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Matcha Green Tea Amino-acids and Workout Sports Performance Supplement

Nicholas Noble | April 16, 2020

Awareness of diet has grown steadily over recent years. Many are interested not only in their type of diet (e.g. keto, paleo, vegan), but what the actual composition of the foods in those diets are. People are learning more about the importance of balanced eating, selecting foods suited around a goal of complete nutrition.

More than ever, that means an emphasis on macronutrients such as healthy fats, proteins, and vitamins and minerals. Collectively, we’ve also become curious of the role of micronutrients (i.e. nutraceuticals); these are often trace elements, probiotic compounds, and specialized antioxidants.

Below we’ll give more background about macro and micronutrients and how daily energy and sports performance can be impacted by deficiencies or imbalances therein.

Also, we specifically review matcha powder for sports nutrition, including an analysis of 5 of the best matcha powder supplements for workout performance and BCAAs content:

Whole-food Nutrition | Micronutrient foods

Before we jump into it, it’s notable how more people everyday are realizing just how diverse the average whole-food is, even matcha powder! Virtually every produce item in your home is host to hundreds, if not thousands of constituent compounds. At least a number of them in each case offering bioactive properties.

Together, these compounds form complexes of macro and micronutrients which are relevant to optimal health. And since one of the biggest reasons to evaluate diet is rooted in how we’re feeling, as you navigate your health journey you might notice you don’t feel as calm or energized as you’re used to – maybe not as energized when working out, etc...

Is Matcha a Dietary and Workout Supplement?

Often by turning to micronutrient factors (e.g. amino-acid deficiencies) people find the root problems to those feelings or poor sports performance issues. This line of questioning is often how people find matcha, a daily powder supplement for health which contains an array of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and specialized branched-chain amino-acids (BCAAs) and essential amino-acids (EAAs) – for many, the ideal solution to dietary deficiencies or dropping exercise output.

Once we begin to improve our daily intake of these workout nutrients, our overall well being starts to mend. Besides, it’s not just exercise that our nutrition is important for, matcha powder may balance many other aspects of nutrition and health, including mental focus and calm energy.

What are amino acids and why are the EAAs in Matcha better than other supplements?

Amino-acids come under two general categories, branched chain aminos, and essential amino acids. Although easy to conceive as building blocks, amino-acids are much more than that, having a role in virtually every process in the body and the brain: hormones, neurotransmitters, protein synthesis, and even appetite.

Not only is it important to have enough amino acids, but balance amongst them is also a key piece of good health. This simple fact is one of the biggest reasons to advise caution against modern or synthetic supplement powders. Popular amino-acid supplement products are often formulated with little testing or clinical indication of safety.

With synthetic amino-acid powders, there’s questions of potency, absorbability, purity, and even cost-benefit as you shop. Below we’ll recommend more reasons surrounding these details that make matcha powder one of the most popular and historically proven amino-acid supplements on the market – and there’s nothing synthetic about it!

Different Types of Amino Acids

Let’s learn more about what separates these two categories of amino acids, and what the differences between them mean for our workout performance, sports health, and physical energy expenditure.

BCAAs and Muscle Performance

Although BCAAs are technically also EAAs, the same cannot be said the reverse. As essential amino acids, BCAAs are special because they support muscle metabolism and energy output. They can protect against muscle damage, and even offer energy during intense muscle activity.

BCAAs are also easily absorbed into the bloodstream for metabolism. The complex of amino acids in matcha tea include BCAAs, which is reported to be part of a successful workout regimen.

Green Tea Matcha Amino-acids for BCAAs and EEAs (essential amino acids)

Having a dietary source of BCAAs may increase exercise efficiency, stimulate muscle synthesis, skeletal tissue, and key biomarkers for blood health (e.g. hemoglobin, red blood cell count).

These compounds are also recognized as potential blood-sugar regulating amino acids, and therefore may have preventative effects against metabolic inflammation. Many of these details coincide with established potential benefits of matcha powder supplementation.

It’s notable that matcha as a source of amino-acids may provide dual-edged benefits for working out and general health practices.

Matcha Powder Supplement for Glycogen and Muscle Fatigue

Matcha may also be the perfect endurance exercise supplement. The BCAAs may help reduce fatigue from glycogen depletion, potentially by increasing lipid oxidation. Similarly, the polyphenol antioxidants in matcha are able to increase glycogen replenishment from a separate pathway, so you’re able to workout with the best of both worlds.

