Matcha

WHY IS MATCHA SO POPULAR?

Matcha Vs Green Tea

Nobody can deny the significance and popularity of green tea. Green tea hoards several health benefits like improving cardiac health and weight loss. However, there are alternatives that comprise of even better and more potent health benefits. Its cultivation is different as compared to the regular green tea since the whole leaf is consumed during the preparation. Let’s see if Matcha tea lives up to the hype, associated with its benefits. 

A higher percentage of amino acids is found in the Matcha leaves compared to the green tea, due to its harvest in the shade. Later the veins and stems are removed and the leave is ground into a fine powder. This fine powder, known as Matcha, has a high percentage of antioxidants and caffeine compared to green tea leaves. 237 ml of green tea contains 35 mg of caffeine, whereas the same size of Matcha tea is packed with 280 mg caffeine. This amount can be achieved by adding 4 tsp of Matcha powder, otherwise, it can vary. Many people do not drink the full cup due to higher caffeine content which gives it a bitter taste. Furthermore, Matcha has a higher concentration of antioxidants.

Is Matcha Green Tea Healthy?

Matcha green tea is definitely healthier. It is rich with catechin, also known as EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate). These antioxidants are believed to fight cancer cells in the body. Population-based studies have also shown some other health benefits of this tea e.g., it also shows resistance against type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The research is mostly population-based, where 1 group drank the tea and the other didn’t. Clinical trials are limited in this case. However, some clinical trials carried out in 2014 revealed blood pressure control. People who drank green tea for 12 weeks showed a significant drop in blood pressure. Another 2011 study revealed that green tea consumption lowers bad LDL cholesterol levels. Matcha tea carries similar benefits however more research in the area is required.

The health benefits of Matcha tea cannot be ignored, however, people seem to be worried about the presence of lead in the Matcha tea. ConsumerLab.com carried out tests to dig in the details and concluded that the Matcha powder is not contaminated by lead or any other elements and is therefore safe for consumption.

Is Matcha Healthier than Coffee?

Proven health benefits of coffee cannot be underrated and match may be second in line, with respect to low familiarity, short history, and marketing. However, if we compare the benefits, and nutritional profile of both products, the Matcha would be a clear winner. Matcha tea has L-Theanine. It is an amino acid that aids the body in processing caffeine better and thus makes you feel calm and alert. Yes, caffeine quantity is lesser in one serving of Matcha, as compared with coffee. Yet it provides a better and less edgy energy boost. Another benefit of L-Theanine is that it allows better concentration and enhances your focus. 

Matcha has 1573 ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) units in its every serving. It protects against aging and various diseases. Matcha has proven to be a great source of antioxidants. Consistent use of Matcha increases thermogenesis by 40% and resultantly burns body fat. Moreover, it boosts metabolism and burns calories. As mentioned above, Matcha has cancer-fighting properties with its catechins antioxidants. One very obvious advantage Matcha has over coffee is that it doesn’t require any appliance or steam machine for preparation. Match also provides nutrients and fiber-like vitamin C, A, and chlorophyll, that coffee does not.

Is Matcha Latte Good for You?

Just like Matcha green tea, Matcha latte has been claimed to carry many health benefits. Matcha powder contains EGCG along with other antioxidants that prepare the body against many diseases. According to the National Cancer Institute, it also has Polyphenols that diminish the effect caused by oxidation, UV rays, and free radicals. Since, Matcha powder tastes earthy and bitter in its most concentrated form, to compensate for the taste, coffee shops typically serve it in latte form. So it is mixed with sweetener and milk to make the taste more bearable. The latte form carries vitamin D, protein, and calcium because of the added low-fat or soy milk. The steamed milk wonderfully gives the latte potassium zest which fulfills the potassium deficiency in many drinkers.

To prepare the Matcha latte, take 370 ml of low-fat or soy milk and add 300 ml of Matcha powder in it. Add any sweetener to make it taste better. However, beware of the amount of sweetener you add in the latte; despite all the protein and vitamins, heavy sweeteners can eliminate the benefits. So keep an eye on the amount of sugar you add, if you want to enjoy the complete benefits of Matcha latte. 

