimize your health.
Fill out this form to get in touch with our patient scheduling team and book a free consultation today.