Most tea can be found either in tea bag or loose leaf form. Occasionally, it can also be fermented and sold as a tea brick.
However, many people don’t know that tea can also be sold as a powder, which is traditionally whisked and served with a bit of froth. This is true for Matcha, a Japanese green tea.
What Is Matcha Tea?
Matcha is produced using pure Gyokuro leaves, a variety of Camellia Sinensis that is shaded beneath special mats for 3 weeks before plucking.
The shading forces the plants to produce a higher chlorophyll content, thus increasing its nutritional value and giving the leaves a rich green color.
In fact, steeped Matcha contains nearly 10 times the polyphenols and antioxidants of regular teas, 2 times the antioxidants of a glass of red wine, approximately 9 times the beta-carotene of spinach, and 4 times that of carrots. (source)
Matcha Tea Benefits
Here are just a few reasons you should make the switch from tea bags to tea powder.
1. Fights Cancer
Matcha is said to have 100x more epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) than other teas (1). EGCG Is the most effective cancer Chemopreventive Polyphenol in green tea (2).
Studies show that it’s effective against breast, ovarian, prostate and lung cancer as well as many other varieties of the disease (3).
2. Boosts Metabolism
Matcha is often used as pre-workout supplement to increase energy and focus in the gym. It works by making the workout less taxing on the mind and body (4). In fact, it’s often used to flavor pre and post-workout smoothies.
Studies have also shown drinking matcha before a workout increases fat loss (5). It’s estimated that matcha can help you lose 25% more weight.
3. Supplies Energy
Unlike coffee, matcha slowly releases caffeine over several hours as opposed to all at once, so you feel energized all day (6). This is because it contains L-theanine, which can also improve focus. Other tea varieties contain this amino acids is significantly lower quantities.
A recent study found that : “. . . taken throughout the day [green tea] significantly benefit speed of perception and more consistent levels of simple task performance. L-theanine appears to antagonize the stimulatory effects of caffeine by decreasing seratonin levels that have been artificially elevated by caffeine.” (7)
4. Supports Skin Health
Matcha polyphenols have anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties that may help prevent the development and growth of skin tumors (8). It’s also said to have a positive effect in protecting the skin against UV damage and premature aging (9).
5. Fights Stress
L-theanine, mentioned above, is also responsible for increasing alpha brain wave activity, which promotes relaxation (10).
A study published in the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy found that :
“increased alpha activity in the brain induced by L-theanine has been associated with increased creativity, increased performance under stress, and improved learning and concentration as well as decreased anxiety.” (11).