You’ve probably been hearing about this new magical coffee replacement called matcha tea. It’s existed since the Tang Dynasty (7 – 9th Century) in China. Many centuries later, Zen Buddhists would drink matcha to achieve a relaxed alertness during their meditation.
I’ve never been into coffee. Since living in New Zealand I started casually drinking a cup every so often. I have to be strategic about it, otherwise, I’ll be bouncing off the walls and most likely be up all night. The caffeine in coffee gives me terrible jitters and sometimes an anxious feeling. My mind will feel like it’s racing so I have a lot of thoughts and energy, but I’m not necessarily productive.
Then I discovered matcha tea.
Matcha is created by only using the tips of the plants and it’s grown in the shade. This tricks the plant into thinking it’s dying, so it works hard to survive producing chlorophyll and other amazing antioxidants.
The tea leaves are stone-ground into powder so you are ingesting the entire leaf and all the nutrients when drinking it. One cup is equal to approximately 10 cups of green tea. Matcha is becoming widely known as the coffee replacement drink. It produces a calming effect while making the brain more alert. The caffeine in matcha is paired with an amino acid called L-Theanine which promotes a state of relaxation while increasing focus and clarity.
I hardly noticed a difference when I drank it the first time. I felt calm but no overwhelm or nervous energy compared to drinking coffee. I was decently alert and a small increase in focus or brain power. The great thing about matcha is the caffeine has an extended release property. I didn’t feel this immediate switch to an alternate universe like I do with coffee (picture Raven from That’s So Raven when she has a vision – that’s me when the coffee hits). So over the next few hours, I gradually felt a subtle, relaxed focus. Every so often, I’ll mix a teeny tiny hint of coffee in with my matcha tea to give it an extra kick.
Matcha is commonly called, ‘The Ultimate Superfood,’ blowing berries and other greens out of the water. It has 137 times the amount of antioxidants than in green tea. THAT’S A LOT.
You can use matcha as an everyday detox. The chlorophyll acts as a natural detoxifying agent to rid the body of chemicals and heavy metals.
Matcha also increases the amount of calories you burn. A study featured in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found consuming matcha can increase the body’s rate of burning calories from a normal 8%-10% of daily energy expenditure to between 35% and 43% of daily energy expenditure. WHAT!! The boost of energy can also increase physical endurance. Throughout the day, I’ve noticed an increase in my drive to do random bursts of squats or burpees (or random dancing around my room).
If you are looking for a caffeine boost with a bunch of other incredible benefits, I highly recommend adding a bit of matcha tea to your day.
For more information on matcha, or you’d like to order your own, check out Matcha Source.
Have you tried matcha? Do you prefer it to coffee? What benefits have you found from drinking this powerful superfood?