Are you wondering, ‘is matcha healthy?’ and are interested in hearing about how drinking matcha every day may be one of the healthiest daily rituals in the world? We’ve got you covered on matcha green tea benefits!
Full of antioxidants and other healthful compounds, matcha is made up of finely powdered, young tea leaves. It's a high-quality type of green tea that has a long list of health benefits that are evidence-based.
Here are 32 potential matcha benefits, according to the leading nutritional experts and scientists.
1) A CLEAN, JITTER-FREE ENERGY SOURCE
With Matcha caffeine, there is no crash in energy levels or caffeine jitters. Unlike coffee, a cup of matcha tea contains a compound known as L-theanine, which alters the effects of the caffeine in matcha, often promoting relaxed alertness for an average of 6-8 hours. Read more.
2) MELT AWAY ANXIETY
Drinking matcha regularly may help lower anxiety in people who regularly drink it due to its high concentration of L-theanine – an amino acid that calms the stimulating effect of caffeine on the body's nervous system. Research has shown that l-theanine in matcha may help foster a state of deep relaxation and alertness within 30 to 40 minutes of ingestion. Read more.
3) TAP INTO MEDITATION WITH MORE EASE
Matcha may be beneficial for meditation, with the natural compounds in matcha providing relaxed yet focused energy. Japanese zen monks have been using matcha for hundreds of years, drinking powdered green tea to enhance their ability to meditate and concentrate for hours. Read more.
4) BOOST YOUR MOOD AND COMBAT DEPRESSION
Matcha may be very helpful for giving you peace of mind and increasing your overall happiness without causing any drowsiness. Matcha also helps promote more balanced activity levels in the brain by offering a robust nutritional boost of key vitamins and trace minerals that may help address dietary deficiencies connected to depression. Read more.
5) INCREASE SHORT-TERM FOCUS AND MEMORY
6) DELIVER 10X THE AMOUNT OF ANTIOXIDANTS AS REGULAR GREEN TEA
Matcha is one of the planet's best natural sources of antioxidants, serving over 10x the amount of antioxidants typically found in a cup of green tea. The high levels of antioxidants in matcha may help stabilize harmful free radicals, which are often the culprits behind cellular damage and chronic conditions. Read more.
7) IMPROVE SKIN HEALTH
The high concentration of antioxidants and other healthy compounds in matcha may be exactly what your skincare routine is missing for a clear, smooth, healthy complexion. Matcha can help support and nourish all different skin types — from oily, acne-prone skin to dry, aging skin. Matcha may help protect skin against UV Rays and sun damage, fight off acne, alleviate redness, promote blood flow, and even help slow down the signs of skin aging. Read more.
8) PROMOTE HEALTHY CHOLESTEROL LEVELS
Drinking matcha could be one of the simplest ways to help manage your cholesterol levels naturally. Studies have shown that individuals who drink matcha tea regularly have lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels while at the same time having higher levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. Read more.
9) PROTECT HEART HEALTH
The combination of high antioxidants, amino acids, caffeine, and heart-disease-preventing vitamins and minerals make matcha especially good for boosting overall heart health. One study found men who drink matcha are 11% less likely to develop heart disease than those who don't drink matcha. Read more.
10) FULL OF IMMUNE-BOOSTING PROPERTIES
Drinking matcha may help fortify and strengthen your immune system, helping limit the growth of bacteria or the invasion of viruses into the body. Match has high concentrations of EGCG, a potent catechin found in matcha, which is particularly effective at alleviating inflammation and enhancing overall immunity. Read more.
11) PROMOTE WEIGHT LOSS AND HIGHER CALORIC BURN
Matcha may help you decrease your body fat composition and melt off stubborn belly fat. Studies have shown matcha may increase your body's thermogenesis – the rate at which your body burns calories. Just 2-3 cups of matcha daily may help the average person lose 3lbs over three months. Read more.
12) SUPPORT HORMONAL BALANCE
Matcha may help support your overall hormonal balance, helping bring down estrogen levels as well as boost progesterone levels. Matcha also helps manage stress and improve gut health, which, if left unchecked, may also wreak havoc on your hormones. Try drinking matcha to help combat PMS symptoms and uncomfortable side effects of menopause. Read more.
13) OPTIMIZE WORKOUTS AND EXERCISE
Have you tried matcha as a pre-workout? Matcha may help optimize your exercise routine and bring your training to a whole new level. Matcha has been shown to help boost overall athletic performance, increase alertness and reaction time, improve workout stamina, rev up your caloric burn, and even shorten the recovery time between hard training sessions. Read more.
14) A NATURAL APHRODISIAC FOR MEN AND WOMEN
Matcha is an effective natural aphrodisiac for both men and women that may help boost libido and improve overall sexual pleasure. When you drink matcha, it may naturally help increase blood flow, alleviate anxiety, and increase sexual attraction and enjoyment. Read more.
