You can avoid caffeine withdrawal symptoms by slowly switching over to matcha from coffee. Drinking a combination of both coffee and matcha over nine days is an ideal way to wean yourself off of caffeine. For example, you can start out drinking equal amounts of coffee and matcha, and then by day nine, coffee can be replaced entirely with matcha. Matcha also offers a more relaxing caffeine source with a long list of added health benefits.
Keep reading to find out more.
Why are so many people switching from coffee to matcha — and should you be making the switch, too?
When you stop drinking coffee cold turkey, it's rough. Caffeine withdrawal's common side effects include headaches, muscle pain, nausea, irritability, fatigue, and anxiety. However, if you are trying to stop drinking as much coffee or caffeine altogether, you don't need to torture yourself and go cold turkey. (6) (12)
In this blog post, we've outlined how seamlessly you can switch from coffee to matcha in just nine days and all the reasons you'll be glad you did.
Matcha has caffeine, but it’s processed differently
Coffee and matcha are excellent sources of caffeine, but matcha has added health benefits that won't make you crash or experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. For these reasons and many more, Buddhist monks have been drinking matcha tea for centuries — they can remain relaxed, energized, and alert while meditating for hours without the intensity of other caffeinated drinks.
Matcha has higher levels of phytonutrients, matcha caffeine is absorbed by our bodies in a slower, much healthier way than that coffee caffeine.
Four tips for ditching coffee for matcha
Here are four tips to remember when transitioning from coffee to matcha.
1) Drink lots of water
Whenever you are reestablishing a new dietary routine, drinking water helps ease the transition on the body. Make sure you are getting at least eight glasses of water a day. Break out your favorite old Nalgene or reusable water bottle and hydrate throughout the day. Set reminders on your phone to take water breaks throughout the day. (24)
2) Make your matcha at home
Try to prepare your matcha at home — this way, you can know the matcha's quality and the amount of caffeine in the matcha you prepare. Low-grade matcha can be characterized by bitterness and a grassy taste. By knowing how much caffeine you are getting from your matcha, you can know how much coffee you can wean yourself from.
3) Don't be afraid, and have a positive mindset
Have you ever heard that fear can worsen any symptoms in your body? Through a process called epigenetics, our fear can negatively impact how our cells deal with changes. If you are worried that you will feel worse without coffee in your life, you just might. (15)
4) Invest in a nice tea bowl and matcha-making equipment
Many classic coffee mugs and teacups are too big or too small for a traditionally prepared cup of matcha. You will want to use a tumbler or tea bowl that has been crafted with matcha in mind. Having the right matcha accessories is an essential part of building a fun matcha experience. (19)
Nine days to switch from coffee to matcha
Instead of immediately replacing your coffee with matcha, make a gradual change over nine days by first tapering your coffee use and slowly swapping it out with matcha.
Why nine days? In general, we find it is good to make the transition to matcha last for the same amount of time that we would experience coffee caffeine withdrawal. Studies have shown that symptoms of caffeine withdrawal kick in twelve to twenty-four hours after the last caffeine intake, peaks at twenty to fifty hours, and they last for two to nine days. (25)
Days one to three
For your first three days, start with equal servings of coffee and matcha. Then, day by day, gradually increase your matcha while you wean yourself from coffee. For example, if you drink two cups of coffee in the morning, replace one with a hot cup of vibrant, frothy matcha.
You can also opt to mix your coffee with your matcha, making what we like to call a 'dirty' matcha latte.
Notice how you feel in the hours after your cups of coffee and matcha. In the first few days you will likely feel energized but also in a state of relaxed alertness. This is because you are replacing your regular coffee caffeine intake with matcha caffeine, which the body processes differently.
Chances are you won't be experiencing the severe headaches, trouble sleeping, or irritability that come with cutting out coffee entirely since you are still getting your caffeine fix. (26)
Matcha contains L-theanine, which stimulates the production of “calming” neurotransmitters that enhance concentration and mood, and also promote sleep.
