5 Advantages of Drinking Matcha Tea

Published December 14th, 2021 by Chris Riley
Fact Checked by
Erik Rivera
Updated Date: Jun 24th, 2022

What is matcha | Benefits | Side effects | Where can I buy

Matcha is a powdered green tea that has been used in Japan for centuries. It's made from the matcha plant, also known as a tea plant.

Matcha is different than other types of green tea because matcha green tea leaves are ground into a fine powder before they're dried and made into matcha.

This process gives matcha its distinct taste and powerful health benefits.

Read on to learn more about this delicious drink and how it can improve your life.

What is matcha?

Matcha is a type of green tea that has been used in Japanese culture for centuries and is used in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies.

It originated in China, although matcha was much different back then. Matcha is the entire leaf ground up Camellia sinensis plant and the roots are steamed before being dried out to prevent oxidization.

This process allows matcha powder to be stored for long periods of time with less degradation in quality.

Once matcha is ground up, it's stored in airtight containers to prevent the matcha from being exposed to any light or humidity so that it can be safely consumed when needed.

Unlike other teas, a cup of matcha does not use teabags, instead, matcha is whisked with hot water in a bowl until it forms a thick and frothy tea.

It is not only used to make tea anymore as it can be used to dye or flavor foods or drinks.

Mochi, green tea ice cream, and soba noodles are all examples of modern cuisine that have used matcha for color or flavoring.

Matcha cake pops and even matcha chili are some other products that companies have used matcha to flavor too.

Restaurants like Starbucks use matcha to make the popular green tea frappuccino drink with a few tweaks for western tastes and there are even matcha lattes too.

Matcha can be consumed in many different forms which allow it to enter our bodies through various methods.

Matcha powder or match granules can be mixed into drinks such as water, juice, or milk. It can also be added to food such as yogurt, cereal, and salad.

The matcha leaves can also be eaten whole as a vegetable which is how it was traditionally consumed in Japan.

The form of matcha that is used in tea ceremonies is called "ceremonial matcha" and is slightly different from matcha that you will find in the health food store.

Ceremonial matcha tends to be more expensive because it has a higher quality of flavor, color, aroma, etc.

It also contains the most amount of EGCG, or Epigallocatechin gallate, since there are no other ingredients besides tea leaves which make up about half of the matcha's dry weight.

Ceremonial matcha, which is the highest quality of matcha, is meant to be whisked with hot water which gives it a smoother texture and richer mouthfeel than matcha tea or other modern forms like matcha powder, matcha granules, etc.

The only time these other types should be used is when you do not have access to ceremonial matcha or matcha in general and need to make do with what you can get.

What are the health benefits of drinking matcha?

There are many different health benefits associated with matcha which is why it has become so popular recently.

The most common way that matcha is consumed by people who drink it on a regular basis is as a simple green tea.

Below is a list of 5 health benefits you may see from matcha tea.

High in antioxidants

Matcha green tea has 137 times more antioxidants than regular brewed green tea. In fact, matcha has over 100 times the antioxidants of spinach and about 25 times the antioxidants of blueberries.

The catechins, which are a type of flavonoid and antioxidant, in matcha are what make it so high in antioxidants and these cancer-fighting nutrients have been linked with a reduced risk of heart disease, arthritis, and other inflammatory conditions.

Helps with concentration

It also contains L-theanine, an amino acid that helps with concentration and alertness.

L-theanine has been shown to help with stress levels and anxiety. It is also thought to help boost brain function.

May help fight cancer

EGCG, the most predominant of the catechins in matcha, has been shown to fight various types of cancer.

One study showed that it was able to kill cancer cells in various forms of cancer. 

Boosts metabolism and burns calories

When you drink matcha, you are consuming all the nutrients that the leaves have to offer.

This is why matcha has been shown to boost metabolism and burn calories which can lead to weight loss in those who drink matcha regularly instead of just as a one-off detox or quick fix for losing weight.

Helps your heart

Drinking green tea has also been shown to help improve heart health by reducing bad cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, and preventing atherosclerosis.

It may also help you reduce your chances of heart disease and stroke.

Are these benefits scientifically proven?

Yes, there are many scientific studies that have shown matcha to be beneficial for health.

It should be noted that not all of the studies were conducted on humans so some additional scientific research may be needed.

Are there any side effects?

When you consider all the benefits that matcha green tea has, the side effects are few and far between.

Some people may experience a bit of nausea or stomach upset when they first start drinking matcha but this usually goes away after a while.

Headaches, diarrhea, and insomnia due to caffeine consumption are also possible negative side effects.

Where can I get matcha?

You can find ceremonial matcha at most health food stores or online.

There are also many different types of matcha green tea powder that you can add to your water or other drinks in order to get the matcha benefits without actually drinking it.

Summary

Matcha is a green tea made from finely ground powder that was originally from China and but is also used in Japanese culture for traditional matcha tea ceremonies.

Traditionally drunk as a tea, in modern times matcha has been used as a color or flavor additive for all sorts of foods from ice cream to noodles.

Matcha offers a variety of health benefits including cancer-fighting properties, weight loss, improved heart health, and increased concentration and alertness.

There are few negative side effects to drinking matcha other than potential stomach upset or headaches in some people among a few others.

You can find matcha at most health food stores or online.

Should you have any more questions regarding if you should drink matcha, please talk to your doctor, healthcare provider, or nutritionist to see if it is right for you.

References, Studies, and Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14518774

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9455677

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21715508

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17998943

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15938647

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