Matcha Tea Benefits & Side Effects
Matcha Tea benefits the mind, body and soul. It is an infusion unlike any other - one that continues to increase in popularity due to its great taste and well-documented medicinal value.
A staple of Japanese culture and society, Matcha makes for an excellent choice no matter why you brew it. In this blog, we will be exploring many of its finer qualities, including the following:
- What is Matcha Tea?
- Does Matcha Tea have Antioxidants?
- What are Matcha Tea Benefits?
- Can it Promote Weight Loss?
- Can it Lower Blood Pressure?
- Does it Improve Skin?
- Is there Caffeine in Matcha Tea?
- How to Make Matcha Tea?
These are just some of the questions we’ll be answering in the article below. Once you know the facts, you can buy this delectable, nutritious infusion from us.
The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company pack every Loose Tea, Tisane and Coffee fresh to order. This is our way of guaranteeing not only quality but also consistency time and time again. But first, let’s explore Matcha Tea benefits.
What is Matcha Tea?
Matcha is a variety of either Green or White Tea. What makes it different from your “regular” cuppa is the fact that it has been ground into a fine powder.
This extraordinary processing method has a significant influence on the taste and texture of Matcha, as well as its Matcha Tea benefits. When brewed, it has a flavour best described as grassy and astringent.
Although it doesn’t suit every palate, people seem to agree that Matcha is, at the very least, unique. And it’s this uniqueness which has endeared so many people for several hundreds of years, particularly in Japan.
Since the 17th century, the Japanese have held Japanese Matcha Tea ceremonies. This quiet celebration, performed with grace and beauty, is a spiritual experience, cleansing the body and the mind.
Before any such events can take place, however, it must first be made. This involves having the Camellia sinensis (Tea) plant shade-grown for at least two weeks before harvesting.
Shade-growing enables the leaves to produce larger quantities of amino acids and chlorophyll, which are two vital compounds found in Matcha. Both chemicals contain antioxidants, thus contributing to Matcha Tea benefits.
Matcha Green Tea Antioxidants
The fact that Matcha Tea comes in powdered form isn’t the only difference between it and Loose Leaf Green Tea. It’s also worth noting that this beverage uses the WHOLE leaf of the Camellia sinensis plant during its processing.
This means that all of its nutrients, including numerous antioxidants, are retained by the time it comes to brewing up. Its chemical makeup includes the following:
Matcha Tea Antioxidants
|Vitamin A||Vitamin B||Vitamin C|
|Epigallocatechin Gallate||Folic Acid||Zinc|
Would you believe that this is to name but a few compounds found in Matcha Green Tea? Most astounding of all, studies suggest that its antioxidant strength is 137 times more than standard Green Tea.
But what, exactly, can they do? Keep reading to discover how Matcha Tea antioxidant levels and Matcha Tea benefits as a whole can improve your life in small yet significant ways.
Matcha Tea Benefits
Is Matcha Tea good for you? Countless scientific studies suggest that it is! Indeed, according to research, Matcha Green Tea benefits can support people’s health and wellbeing in numerous walks of life.
Its wealth in antioxidants, in particular, can do much to help. Specifically, its high levels in Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) are able to combat free radicals in the body.
Let’s start at the beginning. Free radicals are unpaired (and unsafe) electrons introduced into the body by natural, though often harmful, human oxidation.
Many recognise this as oxidative stress, which is, in turn, the product of various environmental factors such as cigarette smoke, air pollution and even sunlight. When left unchecked, oxidative stress and the free radicals it introduces can cause untold damage.
Matcha Tea benefits, however, can fight and even neutralise free radicals. This leads to slowing down the process of oxidation, ultimately resulting in the reduced risk of developing a multitude of chronic conditions.
Experts have already found correlations between drinking this Tea and combating cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes and even, in some cases, cancer. But there’s more!
Matcha Tea Weight Loss
Although there is no “fix-all” solution to losing weight, Matcha Tea health benefits could, at the very least, help. A Research paper published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has the answers. It stated that one cup of this beverage a day “might be useful in the prevention and improvement of lifestyle-related diseases, mainly obesity.” But how - and why?