One reason to love matcha green tea is because it’s essentially a whole-food. Consuming green tea’s whole-leaf powder means access to a surprising number of vitamins and minerals.

It’s also a reasonable source for people looking to improve intake of essential amino-acids.  

Essential Amino Acids in Matcha

In fact, between 20-30% of matcha green tea’s composition is in the form of protein-building amino acids. The majority of these are essential for life’s functions [1], while the others may be ‘conditionally-essential’, often determined by diet or genetic factors.

List of Amino-acids in Matcha Powder Tea

Essential Amino-acids in Matcha Powder

Research indicates that matcha green tea contains levels of almost all essential and conditionally-essential amino acids [1-2]:

  • L-threonine
  • L-valine
  • L-isoleucine
  • L-phenylalanine
  • L-leucine
  • L-lysine
  • Histidine*
  • Methionine*
  • Tryptophan*

CONDITIONALLY-ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS IN MATCHA

  • L-glutamine
  • L-arginine
  • L-tyrosine
  • Cysteine*
  • Proline*
  • Glycine*

*Levels may be lower than others.

Why Matcha is More Nutritious than Regular Green Tea for amino-acid supplementation

Unlike regular green tea, the powdered whole-leaf known as matcha tea is chemically distinct. The composition of the tea leaves change because of special use of traditional amendments, hand-picking techniques, and shading from sunlight.

These conditions cause the tea plant to create greater levels of amino acids, some polyphenols, and other nutraceuticals [5].

Especially compared to regular green tea, matcha has a higher proportion of amino acids and proteins. This difference is correlated with the quality of matcha during chemical analysis, as well as in qualitative taste [2], and partly explains why matcha powder is a renowned BCAA supplement whereas regular green tea powder is not.

Essential Amino-acids in Matcha for Workout EAA and BCAA Supplementation

Health optimizing amino-acids in matcha don’t stop at the essential ones. While the list above does give credit to how matcha is a source of workout energy and regular building blocks, it’s critical to see about a different category of aminos.

When specially grown and in order to be crafted into matcha, the green tea leaf also produces high levels of certain ‘non-essential’ amino acids. Unlike the list above, these are not critical to survival. However, many are studied for their health optimizing effects.

Key examples include ‘L-theanine’ and ‘y-amino butyric acid’ (GABA). [1-4] It’s strongly suggested that these are behind frequent claims of improved cognition and calmness, from matcha.

Composition of Matcha Green Tea Amino-acid Powder

Besides these uniquely grounding amino-acids, matcha also contains a group of  non-essential amino acids. While not critical to survive (your body usually can produce its own), they may still be made use of.

These are reported to include: L-aspartic acid, L-asparagine, L-serine, L-glutamine acid, and alanine. [1-2, 6]

Total Amino-acid Protein in Matcha Powder Supplements

In terms of overall composition, these non-essential amino acids may account for up to half of the total protein values of matcha, [6] the greatest proportion being the calming amino acid known as L-theanine.

Moreover, when compared against regular green tea, there’s not only an elevated presence of those suggested as cognitive enhancing (calming, focus) – but most all other amino acids as well. [5] 

Best Amino-acid Supplement for Fasting

So, whether essential, or simply optimal for health – available data suggests matcha may be an excellent source for amino acids.

Also, not mentioning other nutrients, these contents may be more readily absorbed and digested due to the powdered form of matcha [5], without interfering with fasting. 

Review of Best Amino-acid Matcha Powder Supplements

If you're in the market for a high-quality, delicious and naturally produced BCAA powder, then you should definitely read this list of matcha powders. Each are free of any additives or artificial flavors, featuring high concentrations of BCAAs and EAAs to boost your workout performance:

Single Estate Matcha Powder Amino-acid Supplement

Each scoop of this amino-acid powder contains 100% authentic Japanese matcha, with high levels of L-theanine, the three BCAAs, and a range of all other essential aminos. This is a perfect solution to pre and post-workout energy, is USDA Organic, and has a bold flavor from antioxidants also thought to help boost recovery.

Premium BCAA Ceremonial Grade Amino-acid Supplement Matcha

Ceremonial Grade BCAA Powder has active levels of L-leucine, L-isoleucine, and L-valine for energy before and during your workout. This amino-acid powder also is made 100% of matcha from Uji, Japan and is a pure and potent way of improving overall health.