Does Matcha have caffeine?

We know that coffee, infused with caffeine, keeps you awake and alert. But we also know that Matcha has caffeine too, but it helps you sleep better rather than keep you awake. How is that? As mentioned above Matcha has L-Theanine too, but what it does is that it inhibits and moderates the negative impact of the caffeine, to some extent, and enhances its benefits for cognitive performance, simultaneously. This combination in Matcha provides benefits of both the compounds, all the while mitigating the side effects of caffeine. Together L-Theanine and caffeine balance each other and join hands to have a positive impact on cognitive ability.

The naturally occurring compounds L-Theanine is relaxing, while caffeine is stimulating. Yet L-Theanine does not impose sedation and caffeine does not excite you too much. L-Theanine is GABA-enhancing; it cancels out many of the stimulating effects imposed by caffeine. It actually limits caffeine by diminishing the levels of anxiety, a spike in blood pressure, and jittering. Research has revealed that a combination of both can uplift the mood of the consumer as well. Therefore, caffeine in Matcha is not bad for you. If caffeine, alone, is taken in excess, it can impose anxiety and alertness.  

Does Matcha have more caffeine than coffee?

The caffeine in Matcha is about a quarter times than brewed coffee, for instance, 25 mg of Matcha caffeine and nearly 100 mg of coffee’s caffeine. The duration may differ depending upon the water temperature, steeping time, and many other factors. Another way of understanding could be Matcha has almost ¼ caffeine compare to the brewed coffee. However, the caffeine in Matcha lasts much longer than that of coffee. It’s an unusual behavior but it’s understandable.

Caffeine in coffee kicks in the bloodstream minutes after the consumption; however caffeine in Matcha takes several hours for getting absorbed into the bloodstream, and therefore can last for over 6 hours. Several people experience ‘crash’ after consuming coffee, but with Matcha consumption, it is the opposite.  

Does matcha affect sleep quality?

Matcha drinkers believe that Matcha consumption induces alertness, unlike the type induced by coffee which is jittery and buzzy. The L-Theanine is responsible for providing a calm effect and drowsiness. However, the common practice is to avoid Matcha intake right before sleeping or in the evening. Why is this so, because of the caffeine present in the Matcha. Caffeine can reset the body clock as it prevents the rise of the sleep hormone, melatonin. Matcha’s caffeine can stay in your system for over 6 hours or 4 hours. It makes the sleep hormone fluctuate and determine the sleep time according to the amount of caffeine consumed. Therefore, it should be avoided at night.

Drinking Matcha Before Bed, the Truth About Matcha?

However, there is another school of thought who votes in favor of drinking Matcha before bedtime. Caffeine level in Matcha is nearly ¼ of the brewed coffee. This means the release of L-Theanine is slower and adds energy much slower into the system. Compared to the consumption of coffee, it is safer to drink before bed. Unless you are affected by caffeine instantly, you can safely take a Matcha before sleep time. Matcha caffeine can impact positively on your health, quality of sleep, and wellness. Matcha is rich in antioxidants and bioactive compounds which are beneficial for you.

Is Matcha Green Tea Good for Digestion?

Matcha tea with all its goodness can treat common gastrointestinal issues. It does so by purging your body of the toxins and stimulating excretions. The polyphenols and the toxins in Matcha tea fight with the cancerous cells in the colon and bladder, especially. With the increased research, more of the Matcha benefits are unfolding related to digestion and chronic illnesses. For the health of your stomach, the pathogenic bacteria need to nourish in a suitable environment. Therefore consumption of healthy and natural prebiotics is vital. Matcha provides the prebiotics that then ferment in the gut and flourish the good bacteria. 

The polyphenols in Matcha tea break easily in the colon and small intestine, as they nourish good bacteria they also discourage the growth of harmful bacteria like Bacteroides spp, Clostridium difficile, and Clostridium perfringen.

All in all, Matcha in the tea or latte form is healthy and fit for consumption. The antioxidants and probiotics are helpful for mental and bodily health, equally. 

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