Is your morning coffee just not cutting it anymore? Then it could be time to swap out your regular cup of joe for a different beverage: matcha.
Due to the rise of wellness and health trends, matcha became extremely popular as an alternative to coffee (opens in new tab) and as an ingredient to use in baking recipes. If you’re unsure what matcha is, it’s specially grown and processed green tea leaves that come from the camellia sinensis plant.
What makes matcha different from traditional green tea is how it’s grown and harvested. According to Healthline (opens in new tab), matcha plants are covered 20-30 days before harvesting to avoid direct sunlight and to increase chlorophyll production and amino acids. When harvested, the leaves are ground up into a fine powder, aka matcha.
Many health trends have proven that matcha is beneficial for the body, and in some cases, it’s seen as better than coffee. Coffee can give you an incredible boost of energy but it also has its downsides, like heartburn, insomnia and jitters, plus if you’ve built up a huge tolerance for caffeine, it might not be affecting you anymore.
If this is the case for you or you want to switch to a drink that’s healthier, here are 7 reasons why you should consider drinking matcha over coffee.
1. Provides a better energy boost
The main reason people choose to drink matcha instead of coffee is because it provides a better energy boost. Because of the way matcha is harvested, it contains the nutrients from the entire tea leaf, providing you with a greater amount of caffeine. While matcha has less caffeine than coffee (although this depends on cup size), it’s found to be more effective in helping you stay awake, alert and focused. In addition, matcha won’t give you that jittery feeling that coffee does which is a bonus if you consume a lot of caffeine. For more coffee facts, take a look at why you shouldn’t drink coffee first thing in the morning (opens in new tab).
2. High in antioxidants
As a superfood, matcha has high levels of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Matcha and green tea contain plant compounds called polyphenols and catechins which are types of antioxidants. These natural antioxidants help fight free radicals, reduce cell damage, prevent diseases and keep vital muscles and organs healthy. Matcha is also packed full of vitamins like A, B, C, E and K so you’re getting key nutrients into your body when you drink a matcha latte.
3. Improves brain function
It’s been found in many studies that people who drink matcha can experience enhanced brain function, improved attention spans, better memory and quicker reaction times. This is because matcha contains compounds including caffeine, chlorophyll and L-theanine, the latter of which increases focus and alters the effect of caffeine so you’re less likely to get an energy crash after drinking it. Drinking matcha regularly has also been found to help slow cognitive decline (opens in new tab) as the vitamins in it are associated with improved cognitive function.
4. Good for the heart, liver & bones
Several studies have shown that drinking matcha is good for your heart, liver, bones and blood. The nutrients within the matcha leaves can protect the health of these important organs and can reduce the risk of certain diseases, like heart disease or liver damage. Research still needs to be done on the wider effects of matcha but the general consensus is that having a cup of matcha offers protection for the heart and liver, as well as strengthening the bones. The polyphenols that are present in matcha are said to increase bone mineral density and reduce inflammation and stress to the bones.
5. Lowers blood sugar & cholesterol
Research suggests that matcha can support blood sugar management (opens in new tab) as it improves how we respond to insulin. Matcha has been found to lower your blood sugar and reduces LDL cholesterol which is often called ‘bad’ cholesterol as it can build up fatty acids in the arteries.
6. Aids weight loss
If you’re looking to lose weight, a cup of matcha can help with this, which is why it’s an ingredient often found in weight loss supplements. While drinking matcha or green tea isn’t going to result in you shedding the pounds, it can speed up your metabolism and ability to burn fat and calories. Take a look at can green tea help you lose belly fat? (opens in new tab) for more details.
7. Can protect & prevent illnesses
Finally, matcha is incredibly beneficial for the blood, bones and muscles in the body so it’s unsurprising that it’s been found to help protect against diseases and prevent illnesses. It decreases several risk factors to do with the heart and liver, and some of its healthy compounds contain anti-cancer properties and are associated with cancer prevention.
So, if you’re trying to curb your caffeine addiction (opens in new tab), matcha could be the way to go. However if you’re not sure if you want to wave goodbye to coffee yet, update your coffee making set-up with the best bean-to-cup coffee machine (opens in new tab).