By. Constance DeGroat

At Panorama music festival last year, I survived off of four hours of sleep per night, and worked 12 hours or more on my feet for 3 days. I needed energy and focus, fast, before my shift started. A curious neon green drink was being mixed with lemonade, watermelon juice and/or served straight in one of the concession stands. Whatever it was, it looked refreshing. The sign read Green Tea Matcha. It didn’t take me long to equate green tea means energy. I ordered the green tea matcha watermelon. Never had caffeine tasted so refreshingly good.

The expected college caffeine crash, from overindulgence in coffee, didn’t occur when I drank the matcha green tea. I experienced one of many green tea benefits; a steady flow of energy for over three hours. There’s no caffeine crash because the slow rate of caffeine entering in the blood causes the body to increase insulin (Breakaway Matcha).

Green Tea Matcha Benefits

Calm Alertness

Unlike coffee, green tea matcha does not release the stress hormone cortisol. Green Tea and green tea matcha are the drink of choice for meditation because they cause a calm alertness. The secret to the calm alertness green tea matcha gives you is L-theanine, a rare amino acid that promotes keeping you both calm and focused while on task (Breakaway Matcha).

Consider adding a cup of green tea matcha to your morning ritual of affirmations! Unlike coffee, you are more alert and calm during stressful situations. Matcha is better than drinking coffee for creative types, coding, or any student working on their last-minute term paper.

Detox via Chlorophyll

Caffeine isn’t the only way green tea matcha provides you with energy. The shading process used to make matcha tea allows for more chlorophyll to be produced. Chlorophyll naturally detoxes our body of the heavy metals and chemical toxins we take in from free radicals. Having heavy metals in your body can cause you to feel fatigued (Snyder).

Detox via Antioxidants

Antioxidants also play a role in your body’s detox. This antioxidant in green tea (matcha) goes by the name EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate). According to Tufts University research, the antioxidants in green tea matcha rate higher than any superfood at 1,573 units. That’s an antioxidant level 6.2 times that of goji berries, 7 times the antioxidants of dark chocolate, 17 times that of blueberries and 60.5 times the content of spinach (Snyder). The chlorophyll and antioxidants in green tea matcha are part of what makes this superfood the perfect addition to your weight loss plan.

Green Tea Matcha and Weight Loss

Green Tea Matcha contains catechins. Catechins have thermogenic properties and promote fat oxidation. This translates to mean drinking green tea matcha causes the body to rely on using its fat reserves instead of protein for energy. Matcha green tea increases your body’s daily burning of fat for energy from 8-10% to 35-43%. Your body will start using all the extra fat you have put on as weight instead of relying on protein for energy (Kjos). You might even find one of the ingredients in your diet supplement is green tea. On top of containing catechins green tea matcha also contains vitamin A, vitamin B-complex, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, trace minerals and other polyphenols (Snyder).

Is working out part of your diet regime? Start replacing your pre-workout drink with the healthier option of green tea matcha. You will still have the energy for your workout, but without the jitters. Green tea matcha combined with working out allows you to lose 25% more fat than you would by just working out without drinking green tea matcha (Snyder).

Green Tea Matcha Preparations

Before being hangry inspires you to grab a snickers bar, be more involved with your diet and be prepared.  Breakaway Matcha has matcha on the go cold brew packets available to purchase online. Cold brew matcha is better for fat loss than hot green tea matcha. It is also easier to prepare. Simply shake a teaspoon in a water bottle. The moment you feel hungry grab some matcha.

You have to be careful when purchasing matcha online. I am guilty of loving the green tea matcha in my smoothies and as a Frappuccino at Starbucks. As stated previously, dairy depletes the ability for your body to use the antioxidants in matcha. The reason I stopped ordering it is that Starbucks’s matcha has hidden sugar.

Why does Matcha cost so much? Japan sells matcha primarily domestically and only exports 1% of the green tea matcha it produces. Matcha is completely worth it. 1 cup of matcha is equivalent to the nutritional benefits found in 10 cups for green tea. Both are made with the same leaves, except when you drink matcha you are drinking the leaves whole (Snyder).

If the creamy rich taste of green tea matcha isn’t for you there is always hot or iced green tea or green tea extract. Check out all these different ways to have your green tea health benefits.

 

 

Here’s some Matcha Green Tea Recipes to try before summer ends and for the fall season.

 

Matcha Green Tea Lemonade

Recipe from EpicMatcha Website.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Ingredients
2 cups of hot water
½ teaspoon Epic Matcha Green Tea Powder
1 cup pure cane sugar
½ cup fresh squeezed lemon (or lime) juice (about 3 lemons)
1 ½ quarts cold water.
Directions:
1.     Stir the Matcha green tea powder and sugar into the hot water.
2.     Once dissolved, add the lemon juice and cold water.
3.     3. Chill and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes
4.     Enjoy! (Epic Matcha)

 

Iced Matcha Green Tea Watermelon

Recipe from Enzo Matcha.
Makes 2 cups

 

Ingredients:
-1 ¾ cups seeded and cubed watermelon
-½ cup water
-1 teaspoon matcha
-Ice
 
Directions:
1.     In a small bowl, whisk together matcha and water. Puree watermelon in a blender until smooth.
 
2.     Into two cups filled with ice, pour in the watermelon puree first, then the matcha.
 
3.     Garnish with tiny watermelon wedges (ICED MATCHA ((GREEN TEA)) WATERMELON).

 

 Vegan Pumpkin Spice Matcha Latte

Preparation 2 minutes
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients:
1 cup boiling water
1 cup almond milk (or plant milk of choice)
1-2 tablespoons maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)
½ teaspoon matcha powder
¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons MCT oil (optional)
 
Instructions
1.     Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until frothy.
2.     Pour into a mug and enjoy immediately.

(Alyssa)

 

Remember

  • Never add matcha directly to boiling water. Let the water sit for 5 minutes before adding matcha. Or it will taste like bitter grass instead and not sweet (Breakaway Matcha).
  • Dairy in green tea of any sort results in the body not using any of the health benefits (Breakaway Matcha).
  • Cooking matcha at certain temperatures can take away from it’s benefits. A great book on cooking with Matcha is The Matcha Miracle, Boost Energy, Focus and Health with Green Tea Powder (Snyder).

 

 

Sources

Admin. “8 Key Reasons to Drink Matcha for Optimal Health.” Breakaway Matcha, Breakaway

Matcha. https://www.breakawaymatcha.com/journal/8-key-reasons-to-drink-matcha-

for-optimal-health/

Alyssa. “Vegan Pumpkin Spice Mathcha Latte.” Simply Quinoa, Simply Quinoa, 13 Jan 2017,

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Matcha Latte

EpicMatcha. “Matcha Green Tea Lemonade is Energizing, and Refreshing.” Epic Matcha, Epic

Matcha, 1 May 2017, http://epicmatcha.com/energizing-matcha-green-tea-lemonade-recipe/

“ICED MATCHA (GREEN TEA) WATERMELON.”Matcha Green Tea Powder / Enzo’s Matcha/

Amazon Matcha, Enzo Matcha, enzomatcha.com/recipe/drink/iced-matcha-green-tea -watermelon

Kjos, Rebekah, “Matcha and Weight Loss.” Got Matcha Premium Tea Co. LLC, Got Matcha

Premium Tea Co. LLC, 2010, www.gotmatcha.com/recipes/.

Snyder, Mariza, et al. The Matcha Miracle: Boost Energy, Focus and Health with Green Tea

Powder. Ulysses Press, 2015.

Feature image via Eater