  • Specially formulated to deliver an easily absorbed array of key nutrients and stimulating compounds, most enjoy a serving right before their daily workout.

Single-serving BCAAs Stick-Packs; Matcha amino-acid Powder Supplement

Bring this product with you to the gym or prepare this amino-acid supplement while on the way to work or sports practice. Amino-acid Matcha Powder on-the-go Stick Packs are an easy way of boosting your exercise and recovery, all within a convenient preparation. Pure, potent, and safe amino-acid powder offers a kick of L-theanine for calm focus, and just the right caffeine to deliver energy to whatever your practice might be.

  • Savory and naturally sweet flavor, just mix with water and go.

USDA Organic Water-Soluble Tenchi Matcha Amino-acid Supplement

For those who need the absolute best energy for their USDA Organic diet, Tenchi Matcha is the perfect amino-acid supplement that sacrifices nothing in quality for your workout. Made from 100% authentic Japanese matcha powder, this amino-acid supplement is host to a full range of pre and post-workout aminos, and superior flavor.

  • Tenchi has the most intense boost of calming energy of any USDA Organic matcha amino-acid supplement on the market.

Whole-leaf Tea Amino-acid Supplement: BCAAs, EAAs, Supplement Powder

Whole-Leaf Matcha is a traditional way of preparing this special tea so you can drink it before or on the way to work or the gym. Whole-Leaf Amino-acid Matcha contains a lighter flavor and a well-balanced content of all key aminos. Made with whole-leaf matcha tea leaves for maximum benefits and a flavorful complexion that’s easier to ingest – especially for those with sensitive digestion.

  • You can use the tea bag for multiple servings for a sustained release of performance boosting amino acids. 

Nature’s Finest Amino-acid Workout Supplement

Only by the intense labor behind shading, hand-picking, and traditional processing is it possible to raise matcha powder’s nutritional levels so significantly that it becomes a powerful amino-acid supplement.

In practice, the experience of enjoying a bowl of matcha, more than regular green tea is one of calm and alert relaxation. Thus it’s reasonable to say that high quality matcha is not only likely to uphold that experience, but also one which imparts greater overall dietary (not only proteinogenic) value than normal green tea.

Natural Amino-acid Supplement Powders

Authentic matcha powder is 100% natural, and offers a complete profile of BCAAs, EAAs, and other helpful-aminos which may improve your workouts and nutrition. Ultimately, matcha may support a healthy lifestyle – and it may be a great choice for those looking to boost their workout from every angle.

Besides potentially aiding your overall wellness, at least the superior flavor of matcha (versus regular tea or synthetic amino-acid supplements) may help encourage the safe, daily enjoyment of this satisfying energy drink, without the risks of other modern options

Remember, matcha powder has nearly 1,000 years of time tested history behind it, and has been used for workouts since the time of the Samurai. 

 

-Team Matcha.com

SHOP MATCHA

 
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References 
[1] Musial, C., Kuban-Jankowska, A., & Gorska-Ponikowska, M. (2020). Beneficial Properties of Green Tea Catechins. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 21(5), 1744. 
[2] Ye, Y., Yan, J., Cui, J., Mao, S., Li, M., Liao, X., & Tong, H. (2018). Dynamic changes in amino acids, catechins, caffeine and gallic acid in green tea during withering. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, 66, 98-108. 
[3] Kaneko, S., Kumazawa, K., Masuda, H., Henze, A., & Hofmann, T. (2006). Molecular and sensory studies on the umami taste of Japanese green tea. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 54(7), 2688-2694. 
[4] Horie, H., Ema, K., Nishikawa, H., & Nakamura, Y. (2018). Comparison of the chemical components of powdered green tea sold in the US. Japan Agricultural Research Quarterly: JARQ, 52(2), 143-147. 
[5] Wang, J., Zareef, M., He, P., Sun, H., Chen, Q., Li, H., ... & Xu, D. (2019). Evaluation of matcha tea quality index using portable NIR spectroscopy coupled with chemometric algorithms. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 99(11), 5019-5027. 
[6] Ashihara, H. (2015). Occurrence, biosynthesis and metabolism of theanine (γ-glutamyl-L-ethylamide) in plants: a comprehensive review. Natural product communications, 10(5), 1934578X1501000525.

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