I am a huge Instagram junky. I love scrolling through pictures, getting outfit ideas, new recipes, even workout clips. So one day I came across a picture of one of my friends swearing by her “Matcha tea drink” that she makes. She raved about how it was her fat burning secret that she drank every morning. To be quite honest, her drink looked like a big glass of neon-green sludge. I wondered if this drink was actually good for you, or if it was just another so-called “healthy” trend going around. Either way, I was intrigued so I decided to do a little bit of research on this mystery supplement.
What exactly is “matcha tea”?
To put it simply, matcha is basically like a green tea powder. However, you consume the whole leaves of the tea, which makes it more concentrated and potent than regular green tea. It is popular in Japanese culture and is usually associated with meditation and Zen. Some of the health benefits of Matcha tea include:
1. It’s rich in antioxidants
Since you only steep the green tea leaves and then throw them away, you lose out on a ton of antioxidants and minerals. With matcha, you get as many antioxidants as 10 cups of brewed green tea! The antioxidants found in matcha green tea, called polyphenols, can help regulate your blood sugar, lower your blood pressure, and can slow aging.
2. It has caffeine
Matcha has almost 3 times as much caffeine as regular green tea, which is about the amount in a cup of coffee. The last couple of weeks I’ve been ditching my morning cup of coffee for matcha to see how they compare. I definitely can feel the effects of the matcha, and I believe it gives you more of an “alertness” rather than that jittery feel coffee gives you. Don’t get me wrong, I love my coffee. But I also like putting cream and sugar in my coffee, which can definitely add up in calories. So matcha has been a healthier option for me, and my teeth have been thanking me for the lack of coffee as well.
3. It can boost your metabolism and aid in weight loss
Probably the most appealing feature of matcha for me is that studies have shown drinking matcha can boost your metabolism and help burn fat! How? “A study featured in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that consuming matcha green tea can increase thermogenesis (the body’s own rate of burning calories) from a normal 8%-10% of daily energy expenditure, to between 35% and 43% of daily energy expediture.” -matchasource.com Many weight loss pills with dangerous side effects attempt to do what matcha does naturally!
My Recommendations if you want to try matcha:
1. Try adding a little bit to a morning smoothie. That’s what I do every morning and I can’t even taste the matcha. (Side note: it has a very strong and earthy taste.) My favorite smoothie is almond milk, mixed berries, greek yogurt, matcha, and ice! If you want it to be a little more sweet, I sometimes add a truvia packet into the smoothie! Otherwise, you can try mixing about a teaspoon of matcha with 1/3 cup of hot water and drink it as a “matcha shot”. So trendy.
2. Make sure you get high quality, organic matcha tea. If it’s cheap or has sugar added to it for a better taste, odds are it’s a poor quality product.
3. Green teas have been shown to contain lead. Usually almost all of the lead is discarded when you discard the leaves of the green tea. However with matcha, you are ingesting those leaves. Therefore, I would recommend only drinking one serving of matcha per day, just in case.
So as long as you’re not overindulging in matcha tea, I highly recommend trying it out! Enjoy!
-Taylor Lefaiver, WPE