Few months ago CBS covered the story of Matcha Madness and they went into great length to interview Matcha enthusiasts and its supporters as to why they were so supportive of this Green Tea. Especially, when we look at the numbers and how Matcha has increased 10 folds in popularity within North America in last few years.
As you know we never take things just on face value, so we went ahead and did an experiment of our own. Details of which we will share with you in how to section of this podcast.
Now as Professionals, Creatives, Athletes and Entrepreneurs you are always looking for ways to enhance your cognitive performance within your respective areas of expertise. Well Matcha is a good tool to have in your Neuro Enhancement arsenal. Especially when you need to combat stress and fatigue with all the benefits of coffee, without any of its side effects.
So, let’s examine this closely and see what is in Matcha that makes it so popular?
Matcha literally means “powdered tea”. Normally when you consume green tea, you order a traditional green tea, which is when the green tea leaves are infused with hot water, and then the leaves are discarded. When you order matcha, which is a form of green tea, you are actually drinking the leaves. The fine powder is made into a solution by mixing about a teaspoon of matcha powder with a third cup of hot water, and then whisked with a bamboo brush to make it nice and frothy.
Unlike traditional green tea, matcha preparation involves covering the tea plants with shade cloths before they’re harvested. This triggers the growth of leaves with better flavor and texture, which are hand selected, steamed briefly to stop fermentation, then dried and aged in cold storage, which deepens the flavor. The dried leaves are then stone-ground into a fine powder.
Matcha offers many health benefits because it is made from high-quality tea, and you are ingesting the whole leaf. This packs it full of more nutrients than regular steeped green tea. Matcha is rich in antioxidants called polyphenols, which have been tied to protection against heart disease and cancer, as well as better blood sugar regulation, blood pressure reduction, and anti-aging.
Since you are consuming the whole leaf while drinking matcha, you actually consume as much caffeine as you would in a brewed cup of coffee. BUt the good news is, you won’t experience that same caffeine buzz because matcha contains l-theanine (please check out our episode 9 for details on theanine), which induces more of an alert calmness.
Theanine works by increasing the production of GABA in the brain. Similar to the effects of meditation, it also stimulates alpha brainwaves naturally associated with deep states of relaxation and enhanced mental clarity. l-theanine may increase learning, attention and sensations of pleasure as well. These effects are likely due to the natural dopamine boost brought on by l-theanine.
Why take it?
Green tea shows promise for protecting our brain health. In a study presented at the 2015 International Conference on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases, those who drank green tea one to six days a week had less mental decline than those who didn’t drink it, or who drank black tea or coffee.
Research done at the Kanazawa University Graduate School of Medical Science in Japan and the team led by Moeko Noguchi-Shinohara, MD, from Kanazawa University Graduate School of Medical Science, revealed that 12 healthy volunteers, who received a beverage containing 27.5 grams of green tea extract showed increased connectivity between the parietal and frontal cortex of the brain compared to those who drank a non-green tea beverage.
The increased activity resulted in improved performance on working memory tasks and decreased chances of Dementia.
According to another study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, catechins, commonly found in green tea, can penetrate into the eye tissue, protecting it from glaucoma and other eye diseases.
Green tea or the Powdered potent form called Matcha in addition to its cognitive benefits, it also showed significant reduction in prostate cancer.
How to take it?
Now our experiment with Matcha
Sid, our co-host that you heard in the intro, started with half a teaspoon and felt great focus throughout the day but felt that it didn’t give him the the same as rush as coffee. So, the next day he increased the amount to 1 teaspoon and he didn’t feel good. He felt like puking right after he had Matcha but the cognitive effects were exactly the same as the half teaspoon.
The next day Sid went ahead and increased the dose to one and half teaspoon and within minutes of drinking Matcha, he rushed to the bathroom and started puking.
We researched into it and found that Matcha has detoxifying properties in it and drinking one cup is the same as drinking 10 cups of tea, according to Lifehacker.org. The nutrients and vitamins loaded in Matcha are super beneficial for your fat loss, Neurological function, detoxifying and anti-oxidants properties.
So please go slow with increasing your dose and due to L-Theanine present in Matcha you will not feel the jitters you get from coffee. Please do not repeat the mistake that Sid did just to experience the rush he used to get from coffee.
We suggest that you locate an organic Matcha because You do not want to be ingesting pesticides and other chemicals that can cause harm to your body.
A healthy Matcha green tea should be certified organic and ideally come from Japan where the organic certification is of a stricter standard than in the USA or China.
If you are drinking matcha for the first time, please start with a ½ teaspoon in a cup of almost boiling water, and slowly work your way up to 1 teaspoon over a few weeks. To make matcha properly, you should use a bamboo whisk to whisk the match with a little bit of water to make a paste first, and then pour in the rest of your water. If you are in a rush put the matcha in your mug and pour the water in and just stir, it tastes almost as good, but you might not get the frothiness.
Below is the recipe that you might want to try for the boost in the morning.
Add all ingredients below as per your taste:
- Acai Berry
- Barley Grass
- Spirulina (another super duper food)
- Raw organic honey (if needed)
Matcha green tea has a natural delicate sweetness and it’s best enjoyed without sweetener, especially not fattening white sugar or artificial sweeteners. Try it without sweetener first and see how you like it. If you need to put sweetener in try something like a single drop of stevia.