Traditionally in Japanese culture, Monks drank matcha before meditation to increase their mental focus, and Samurais drank it before going into battle because of its energising properties. So, it would seem that they knew of the advantages of this potent green tea powder long before us.
Recent studies have only just begun to scratch the surface in realising matcha's full health benefits, but below are the top five matcha tea health claims known (or hypothesised) by science so far.
#1 Long-lasting energy boost
A bowl of matcha provides 34mg of caffeine – not bad considering an espresso coffee provides 60mg, but the tea's effect is much more intense and lasts longer because it contains amino acid and L-Theanine.
#2 Detoxifies effectively and naturally
Matcha contains small amounts of various vitamins and minerals, but is most prized for being rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are known to help our body clear out free-radicals. Free radicals are associated with human disease, including cancer, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and may also be linked to ageing.
In a recent study, two scientists, Dr. David J. Weiss and Dr. Christopher R. Anderton, used micellar electrokinetic chromatography to test the levels of antioxidants found in matcha. They found that matcha contained 137x the amount of antioxidants and 3x the amount of catechins called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) – an antioxidant linked to fighting cancer, viruses and heart disease – than other kinds of standard green tea.
#3 Increased metabolism
A recent study by a team of scientists at Anglia Ruskin University found decaffeinated green tea extract reduced body fat by 1.6 per cent in active men taking part in the study.
#4 Enhances mental alertness & focus
Evidence from human electroencephalograph (EEG) studies show that L-Theanine, a natural constituent in tea, has a direct effect on the brain. Premium matcha green tea has a greater percentage of L-Theanine than any other tea. It’s hard to provide an exact figure because it varies based on certain growth conditions, but it has been reported that matcha contains up to 46 mg of L-Theanine per cup.
#5 Lowers blood sugar & cholesterol levels
A study was performed at the Institute of Natural Medicine, University of Toyama in Toyama, Japan on the correlation between regular matcha use and and renal disease. The results of this study were included in the Journal of Medicinal Food and they suggest that matcha protects against hepatic and renal damage through the suppression of renal AGE accumulation, by decreases in hepatic glucose, triglyceride, and total cholesterol levels, and by its antioxidant activities.
When you start your day by sipping matcha, you're not only choosing a drink with lots of health benefits – you're also setting the tone for a day of good choices. Shop Organic Ceremonial Matcha >