Matcha is high in a catechin called EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), which is believed to have cancer-fighting effects on the body. Studies have linked green tea to a variety of health benefits, like helping to prevent heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer, and even encouraging weight loss.
Benefits: Matcha Tea
1.It’s loaded with antioxidants and vitamins.Green tea contains a type of antioxidant called catechins, as well as another group called polyphenols. “Matcha powder offers a megadose of these powerful antioxidants, which can help reduce cell damage and prevent chronic disease.
2. It might boost your skin’s glow.Miyashita recommends trying matcha instead of coffee for a week if you have skin concerns, because of its sky-high vitamin levels. Vitamin C stimulates collagen production when ingested according to this study in the journal Nutrients. And vitamin B can help to promote healthy skin cell turnover, according to a study from the Advances in Skin & Wound Care journal.
3. You’ll get more energy than you would from other teas. Matcha powder has about three times the amount of caffeine as alternative types of brewed teas, says Gorham. Black tea has 47 mg of caffeine per cup, and green tea has 28 mg, while matcha has 70 mg of caffeine. That’s about the same energy benefit—or slightly less than—a cup of coffee, which has around 96 mg of caffeine per cup (given that different coffees have different levels of caffeine).
4. You won’t feel as jittery as you might from a cup of joe. “Matcha powder contains L-theanine, an amino acid that has been shown to reduce stress,” Gorham says. One 2016 study found that drinking a beverage with around 25 mg of L-theanine like green tea can be extremely effective at reducing stress and increasing the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. “People say that when they drink matcha, they have a smooth alertness and don’t experience a ‘caffeine crash,’ which could have to do with the L-theanine component,” Gorham adds.
5. It can make you significantly more productive. In a 2017 study published in Food Research International, people who drank matcha specifically (not just plain old green tea!) experienced a slight increase in attention and processing speed an hour later—likely due to a special combination of L-theanine, a major potentially energy-boosting polyphenol called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), and caffeine.
6.Matcha could help ward off cancer. It’s the EGCG that’s the magic compound, which might inhabit cancer cell grought by killing malignant cells.
7. It can strengthen your bones. Most people don’t think about actively taking measures to build bone strength, but it’s important for your fitness and mobility, especially as you age. Polyphenols, the antioxidant-packed compounds in green tea, may increase bone mineral density (as in, how solid your bones are) by reducing inflammation-causing oxidative stress on the bones. That in turn can lower your risk of developing osteoporosis, according to several past studies.
8. Helps you lose weight:Take a look at any weight loss supplement and there’s a good chance you’ll see “green tea extract” listed in the ingredients. Green tea is well known for its ability to enhance weight loss. In fact, studies show that it may help speed up metabolism to increase energy expenditure and boost fat burning.One small study showed that taking green tea extract during moderate exercise increased fat burning by 17% (25Trusted Source).Another study in 14 people found that taking a supplement containing green tea extract significantly boosted 24-hour energy expenditure, compared to a placebo (26Trusted Source).A review of 11 studies also showed that green tea reduced body weight and helped maintain weight loss (27Trusted Source).Although most of these studies focused on green tea extract, matcha comes from the same plant and should have the same effect.
Matcha is essentially processed green tea leaves.
How can you make matcha at home?
You don’t have to go to your nearest coffeeshop to get matcha. In fact, you can make a version at home with minimal kitchen gadgets. “Traditionally, Japanese people use a bamboo whisk and ladle to make matcha tea. If you don’t have it, you can use a spoon,” Miyashita says. Here’s how:
1.Heat 2 or 3 oz of water to 176°F. If you don’t have a thermometer handy, you can eyeball it by checking on the size of the bubbles. Look for medium rising bubbles—a string of bubbles is too hot.
- Place 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of matcha into a cup and add a splash of hot (not boiling) water.
- Mix thoroughly with a spoon to remove lumps of matcha.If you have a bamboo whisk, mix matcha with it until frothy. Now that you have your concentrated matcha, you can either fill the glass up the rest of the way with water or milk. (If you don’t have a whisk, a fork will do.
Keep in refrigerator, product can be used during 1 year after opening.