Matcha Benefits: Scientific Review and How to Monitor the Health Benefits

Did you know that consuming matcha, a fine powder made from shade-grown green tea leaves, can offer numerous health benefits? Unlike regular green tea, high-quality matcha contains both caffeine and theanine, providing sustained energy without the crash. During the last three weeks before harvest, matcha leaves are shaded, resulting in higher theanine levels and a rich umami flavor. Theanine promotes calmness and mental clarity, while caffeine offers an energy boost. Say goodbye to jitters and anxiety often associated with coffee consumption.

Matcha has been integral to traditional Japanese tea ceremonies for centuries, highlighting its cultural significance. This nutrient-rich green tea powder is packed with antioxidants that support mental sharpness and heart health, aiding in weight loss. Discover how matcha can seamlessly complement your daily health routine. Simply whisk matcha with hot water using a bamboo whisk for a refreshing cup of matcha green tea. Learn more about the benefits and potential side effects of consuming quality matcha as loose leaf or in cups of matcha.

Matcha has also been the cornerstone of traditional Japanese tea ceremonies for centuries, underscoring its historical and cultural significance in Japan. This nutrient-rich shaded green tea powder is a treasure trove of antioxidants that bolster mental sharpness and heart wellbeing. Experience sustained energy and focus without the jitters. Read on to discover how matcha’s unique composition can seamlessly complement and enhance your daily health routine.

Key Takeaways

  • Matcha contains a unique blend of theanine, catechins, and caffeine that can improve cognitive function, enhance mood, and offer a gentle, lasting boost in energy.

  • Rich in antioxidants, matcha green tea benefits notably support cardiovascular health by improving cholesterol levels, reducing blood pressure, and preventing atherosclerosis.

  • Regular consumption of matcha can aid in weight loss by increasing metabolism and fat oxidation, and it also has cancer-fighting properties, improves skin health, and strengthens the immune system.

Matcha Green Tea Powder's Unique Composition

Matcha tea, a powdered form of Japanese green tea, is a unique blend of theanine, catechins, and caffeine. Unlike regular green tea, which is steeped and then removed, traditional matcha tea utilizes the entire tea leaf, which is stone-ground into a fine powder. This method of consuming the entire tea leaf results in a higher antioxidant content, potential to help protect the liver, promote heart health, aid in weight loss, enhance brain function, and even potentially prevent cancer, though it's important to consume matcha in moderation due to its higher caffeine and catechin content. This process results in the distinct matcha taste that sets it apart from other green teas, including powdered green tea.

This process retains more caffeine and allows for a higher concentration of antioxidants, offering numerous health benefits that far surpass those of other green teas, especially when drinking green tea regularly.

Theanine and Caffeine

Matcha stands out from other teas and energy drinks due to the synergistic interaction of theanine and caffeine. Theanine, an amino acid, is known for its ability to promote relaxation and reduce stress. The caffeine in matcha, though less than in coffee, works synergistically with theanine to:

  • Improve cognitive function

  • Enhance memory

  • Increase focus

  • Reduce anxiety and stress

Uniquely, matcha powder benefits provide a calm and focused caffeine high. Unlike the jittery rush and subsequent crash associated with coffee, the theanine in matcha moderates the effects of caffeine, resulting in a gentle increase in alertness and energy that can last up to six hours. 

 

Antioxidant Powerhouse

Matcha distinguishes itself as a potent source of antioxidants, surpassing the benefits of regular green tea consumption. Incorporating green tea powder daily, this green tea contains a wealth of flavonoids, polyphenols, and vitamin C, which help protect cells, reduce inflammation, and promote overall health.

Catechins, in particular, are a class of antioxidants found in high amounts in matcha. Compared to traditional green tea, matcha offers a more concentrated source of catechins, providing enhanced antioxidant benefits that may contribute to improved heart health, cancer prevention, and weight loss. Green tea catechins possess anti-inflammatory properties and are capable of stabilizing inflammatory responses and disrupting the formation and stability of atherosclerotic plaque. This makes matcha an excellent choice for maintaining heart health and fighting off the damaging effects of free radicals.

Cognitive and Mental Health Benefits of Matcha

Matcha health benefits are not limited to physical health. Its unique blend of theanine, catechins, and caffeine offers a host of cognitive and mental health benefits. Regular consumption of matcha can potentially improve cognitive function, enhance mood, and boost mental performance, making it the perfect brew for the mind. Discovering the benefits of matcha tea can lead to a healthier lifestyle and improved mental well-being.

