Over the last few years, matcha has been gaining popularity as a healthier alternative to coffee. Many people crave the energy that coffee gives them, but struggle with the jitters and the dreaded crash that they feel afterward. Or maybe they’ve built up a caffeine tolerance and no longer feel the effects of coffee like they once did. If this sounds like you, you might want to consider switching to matcha.
While Matcha contains less caffeine than coffee, its effects are typically sustained over 3-4 hours, rather than a quick spike of energy. It doesn’t give you a jolt like caffeine does, and instead is released more slowly and steadily into the body. And who doesn’t want a steady source of energy that promotes a calm focus, while delivering nutritional benefits?
Let’s take a moment and explore the history of matcha and why it may be a better option for you than coffee!
What Is Matcha?
Matcha originated in 12th century Japan and served as a staple ingredient in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies. It comes from Japanese green tea leaves that have been ground into a fine, green powder. This powder is then whisked together with hot water and often served with milk. The tea has a smooth, mellow, and nutty flavor, and should have a foamy texture and bright green color when prepared. There are also different grades of matcha, each with a different use. Ceremonial grade is the highest quality and is used in tea ceremonies. Premium grade is typically for everyday use, and cooking matcha is usually used to add flavor in recipes. Matcha is extremely versatile and can be used in a variety of recipes!
Health Benefits of Matcha
Many studies have suggested that matcha offers great health benefits. Because matcha is made from the whole green tea leaf, coming from the Camellia sinensis plant, it is a more potent source of nutrients and has “a greater amount of caffeine and antioxidants than what is typically found in regular green tea.” Here are just some of the potential benefits:
High in antioxidants
For starters, matcha is high in antioxidants, which are extremely beneficial for overall health. Antioxidants can also help fight free-radicals, which can potentially lead to cell damage and various diseases.
Calms the Mind and Body
Matcha includes L-Theanine, an amino acid. When combined with caffeine it helps to produce sustainable and focused energy, and promotes a state of relaxation. It is the reason why regular green tea is thought of as a calming beverage. It promotes the release of feel-good hormones like endorphin, serotonin, and dopamine, while also improving your attention and memory.
Promotes Heart Health
Green tea has been shown to reduce the bad “LDL” cholesterol and triglycerides in the body. It has also shown to help prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which is another factor that may protect against heart disease.
Healthy weight management
Green tea is known for its ability to aid in weight loss. Some studies also show that it can help speed up your metabolism to increase energy expenditure and boost fat burning.
Health Benefits of Coffee
Lowers Risk of Disease
- Liver Disease: Both regular and decaf coffee have shown to have protective effects on the liver. Research has shown that people who drink coffee regularly are more likely to have healthy liver enzyme levels, as opposed to non-coffee drinkers.
- Type 2 Diabetes: Several studies have found that drinking coffee regularly lowers your chances of developing Type 2 diabetes.
- Cancer: Researchers have found that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of liver cancer and colorectal cancer.
Makes You Happier
Researchers have found that coffee is linked to several positive emotions, such as pleasure, kindness, and happiness. This is because caffeine is linked to increased dopamine levels in the brain. There were no negative emotions found to be linked to coffee consumption.
Coffee vs. Matcha
Most people aren’t drinking a cup of coffee every day to improve their health. It’s the energy boost of caffeine that they’re after. While coffee is linked to a lower risk of disease, and increased happiness, its effects usually only last 1-3 hours. With matcha, you get the best of both worlds. Matcha provides gradual, sustained energy throughout the day, and tastes just as delicious!
Want More Matcha Info and Inspiration?
Check out more of our matcha recipes down below:
- Mint Matcha Latte
- Matcha Latte
- Nutty Matcha Latte
- Matcha Latte With Coconut Milk
- Cafe Style Matcha Tea Latte
- Matcha Avocado Smoothie
- Coconut Blender Matcha
- Iced Matcha Green Tea Frappé With Coconut Whip
We also highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest meatless, vegan, plant-based and allergy-friendly recipe resource to help you get healthy! And for everything matcha, check out our Matcha Archives!
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