Matcha green tea has been used in Japan for centuries. First in temples to help monks maintain focus and keep awake during meditations, then it gained an indispensable importance in tea ceremonies. Nowadays, matcha is being produced in Japan, China, South Korea and even some African countries, with the best one coming from Japan. What makes matcha different from other types of tea are unique benefits and an addictive flavor. Leaves have a much higher levels of chlorophyll and catechins that make it more nutritious than any other tea type in the world. Moreover, leaves are cleaned of all stems and veins, cut into small flakes and then ground into a fine powder right before packing to make sure nutrient levels are high. So why choosing matcha instead of coffee and other energy drinks?
Nutrients in matcha green tea
Energy drinks rarely have any nutrients. Even if energy drinks are labeled as tea, they more than often contain close to zero EGCg. Energy drinks are a source of sugar or other artificial sweeteners and usually have very high caffeine content. Energy drinks can lead to caffeine overdose that might cause serious side effects.
Caffeine from matcha is very different than a caffeine shot from coffee or energy drinks. In combination with L-theanine, matcha is able to give slow and steady energy without the jitters. A cup of matcha usually contains about 60 mg of caffeine, an amount safer and lower than a cup of coffee.
L-theanine is not only keeping caffeine under control, it also increases good mood and improves performance. L-theanine is an amino-acid, with potential anti-stress effect. Although more research is needed, L-theanine together with caffeine might be a reason why matcha has been considered the best meditation drink for centuries. No other energy drink or coffee are known to provide a calming effect.
No hidden sugars
Energy drinks can contain many hidden sugars. Coffee usually needs some sweetener to be more enjoyable, and all energy drinks contain at least one type of natural or artificial sweetener. Sugar is never used when preparing matcha in traditional way. In fact, Ceremonial grade matcha has a natural sweetness that gives balance to light bitterness.
Caffeine in Matcha Green Tea
While Matcha is not marketed as an “energy drink” it does provide sustained energy. Drinking a cup of matcha green tea gives a longer-lasting energy boost than a cup of coffee. A cup of matcha tea has around 60 mg of caffeine, and amount similar to black teas. Adding one more scoop of matcha will increase the caffeine content to almost 100 mg per cup, similar a cup of coffee – but with added nutrients, EGCg and L-theanine.
Gradual and consistent release of energy from Matcha provides the body with just the right amount of caffeine over a longer period of time rather than giving a huge amount of caffeine all at once. Ingesting high amounts of caffeine in a very short time might be dangerous.
Caffeine in Coffee & Energy Drinks
Coffee and energy drinks contain anywhere from 100 to 500 mg or more caffeine per drink. Ingesting high amounts of caffeine at ones will result in a caffeine crash. The caffeine in these drinks has an acid affect impacting the adrenal glands and causes spikes in adrenaline glucose and insulin levels, which causes the jitters, nervousness, sleeplessness and hunger pangs. Moreover, a daily limit of caffeine intake is around 300-500 mg, an amount that is safer when taken gradually, not at once. High doses of caffeine exceeding 500 mg in one shot can be dangerous.
Neither coffee nor energy drinks contain compounds like L-theanine that allow caffeine to enter bloodstream in a slower way.
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Matcha Benefits over Coffee Benefits
Matcha features much higher levels of antioxidants, which might offer potent protection against disease and aging. At 1573 ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) units per serving, it’s one of the very best sources of antioxidants in the world.
Matcha may help boost metabolism and burning fat by increasing thermogenesis (up to 40%), the rate at which your body burns calories.
Matcha contains catechins, a unique type of antioxidant with potent cancer-fighting properties. Matcha is easier to make. No fancy French press, steam machine or appliance is required.
Matcha provides fiber and nutrients that coffee does not, including chlorophyll, vitamin A and vitamin C.
Can you overdose on matcha?
There have been no reported cases on matcha-overdose, but caution is needed. Both caffeine and EGCg can cause damage if abused. Three cups of traditionally prepared matcha are generally safe. Caution is needed if you are suffering from chronic diseases, are pregnant or breastfeeding. Always consult your health-care provider before including any new ingredients into your diet on a daily basis. Start with a cup of matcha per day to see if you have any negative reactions. Self-treating any serious diseases is not recommended.