Anxiety Relief

In today’s stress-filled world, matcha offers a soothing remedy. The L-theanine content in matcha has been shown to promote relaxation and relieve anxiety. It works by elevating levels of neurotransmitters like GABA, dopamine, and serotonin in the brain, which enhance mood and promote a state of calm.

Interestingly, the calming effects of matcha are not compromised by its caffeine content. Unlike other caffeinated drinks, matcha doesn’t cause jitters or a caffeine crash. Instead, the theanine in matcha works synergistically with caffeine, promoting a state of relaxed alertness.

Encha matcha

Mood Enhancement

Beyond being a beverage, Matcha also serves as a mood-enhancer. The combination of theanine, catechins, and caffeine in matcha can improve mood and combat depression. Theanine is known to reduce stress and anxiety, and improve mental focus and concentration, all of which contribute to an uplifted mood.

Catechins in matcha have been shown to inhibit anxiety and depression-like symptoms and provide protection against the development of depression. Additionally, caffeine in matcha can enhance attention and work performance during psychological stress, further contributing to mood enhancement.

Cardiovascular Health

Matcha also offers significant benefits for the heart, surpassing those of steeped green tea in effectiveness. Its rich array of potent compounds may significantly improve cardiovascular health. The catechins found in matcha green tea have been demonstrated to lower LDL cholesterol, also known as ‘bad’ cholesterol, and raise HDL cholesterol, also known as ‘good’ cholesterol. These actions support a healthy lipid balance in the body, which in turn contributes to improved cardiovascular health. Compared to steeped green tea, matcha green tea powder may be much more effective when it comes to heart health, recommending the introduction of matcha into the regular diet as it may significantly lower the risk of having a stroke or heart attack.

In addition to regulating cholesterol levels, matcha also helps in:

  • Preventing the formation of atherosclerotic plaque in arteries

  • Supporting lipid metabolism

  • Detoxifying free radicals

  • Protecting artery walls from damage

This is largely thanks to its vitamin E content.

Further solidifying matcha’s status as a heart-healthy beverage, studies have shown that green tea, including matcha, may provide protective effects against cardiovascular diseases. It has been linked to significant cardio-metabolic benefits, including:

  • Lowering both systolic and diastolic blood pressure

  • Reducing the risk of heart disease

  • Improving cholesterol levels

  • Enhancing blood vessel function

These findings highlight the potential of matcha as a natural way to support heart health.

By including matcha in your daily routine, you’re not just treating your taste buds to a delightful experience, but you’re also doing your heart a favor. So the next time you reach for a cup of matcha, remember you’re also taking a step towards better cardiovascular health.

Weight Loss and Metabolism Boost

For those aiming to lose weight, matcha could be a valuable ally. The compounds in matcha, including green tea extract, catechins, and caffeine, can enhance metabolism and promote weight loss. These compounds work together to boost thermogenesis, the body’s rate of burning calories, leading to an increase in fat burning and overall weight loss.

Furthermore, matcha has been found to enhance exercise-induced fat oxidation, which aids in weight loss. Plus, its anti-inflammatory properties can help to manage the low-grade inflammation often associated with obesity. So whether you’re looking to lose weight or just maintain a healthy weight, adding matcha to your diet could give you the boost you need.

Cancer-Fighting Properties

Matcha’s advantageous effects go beyond weight loss and heart health, serving as a potent weapon against cancer. Matcha contains EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), a potent antioxidant, and gallic acid, both of which have been reported to exhibit anti-cancer activity. These compounds hinder the growth of cancer cells and can even enhance the efficacy of chemotherapy drugs.

Numerous scientific studies have suggested a connection between the consumption of green tea and a reduced risk of certain types of cancers. Matcha, in particular, is packed with antioxidants and compounds that have anti-cancer properties, making it an excellent addition to a cancer-fighting diet.

Skin Health and Beauty

Matcha also confers significant benefits to the skin. Packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, matcha can protect your skin against UV rays and promote skin regeneration. This makes it a fantastic addition to a skincare routine, helping to keep your skin healthy and radiant.

Matcha also contains compounds that can help fight acne. The tea polyphenols in matcha have been found to reduce sebum production and treat acne vulgaris due to their anti-inflammatory properties. Whether you drink it as a tea or apply it as a mask, matcha can help to enhance your skin’s health and beauty.