The primary reason, according to research in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, is its ability to boost the metabolism of fat cells.
This process enables the body to burn fat quicker and more efficiently, ultimately leading to periods of exercising producing better, indeed more noticeable, results. In other words, it promotes Matcha Green Tea weight loss.
One particular study found that Matcha drinkers increased their fat-burning capabilities by up to 17% during a cycling exercise lasting 30 minutes.
Another study established that consuming this Tea increased thermogenesis (the body’s rate of burning calories) from an average of 8-10% of daily expenditure to 35-43%. It’s essential to note, however, that Matcha won’t do all of the work for you. Keep exercising!
Matcha Green Tea for Skin
Matcha has anti-ageing properties, can protect against skin blemishes, can fight acne and even protects your skin from UV light. This is because of its antioxidants, which, as already established, combat free radicals in the body. By doing this, Matcha Tea prevents the breakdown of collagen, a structural protein that keeps skin supple and young-looking.
When it comes to Matcha acne benefits, topical use of this Tea reduces inflammation. It likewise decreases sebum production, which is the fatty acids and oils that moisturise our skin.
When we produce too much sebum, it gets stuck in our pores and can turn into acne. By applying Matcha Tea to the skin, however, it has the opposite effect.
Research from the Journal of Investigative Dermatology can support these claims. The study showed that a face mask or cream made from Matcha Tea powder could reduce inflammation and acne by 89% over eight weeks.
It concluded that its antibacterial properties had a significant role to play in this ability. Another study also established that drinking Matcha reduced sebum production by 70%.
Matcha Tea and Prostate Cancer
There is preliminary evidence (emphasis on “preliminary”) suggesting that the antioxidants in Matcha Green Tea Powder can fight certain types of cancer - namely prostate cancer.
This is according to research published in the book “Food That Fights Cancer”, by Richard Beliveau, Ph.D, and Denis Gingras, Ph.D. It noted that high levels of EGCG in Matcha is the primary reason for this remarkable benefit.
However, we must again stress that this research is preliminary. In other words, scientists are still in the early stages of realising Matcha Tea’s potential for fighting prostate cancer.
Until we know more, then, The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company does NOT endorse Matcha for this purpose. Instead, we support ongoing studies - which so far appear promising.
Matcha Green Tea Fertility
There are several qualities to Matcha Tea benefits that might help couples looking to conceive. However, most of these qualities apply to standard Green Tea as much as this beverage.
Researchers believe its abundance in polyphenols and hypoxanthine, both of which are strong antioxidants, can help an egg to mature properly while preparing the body.
Furthermore, EGCG once again has a part to play. This is because it reduces the formation of free radicals and prevents DNA damage to cells, including sperms and eggs.
Then there is L-theanine in Matcha, which enhances metabolic rate to regulate weight, supports healthy insulin levels and reduces anxiety. Finally, Matcha keeps the body hydrated and increases cervical mucus to facilitate travelling sperm.
Matcha Tea and Depression
Most people know already that a nice, warming cuppa can keep us calm and relaxed. However, according to Japanese researchers from Kumamoto University, there might be a scientific explanation behind this.
The animal-based study in question gave Matcha powder or Matcha extract to mice. Afterwards, the rodents took part in a specially-designed maze.
The results showed reduced anxiety levels in the mice before, during and immediately after the experiment. But why? And how? Evidence suggests that Matcha’s calming effect appeared to activate dopamine D1 receptors and serotonin 5-HT1A receptors, both of which are closely related to anxious behaviour.
If proven outright, this could have a significant impact on how we “treat” depression.
Matcha Tea Digestion
Could Matcha Tea benefit your digestive health? It seems likely. Yet again, it’s all to do with the antioxidants, specifically the polyphenols, in this beverage.
These chemical compounds, once consumed, travel down to the small intestine and colon where they’re broken down. From there, they act as a prebiotic, which encourages the growth of good bacteria such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria.
