The health benefits of high antioxidant drinks like tea, coffee, and yerba mate, are well known. Matcha tea has become especially popular in recent years and like other forms of tea is likely to offer significant long-term benefits to overall health.
Matcha is antioxidant-rich and contains four main catechins indicated to be of benefit to health (epicatechin, epicatechin-3-gallate, epigallocatechin, and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG)). Matcha is considered the best source of EGCG.1 Like other green tea varieties, it has been linked to anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, neuroprotective and cognitive, and heart-health benefits.1
Matcha has high caffeine content, around twice that of ordinary tea (~60 mg compared to ~30 mg per cup). Caffeine has known benefits to alertness and cognition,2, 3 brain health,4 physical performance5-10 and fat-loss.11, 12 However, some people are very sensitive to caffeine, experiencing jitters and anxiety.
Matcha though has high levels of theanine and arginine that are relaxing and have a stress-reducing effect, mitigating the effects of caffeine. In a randomised controlled trial, those taking matcha green tea had significantly lower anxiety than those taking a placebo.13
Matcha is a healthy drink that provides the benefits of green tea, with enhanced benefits of increased caffeine, while minimising the jitters and anxiety with higher levels of theanine.
How to use Matcha
- Kochman J, Jakubczyk K, Antoniewicz J, Mruk H, Janda K. Health Benefits and Chemical Composition of Matcha Green Tea: A Review. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland). 2021;26(1):85.
- Crawford C, Teo L, Lafferty L, Drake A, Bingham JJ, Gallon MD, et al. Caffeine to optimize cognitive function for military mission-readiness: a systematic review and recommendations for the field. Nutrition reviews. 2017;75(suppl_2):17-35.
- Irwin C, Khalesi S, Desbrow B, McCartney D. Effects of acute caffeine consumption following sleep loss on cognitive, physical, occupational and driving performance: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews. 2020;108:877-88.
- Panza F, Solfrizzi V, Barulli MR, Bonfiglio C, Guerra V, Osella A, et al. Coffee, tea, and caffeine consumption and prevention of late-life cognitive decline and dementia: A systematic review. The journal of nutrition, health & aging. 2015;19(3):313-28.
- Fatolahi H, Farahmand A, Rezakhani S. The Effect of Caffeine on Health and Exercise Performance with a Cold Brew Coffee Approach: A Scoping Review. Nutrition and Food Sciences Research. 2020;7(2):1-12.
- Astorino TA, Roberson DW. Efficacy of Acute Caffeine Ingestion for Short-term High-Intensity Exercise Performance: A Systematic Review. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. 2010;24(1):257-65.
- Grgic J, Mikulic P, Schoenfeld BJ, Bishop DJ, Pedisic Z. The Influence of Caffeine Supplementation on Resistance Exercise: A Review. Sports Medicine. 2019;49(1):17-30.
- Southward K, Rutherfurd-Markwick KJ, Ali A. The Effect of Acute Caffeine Ingestion on Endurance Performance: A Systematic Review and Meta–Analysis. Sports Medicine. 2018;48(8):1913-28.
- Grgic J, Grgic I, Pickering C, Schoenfeld BJ, Bishop DJ, Pedisic Z. Wake up and smell the coffee: caffeine supplementation and exercise performance—an umbrella review of 21 published meta-analyses. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2020;54(11):681-8.
- Polito MD, Souza DB, Casonatto J, Farinatti P. Acute effect of caffeine consumption on isotonic muscular strength and endurance: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Science & Sports. 2016;31(3):119-28.
- Cheung HTH. Impact of caffeine on macronutrient metabolism: A review of literature. 2016.
- Schubert MM, Irwin C, Seay RF, Clarke HE, Allegro D, Desbrow B. Caffeine, coffee, and appetite control: a review. International journal of food sciences and nutrition. 2017;68(8):901-12.
- Unno K, Furushima D, Hamamoto S, Iguchi K, Yamada H, Morita A, et al. Stress-Reducing Function of Matcha Green Tea in Animal Experiments and Clinical Trials. Nutrients. 2018;10(10).