Immune System Support

Additionally, Matcha is pivotal in strengthening the immune system. Its high concentration of EGCg antioxidants helps to safeguard the immune system from oxidants and radicals. This, combined with the presence of beneficial bacteria that support the growth of a healthy gut microbiota, makes matcha a perfect choice for bolstering your body’s defenses.

Furthermore, the EGCg antioxidants in matcha have the ability to impede the growth of different pathogens, such as a variety of viruses like DNA virus, RNA virus, and coronavirus, as well as gram-negative bacteria. So, drinking matcha not only tastes good but also helps in keeping your immune system robust and resilient.

Matcha for Athletic Performance

Beyond its physical and mental health benefits, Matcha is also beneficial for enhancing athletic performance. The combination of caffeine for energy and L-theanine for a calm and focused state of mind can enhance workout performance, making matcha an ideal pre-workout supplement.

Matcha’s positive impact on athletic performance extends beyond just the workout. It contributes to improved performance and endurance by:

  • Reducing oxidative stress and inflammation
  • Improving fat metabolism
  • Supporting brain function
  • Maintaining blood pressure and heart rate

This results in increased alertness and stamina during exercise.

And the benefits don’t stop when the workout ends. Matcha is also significant in post-exercise recovery. It helps moderate stress and fatigue responses, reduce muscle soreness, and protect muscles from oxidative stress and inflammation. So, whether you’re a professional athlete or just someone who enjoys working out, matcha can give your performance a natural boost.

Matcha and Gut Health

Apart from its myriad health benefits, matcha also promotes a healthy gut. It contains a variety of beneficial bacteria that support the growth of healthy gut bacteria. These probiotics play a crucial role in maintaining a balanced and healthy gut microbiota, which is essential for overall health.

Matcha also supports healthy digestion. It enhances gastrointestinal motility and increases the production of polyamines, which are essential for gut health. This ultimately leads to an improvement in overall digestion, ensuring your gut remains healthy.

Moreover, matcha can alleviate common digestive issues like constipation and diarrhea. It soothes the bowels, provides dietary fiber, and ensures the stool is softer and easier to pass. So, whether you’re looking to boost your gut health or just maintain a healthy digestive system, matcha is an excellent choice.

Preparing and Enjoying Drinking Matcha

Encha matcha latte

Having understood the vast health benefits of matcha, you might be curious about adding it to your daily routine. With a variety of matcha powders available, including ceremonial and culinary grades, finding the right matcha green tea powder for your needs has never been easier. Preparing and enjoying matcha is simple and versatile, with various methods and recipes available to suit individual preferences and tastes.

Traditional matcha is prepared by whisking the matcha green tea powder with hot water in a tea bowl using a bamboo whisk. However, modern methods have added a twist to this ancient practice. You can make matcha in different ways, such as:

Matcha latte: Add steamed milk to matcha green tea

Frothy matcha: Use an electric milk frother to whisk matcha until frothy

Matcha drink recipes: Experiment with different matcha drink recipes

You can find more of our matcha recipes here

Whether you prefer it hot or iced, sweetened or unsweetened, there’s a matcha recipe out there for everyone.

TRY ENCHA MATCHA

Summary

From boosting cognitive function and mood to enhancing skin health and athletic performance, the benefits of matcha are as varied as they are profound. Its unique blend of theanine, catechins, and caffeine, along with other beneficial compounds, make it a powerhouse of health and wellness. Whether you’re looking to improve your heart health, lose weight, fight cancer, or just enjoy a delicious and healthy beverage, matcha green tea is a fantastic choice. So, why not make a cup of matcha part of your daily routine and experience the myriad benefits it has to offer?

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the benefits of matcha?

Matcha is a rich source of antioxidants and has potential health benefits including supporting heart and brain health, metabolism, and reducing inflammation and oxidative stress. It also contains nutrients such as vitamin C, chromium, magnesium, selenium, and zinc, and may help in reducing blood sugar and cholesterol.

Is it OK to drink matcha everyday?

It's generally recommended to drink 1-2 cups of matcha per day, as it provides antioxidants and nutrients while also limiting caffeine intake. However, consuming matcha in moderation is important due to its caffeine content and potential exposure to chemicals.

Does matcha burn belly fat?

Yes, matcha can help you burn belly fat by increasing calorie burn and lowering body mass index. Does the matcha itself burn the fat on your belly, not exactly.

When should I drink matcha?

You should drink matcha right after you get up or before you leave for work to get an excellent caffeine boost and stay alert, making it great for starting your day feeling energized.