15) SUPPORT HEALTHY HAIR AND SCALP
Matcha can be sipped daily (for at least three months) or applied topically to improve your overall hair health. Matcha may help protect against hair loss, support healthy regrowth, decrease the number of split ends, prevent sebum buildup, and may even slow down the premature graying of hair. Read more.
16) FEMALE-SPECIFIC HEALTH BENEFITS
Matcha offers a long list of female-specific health benefits, such as alleviating menstrual cramps, helping address potential female reproductive disorders, improved bone health in women over 60, and reduced risk and onset of breast, cervical, and ovarian cancers. Read more.
17) SUPPORT AND PROTECT COGNITIVE HEALTH WITH AGE
Drinking matcha daily may help protect against cognitive decline in both older women and men, helping ward off dementia and helping boost memory thanks to its high amount of polyphenols and amino acids. One 12-week study that sought to determine how matcha impacted cognitive function in adults over 60 found that matcha significantly improved performance on recall and memory tests. Read more.
18) MATCHA IS SAFE WHILE PREGNANT
Matcha is a safe and sound source of relaxed, focused energy for expecting mothers. Unlike coffee, matcha also comes with a longer list of added health benefits during pregnancy, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties and high concentrations of antioxidants. Read more.
19) A CLEAN ENERGY SOURCE WHILE BREASTFEEDING
Matcha is a wonderful source of relaxed yet focused energy and safe for young breastfeeding mothers. So whether you have a two-month-old or a toddler going through 'terrible twos,' you may want to consider switching from coffee to matcha. Read more.
20) MALE-SPECIFIC HEALTH BENEFITS
When it comes to male-specific health benefits, matcha may help combat diseases and conditions commonly found in men, such as heart disease, stroke risk, prostate cancer, hair loss, and more. Matcha can also be helpful in addressing erectile dysfunction and getting rid of stubborn belly fat. Read more.
21) BETTER QUALITY, RESTFUL SLEEP
Matcha has several natural compounds that deliver notable benefits for better sleep quality. L-theanine is especially good at making matcha such a sleep-friendly, sleep-promoting drink of choice. L-theanine helps reduce the stress-related hormones and neuron excitement in the brain, which allows your brain to relax fully. Read more.
22) STAY HEALTHY WHILE TRAVELING
Matcha may help reduce and even reverse the oxidative stress triggered by traveling. Bringing matcha on the go with you while traveling may be a quick, easy, and natural way to support your immune system and stay healthy. In addition, matcha is the perfect way to help address all the little stressors of travel – such as lack of sleep, long flights, rental car lines, and changing time zones. Read more.
23) BETTER DENTAL AND ORAL HEALTH
Matcha may be very good for your mouth's health, helping fight off tooth decay and reducing the risk of gum disease and fungal infections. And if you grind your teeth –just one cup of matcha in the afternoon instead of coffee could be a huge help and something to smile about. Read more.
24) MATCHA FOR SUPPORTING CANINE HEALTH
Have you asked your vet about giving your dog matcha? In small amounts and when prepared thoughtfully, green tea can help your dog maintain a healthy weight, have fresher breath, less dandruff, and better behavior – to name a few. Just remember every dog is different, and all dog breeds have unique needs. Read more.
25) CAN BE DRANK WHILE FASTING
You can enjoy a cup of matcha without worrying about breaking your fast. When prepared traditionally, matcha has practically zero calories and may even help boost weight-loss results when intermittent fasting. Read more.
26) FULL OF CATECHINS (EGCG)
The exceptionally high concentration of catechins found in matcha makes it the best natural epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) source. EGCG has been shown to help protect cells from DNA damage, promote the destruction of cancer cells, and activate enzymes that help inhibit tumor growth. Read more.
27) A NATURAL ANTI-INFLAMMATORY FOR ARTHRITIS
Drinking 2-3 cups of matcha daily may help you manage arthritic pain. The antioxidants found in matcha may help reduce inflammation and slow cartilage breakdown, making it a great drink of choice for those who have arthritis. Read more.
28) HELP KEEP TRIPS TO THE BATHROOM REGULAR
Drinking matcha may help keep your digestive tract regular. Matcha may also help get you back on track if you have digestive issues, such as trouble pooping (constipation) or diarrhea (loose stool). Plus – unlike coffee – your body doesn't become 'dependent' on matcha to go to the bathroom. Read more.
29) PART OF A HEALTHY DAILY RITUAL
Preparing matcha can be a meditative act and can be easily integrated as a healthy daily ritual in your life. Matcha can be enjoyed by oneself or in the company of others, helping promote relaxation, happiness, and acceptance. Read more.
30) CANCER-FIGHTING PROPERTIES
Thanks to the high level of catechins found in matcha and other healthful compounds, drinking matcha regularly may help lower the risk of several types of cancer, such as lung cancer and prostate cancer, with researchers saying the polyphenol concentrations in matcha play a key role. Read more.
