Since the beginning of college I have been a pretty avid coffee drinker; that all changed a few months ago when I discovered the green powerhouse of a beverage — matcha. Not only is it super flavorful and tasty, it’s bursting with enough health benefits to keep me drinkin’ it every morning.
It all started with not wanting to feel jittery and somewhat anxious at work. One cup of coffee has 95 mg of caffeine, that’s a LOT! And some days I would have two! Although I was consuming a lot of caffeine, by the afternoon I’d feel sleepy and consider another cup, only to keep me restless at night. Personally, this wasn’t doing it for me, and I was ready to adjust my habits.
I first discovered matcha when I flew home to SF to visit my family. My mom made me a cup and raved about how good it was for you. As I started getting more hooked on health and following various nutritionists/bloggers, I couldn’t help but notice that a lot of them were drinking it as well. What really was it about matcha that people loved so much?
Before I delve into the benefits, let’s first touch on what matcha is. Matcha is a bright green tea powder that originated in China and was used to cure various ailments. It was later picked up by Japanese Zen Buddhist monks and became the center of Japanese tea ceremonies. Basically, people have been drinking this for years and there are REASONS!
So let’s jump into some reasons:
- Energy without the crash: Matcha contains roughly 25 mg of caffeine + the amino acid L-theanine. L-theanine induces a relaxing effect without any drowsiness, which allows for your energy to sustain overtime without the crash of coffee.
- Loaded with antioxidants: A study found that matcha has 137 times more antioxidants than regular green tea, and up to 3 times as much than high-quality teas. We care about antioxidants because they’re powerful nutrients and enzymes that protect skin cells and help fight free radicals. Speaking of…
- Helps fight aging: With all of the antioxidants fighting free radicals (which cause cell damages and changes to our DNA), matcha automatically helps with anti-aging. It can also help with skin health by reducing inflammation.
- Metabolism boosting: Green tea has been proven to help with weight loss due to it being a metabolism booster. To help with this, it’s best to drink matcha plain without any creamers/milk/sweeteners.
- Relaxes the mind and body: Back to L-theanine, the higher levels of this amino acid have helped people relax while remaining alert ever since the Zen Buddhists needing help with meditating. Seriously! It causes an easier production of alpha waves in the brain that fight stress signals and even lowers blood pressure.
These are just 5 benefits out of the 16 that I found. Some other benefits included fighting both diabetes and heart disease, as well as promoting liver health.
There are so many good things tied to matcha, including some ingredients that compliment it really well! Here’s a recipe that I’ve been making that’s loaded with flavor and additional health benefits.
- 1 tsp of matcha — I’ve been using this UMatcha brand, it’s affordable + tastes great
- 12-16 oz of hot water
- 2 scoops of Vital Proteins unflavored collagen
- 1/2 tsp of Ashwagandha Sun Potion
- Dash of cinnamon
- Dash of turmeric
- Dash of cayenne pepper
- Dash of black pepper
Do you drink matcha? What does your recipe look like?