Sipping matcha daily can have a positive impact on your energy levels and overall health.
Unlike coffee, matcha provides a less jittery pick-me-up. This is due to matcha’s high concentration of flavonoids and L-theanine, which increases the brain’s alpha frequency band and produces relaxing effects by raising serotonin, GABA, and dopamine levels.
Research suggests that L-theanine is especially helpful for high levels of stress and anxiety, increasing relaxation without causing drowsiness. These effects have even been found at doses given in a cup of tea.
In addition, L-theanine does some amazing things when paired with caffeine, à la matcha—the amino acid can help improve cognitive function and increase focus and alertness. So sipping matcha is great before a hectic workday or when cramming for a test.
- positive effects on mood
- promotes relaxation
- provides sustained energy
- can help with maintaining a healthy weight
Matcha is rich in the antioxidant catechins, a plant compound found in tea. In fact, matcha has one of the highest amounts of antioxidants among superfoods according to the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity) test.
This makes matcha great at fighting free radicals, preventing cancer, and protecting the heart.
Try it: You can enjoy matcha tea hot or iced and customize it to your own tastes by lightly sweetening with maple syrup or honey, adding fruit, or blending it into a smoothie.
Recipe for Matcha Tea
- 1 tsp. matcha powder
- 6 oz. hot water
- milk of choice, optional
- 1 tsp. maple syrup, or honey, optional
- Mix 1 ounce of hot water with the matcha to form a thick paste. Using a bamboo whisk, whisk the matcha in a zig-zag pattern until frothy.
- Add more water to the matcha while whisking vigorously to avoid lumping.
- Add warm milk to the latte or sweeten with sweetener of choice, if desired.
Dosage: Consume 1 teaspoon per 1 cup of water and you’ll feel the effects within 30 minutes, which last for a few hours.
Possible Side Effects: Matcha doesn’t appear to cause significant side effects when consumed in moderation, but high doses have large amounts of caffeine that may cause headaches, diarrhea, insomnia, and irritability. Pregnant women should use caution.
While matcha tea is generally safe to consume, drinking too much in a day could be harmful.
Tiffany La Forge is a professional chef, recipe developer, and food writer who runs the blog Parsnips and Pastries. This article was first published on Healthline.