Additionally, while these polyphenols support good bacteria, they also fight strains of harmful bacteria, including Clostridium perfringens, Clostridium difficile, and Bacteroides.
There are also ongoing clinical trials to see whether Matcha Tea supports people living with Crohn's Disease. However, we will NOT recommend its use for this purpose until more research has surfaced.
Matcha Green Tea and Cholesterol
Both Matcha Green Tea powder and standard Green Tea can lower “bad” LDL cholesterol. This is according to a meta-analysis published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
First, researchers at Peking Union Medical College, China, looked at the results of 14 previous trials into this Tea’s ability. They then divided participants up into two groups.
The first group consisted of people who had consumed Green Tea, while the second group was made up of those who had received a placebo.
The meta-analysis concluded that the Green Tea group had an average reduction in total cholesterol levels of 7.2mg/dL. Specific “bad” LDL cholesterol levels, meanwhile, had an average reduction of 2.2mg/dL.
Matcha Tea Side Effects
There are few known side effects of drinking Matcha Tea. However, people should nevertheless exercise caution when it comes to its frequent consumption.
This is because large amounts of Matcha, and in turn large amounts of caffeine, can lead to headaches, insomnia, irritability, diarrhoea and heartburn. Although these side effects are unlikely, it’s important to be aware of them.
People who’re caffeine sensitive or pregnant, in particular, should monitor their intake of caffeine regardless of which Tea or Coffee they drink. NHS Choices recommends that pregnant women limit their intake to 200mg of caffeine daily. This is equivalent to around three cups of Matcha.
Furthermore, some experts suggest that this beverage can sometimes cause stomach upset and constipation.
Does Matcha Tea Have Caffeine?
Around 60 plants contain caffeine, a stimulant that, in nature, functions as a pesticide. When it comes to human consumption, however, it helps to get us out of bed in the morning.
Both the Camellia sinensis (Tea) plant and the Coffea (Coffee) plant contain this chemical compound. This also, of course, applies to Matcha Tea. But how much caffeine does it have, specifically?
Caffeine in Tea depends on the type, which in turn depends on its processing. Black Tea is the most processed variety, meaning it has the highest amount of caffeine (approx 45mg per 8-oz cup).
Next is Oolong Tea, a semi-fermented Tea, which has an average of 35-37mg. Then there is standard Green Tea with 30mg followed by White Tea, the least processed type, with 15mg.
Matcha Green Tea caffeine is a little different. Due to its unique processing, it tends to have around 70mg of this stimulant per your regular-sized cup.
This makes it an excellent choice when you’re looking for an extra energy boost before work. If, however, you’re looking to cut your caffeine content, you might be better off choosing a Decaf Tea or Coffee.
How to Make Matcha Tea
We briefly talked about the art of a Matcha Tea ceremony. This beautiful, spiritual pastime dates back to 17th century Japan. It is still practised today, although not everyone has the time to commit to such things.
Therefore, if you want to make this beverage, but don’t have the time to partake in a ceremony, follow the instructions below. Before you know it, you, too, will be enjoying Matcha Tea benefits!
Time needed: 6 minutes.
Step by Step Making matcha Tea
- Boil the kettle.
Be sure to let the water cool to temperatures between 75 and 80°C.
- Add Matcha Tea to a Bowl or Cup.
Use 1-2 teaspoons per person. (We stock a Bamboo Matcha Tea Spoon for traditionalists.)
- Pour a Small Amount of Water.
If you use boiling water, it might create an unpleasant burnt taste.
- Whisk the Tea.
Do this until the infusion is frothy. (We also stock a traditional Matcha Tea Whisk.)
- Add More Water.
Fill your cup or mug to a suitable level.
Now all that’s left is to sit back, relax and enjoy. Alternatively, you could try making different recipes using Matcha Tea. Choices include porridge, cereal, yoghurt, cakes, ice creams and biscuits.
You could even try making a Matcha Latte! Whatever you decide, be sure to buy from The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company. You won’t be disappointed by what’s on offer.