What is the difference between matcha and regular green tea?

Matcha differs from regular green tea as it uses the whole tea leaf ground into a powder, retaining more caffeine and antioxidants, providing greater health benefits.

Scientific Review of Matcha Benefits for Focus and Attention

A 2017 review article published in Phytomedicine analyzed 21 studies and identified positive associations between the combination of theanine and caffeine in green tea and such cognitive benefits as attention and memory, for example, activation of working memory revealed in functional MRI. 

A 2017 study published in Food Research International had 23 participants drink matcha tea, eat matcha bar or had placebo tea or bar. Basic attention capabilities and psychomotor speed in stimulus response were improved with the intake of matcha compared to placebo groups. The effect was more evident after drinking matcha tea than eating a matcha bar.

A 2014 review article published in Nutrition Reviews analyzed data from 11 studies and showed that participants reported both the feeling of alertness and feeling of calmness after the intake of caffeine and theanine and performed more accurately in cognitive tasks of identifying or searching objects.

A 2009 study published in Brain Topography found that intake of L-theanine helped the participants sustain attention in a highly demanding visuo-spatial attention task.

A 2008 study published in Nutritional Neuroscience found that the combination of L-theanine and caffeine improved both speed and accuracy in participants' attention-switching tasks.  

Matcha Antioxidant Catechins (including EGCG)

Antioxidant is a general word describing the molecules that prevent free radicals from oxidating human cells. Oxidation underlies aging and many diseases including cancer. There are many kinds of antioxidants.

A powerful group of antioxidants, named Catechins, is abundant in natural green tea leaves, hence in whole-leaf ground-up matcha powder. The most active and abundant catechin is Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). All three grades of Encha Organic Matcha have the same amount of Catechins. 

Guide for Monitoring Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Benefits from Drinking Encha

Skin: Take weekly pictures of your face without any makeup in the same lighting. In 2-3 months after daily drinking of Encha, you might see smoother and brighter skin because antioxidant Catechins help reduce UV damage and are anti-inflammatory. 

Metabolism: All other things equal, drinking Encha daily should stimulate metabolism and help weight management. Also do not skip breakfast when you drink your morning Encha because it stimulates your digestive system. Instead, go light on your dinner.

Immunity and disease prevention: Monitor your health measures and see how your general immunity and specific health measures might be improved.

Scientific Review of Matcha Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory Benefits

Skin: A 2019 review article published in Nutrients identified that catechins helped reduce UV damage, increase the level of collagen and elastin fibers, and reduce the expression of collagen-degrading MMP-3 enzymes. 

Skin: A 2013 study published in British Journal of Nutrition found after 12 weeks of intake of catechins, human skin showed catechin metabolites and one form of reduced damage from UV radiation.

Fat management: A 2018 article published in Nutrition Research conducted a pooled data analysis from six human trials of 921 participants. The analysis identified that after 12 weeks of daily intake of catechins, the participants' abdominal fat area, visceral fat area and subcutaneous fat area were reduced. Their blood pressure improved. 

Fat management: A 2007 article published in Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry identified from in vitro studies that catechins, particularly EGCG, inhibit the intestinal absorption of dietary lipids. 

Cancer prevention or amelioration: A summary article on National Cancer Institute website provides a comprehensive reading. The antioxidant property of catechins may inhibit tumor cell proliferation. The article mentions that some studies "have linked tea consumption to reduced risks of cancers of the colon, breast, ovary, prostate, and lung".

Heart disease prevention: A 2008 article in Current Medicinal Chemistry thoroughly reviewed epidemiological, clinical and experimental evidence. Catechins exert vascular protective effects through multiple mechanisms, including antioxidative, anti-hypertensive, anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative, anti-thrombogenic, and lipid lowering effects (lowering LDL). 

Anti-inflammatory effects: A 2017 study published in Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology found that catechins, specifically EGCG, effectively inhibited the production of pro-inflammatory neural mediators (IL-6 and IL-8), and expression of Cox-2 in primary human rheumatoid arthritis synovial fibroblasts. 

Anti-inflammatory effects: A 2017 article published in Molecules identified multiple molecular mechanisms and neural pathways in which catechins inhibit excessive oxidative stress and exert anti-inflammatory effects, particularly in relation to the digestive system.

Note: Information on Encha site and products is NOT medical advice. You should obtain medical advice from a licensed health care professional. If you experience any adverse effects from drinking Encha, you should stop right away. See Encha Terms and Conditions for full details.