31) REPLACE ENERGY DRINKS & SODA
Energy drinks and sodas often contain a lot of hidden sugars and unnecessary additives. High-quality matcha has a natural sweetness and caffeine content that may help replace unhealthy beverage choices. In addition, no other energy drink is known to provide the calming effect that matcha does. Read more.
32) NATURALLY SUPPORT FERTILITY
Matcha is not only helpful for women trying to conceive but is also helpful in improving sperm count and quality in men. Matcha may help support female fertility by keeping eggs healthy and decreasing the chances of early pregnancy loss. In men, matcha may help reduce sperm abnormalities while also delivering some relaxed, focused energy. With healthier and happier reproductive systems comes a boost to fertility and healthy pregnancy. Read more.
All of this information on the health benefits of matcha tea are based on scientific evidence, written by our health journalists and fact checked by our own health experts.
What Is Matcha Green Tea?
There's no question that green tea is good for you, but matcha takes health benefits to a whole new level. When you make conventional loose-leaf green tea, you discard the leaves and any nutrients left behind after hot-water infusion.
Matcha tea uses the entire leaf, made by grinding each specially grown and harvested for use in this fine powder. Since none of the rich nutrients are lost, matcha holds the ultimate green tea superpowers for health.
Grades of Matcha
Matcha runs from the highest grades to the lowest. Based on a variety of factors, the highest-grade is grown and harvested in Japan under the most pristine, hand-picked, and optimum conditions.
These higher grades have a brilliant green color, rich aroma, and a distinct, but not bitter taste. Traditional tea ceremonies use ‘premium’ or ceremonial grade to make thick tea, and many daily drinkers outside of traditional settings prefer this quality for its bold flavor, striking emerald-green color, energy-building properties, and health benefits.
Below the ceremonial grade is ‘Usucha’ or thin-tea which offers a strong balance of premium characteristics (color, aroma, effects) while being lower cost and with a marginal range of bitter notes. This sharper taste can be preferred by some, though is traditionally considered unfit for ceremony. The added bitterness comes from a higher tannin content (i.e. polyphenols which are good for our health), so you’re still getting all of green tea’s superpowers.
At the end of the matcha spectrum, culinary-grade still has many valuable uses and most all of the same health benefits. This grade of matcha is used to impart a sweet and savory flavor into many of your favorite recipes.It’s perfect for smoothies, cookies, cakes, soba, and even green tea ice cream.
The lower cost of culinary grade comes with a greater range of bitterness; this is usually because the leaves used are more mature, and harvested later in the season, meaning the rich chlorophyll and amino acids like L-theanine are still present but with a greater tannin and catechin content. Culinary uses aside, it’s a great low-cost option for an immediate health-boost.
Why Is Japanese Matcha Superior to Matcha Grown in Other Regions?
The story of matcha is centuries old. Japanese Zen monks first learned its value when they drank matcha before long hours of meditation. Once they discovered that drinking matcha enhanced their focus and kept them awake during long sessions of mental focus, it wasn't long before the Samurai adopted it as a ritual which optimized physical and cognitive performance during training and battle.
With strong roots in Japanese culture, the growing and harvesting of matcha has developed as a labor-intensive agricultural technique. Perfected over the past millennium, today the best of Japanese matcha tea is produced in Uji, a region known for its superior quality and the careful attention each tea plant receives; matcha from this area represents the most brilliant of green color, smooth flavor, and it's amazing benefits on mood and health.
Is matcha good for you? Matcha gives you energy without the crash and jittery side effects of coffee and sugary drinks. Matcha does not spike insulin levels, is always non-GMO, and is compatible with keto, paleo, vegan,vegetarian, and virtually every other diet. It’s concentrated with important nutrients that are usually hard-to-get, or near-impossible in typical diets; that includes antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll, zinc, magnesium, and many more. With so many additional body-cleansing and supporting components, matcha is one of nature’s oldest solutions to better health, and is more time-tested and scientifically established than most every other pill or supplement out there. Not to mention, coffee which has only been around for about 400 years, matcha green tea has been connected to humans for more than 1,000 years.
Easily add a cup of matcha to your daily routine, and mix culinary grade into your favorite recipes. Matcha powdered green tea delivers super-powered health benefits you simply cannot find anywhere else.
Matcha vs Regular Green Tea
Loose-leaf green tea is rich in nutrients and health benefits. How does regular green tea stack up to matcha? Made from the entire leaf, matcha green tea's health benefits far outweigh those of traditional loose-leaf green tea.
You will have to drink 10 cups of loose-leaf green tea to get the antioxidants, L-theanine, vitamin C, carotene, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, and overall nutritional value you get in one cup of matcha.
Matcha vs Coffee and Sugary Drinks
Matcha has caffeine like coffee, but your body processes it in a completely different way. The caffeine in matcha is released slowly, and the amino-acids control how it functions in the brain. This way you don’t get the jitters, anxiety, heart palpitations, or that familiar mid-afternoon caffeine crash from when you drink coffee. Unlike coffee, matcha also doesn’t irritate the gastrointestinal tract, instead it’s a probiotic for our gut-microbiome.
Matcha has an appropriate amount of caffeine to keep you mentally alert and is absorbed by the body more effectively to give you four to six hours of energy instead of the one to three you get from coffee. And, if you need an extra mid-day boost, you can even drink matcha in the early evening without worrying about interfering with your sleep. Matcha can provide you with jitter-free energy and focus.
Many common energy drinks contain too much sugar, leading to tooth decay, weight gain, obesity, as well as an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Matcha tea is not only low in calories but also free of the harmful effects of sugars,like those seen from soda, ready-to-drink coffees, and others.
Matcha's Antioxidant Level vs Other Foods
Many foods have been given the label of “super” over time, but how many have truly earned it? Many of these so-called superfoods do contain nutrients that are good for you; Nuts, dark-chocolate, berries, fruits, and vegetables all provide health benefits. All part of a healthy diet, but in this case matcha tea truly earns the title of “superfood” when it comes to antioxidants.
Each food has been measured for their antioxidant capacities, in a unit called ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) Goji berries, for example, contain 253 ORAC units per gram. Dark chocolate contains 227. Pecans have 180; walnuts, 135. Pomegranates have 105, and wild berries, acai berries, broccoli and spinach all have less than 100. Where does matcha stand? Matcha green tea has a whopping 1,348 ORAC units per cup.
Matcha is not just a feel-good tea, It’s thus a real superfood that boosts your physical health, improves concentration, and delivers health benefits you don't get from other foods or beverages.
You may also be wondering . . .
Why Is Matcha Good for You?
Matcha tea may seem like just another type of tea, but nothing can be further from the truth. Regular green teas only use a fraction of the nutrients stored in the leaves. As the tea brews, only a small portion of the nutrients end up in the water. The rest is still in the leaves which are cast aside, and are already at a disadvantage because of subpar harvesting techniques.
Matcha tea, on the other hand, allows you to consume the whole leaf. This ensures that the full benefits will be made available to you; you’ll be leaving others in the dust by choosing matcha over loose-leaf green tea, reaching your full potential with every cup.
Why Is Matcha More Costly Compared with Other Green Teas?
The price of matcha reflects the labor involved in producing it. In Japan, high-quality matcha is a luxury item, always expensive, but there are many grades of matcha. They vary in price as well as quality.
Food grade, or ingredient, matcha is used to make green-tea ice cream and other sweets, smoothies, and green-tea noodles (cha soba); it is relatively inexpensive. The most expensive high-grade matcha is drunk in the tea ceremony.
When to buy Culinary Grade Matcha?
Food grade, culinary, or sometimes ‘ingredient matcha’ can be used to make green-tea ice cream, sweets, smoothies, and green-tea noodles (cha soba); it is relatively inexpensive, where on the other end,the most expensive ‘ceremonial’ high-grade matcha is reserved for the traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony. Nonetheless, all matcha carries a shared host of health benefits and energizing properties.
What Does Matcha Taste Like?
Matcha green tea has a flavor often described as umami, or savory, typically associated with broths and cooked meats and pleasant to the palate. The lower grades of matcha progressively taste more bitter notes, which improper preparation can exacerbate. When you’re choosing a grade of matcha, decide on how you’d like to consume it, and be sure to sift it, and use only steamed, not boiling water. Culinary grades are not recommended for daily drinking, as the tannin content for many is unpleasant to taste, so that’s why it’s important to select a well-sourced Koicha (ceremonial grade, also known as thick tea) or Usucha (sipping tea, also known as thin-tea).
Prepared right, and with the proper grade, matcha has an irresistible flavor. If that’s not your experience, double check your source, quality, and preparation style.
How Do You Make a Bowl of Matcha?
Follow these steps to make the perfect bowl of matcha:
Heat water in a kettle until steam first appears. Water temperature should be around 180°F. Remove from heat. Water temperature is extremely important when making matcha to keep it from tasting bitter.
Pour 1/2 cup of hot water into the waiting matcha bowl. Dip the whisk into the warm water. Remove whisk, discard water, and dry the bowl.
Using a matcha tea scoop, measure 3 scoops, the approximate equivalent of 1 teaspoon into the warmed bowl.
Add 1/4 cup of hot water.
Use a matcha tea whisk to mix the tea and water. Begin slowly with a back-and-forth motion, and then increase the intensity with quick strokes to create a froth.
Rinse the scoop and whisk. And enjoy your matcha.