Days four through seven
By day four or five, you will likely find yourself craving more matcha and less coffee. Listen accordingly! If you often have four cups of coffee in a day (e.g., two in the morning and two in the afternoon), try having only one cup in the morning. When it comes to your afternoon, make the complete transition to matcha.
Days eight and nine
By day eight or nine, you are likely ready and eager to fully transition to matcha. It is no more coffee and only matcha now. At this point, if your goal is to cut down on the amount of caffeine you are drinking, you can begin to consume smaller amounts of matcha to lower your caffeine intake.
Unlike the caffeine found in coffee, which the body processes quickly, matcha caffeine is slowly released and does not create a drug dependence, meaning you will not experience any caffeine withdrawal symptoms at this point.
You are also likely to enjoy more of the many benefits that come with replacing your daily cup of joe with matcha. (14)
Is matcha healthier than coffee?
Yes! Matcha and coffee both contain caffeine, but matcha has much higher levels on anxtioxidants and also contains the amino acid l-theanine, which gives matcha its relaxed yet focused effect when consumed.
M11 Benefits of Drinking Matcha Instead of Coffee
1) There’s no caffeine crash with matcha
The energy boost that comes with coffee is brief and starts to wear off in 1-3 hours, leaving the body more tired than before. In contrast, high-grade matcha contains roughly a half of the caffeine content as compared to coffee. However, due to the L-theanine phytonutrient, matcha caffeine is released at a much slower pace. (14) (4)
2) Matcha promotes relaxed alertness
Matcha has been shown to improve memory, attention, and reaction time. It also contains caffeine and L-theanine, which have been well-documented to boost brain function after just two months, even in older adults. (5) (9)
3) Matcha gives you better, clear skin
Matcha is packed with antioxidants, making it a powerhouse at combating skin inflammation, redness, and irritation. It's also been shown to fight hormonal acne and protect against pollution, sun damage, and environmental stress. Plus, matcha has methylxanthines, which have been shown to help boost microcirculation, giving you more healthy, radiant skin. (22) (13)
4) Switching from coffee to matcha could mean better oral hygiene
Matcha can have a considerable impact on your oral health, combating tooth decay and decreasing your chances of oral cancer. Matcha doesn't stain your teeth like a cup of black coffee does, and studies have also shown that improving your mood with matcha also helps mouth health. Studies show that depression and anxiety elevate the risk of cavities, losing teeth, dry mouth, and bleeding gums. (16) (1) (21)
5) Matcha may help promote weight loss
The connection between green tea and weight loss has been well-researched. A review of 11 studies showed that green tea helps reduce body weight and maintain a healthy weight. One small study even found that taking green tea extract during moderate exercise can increase fat burn by 17%. (8) (27)
6) Matcha has more antioxidants than coffee
Matcha is one of the highest natural sources of antioxidants on the planet. Did you know that researchers have found that one cup of matcha has 10 times the antioxidants as one cup of green tea and far more than coffee? One study conducted in 2003 even found that matcha has 137 times the EGCG (catechins) levels of green tea. (14) (28) (10)
7) Matcha could help boost your heart health.
Matcha is full of epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which prevents plaque from building up in your arteries. As a result, Matcha helps lower blood pressure. Several studies have shown that when consumed over a long period, matcha can reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes by 10–20%. (2) (23) (29)
8) Matcha may support the protection of your liver
Multiple studies have found that drinking matcha regularly may help protect your liver and lower your risk of liver disease. A meta-analysis found that people who drank green tea had a lower risk of liver cancer. Furthermore, the longer people had been drinking green tea in the study, the lower their risk was observed to be. (14) (3) (20) (18)
9) Matcha may improve physical performance
Is matcha your sports drink of choice? Studies have shown that matcha can help you recover faster from a hard workout, keeps your immune system strong, acts as a mood stabilizer to improve athletic focus while exercising, and helps boost performance during a workout. (14) (11) (17)
10) The green color of matcha evokes joy
The vibrant chartreuse color of matcha is not only beautiful, but it also sparks joy. Scientific studies have shown that the color green is associated with positive and happy emotions. One study even found that the color green enhanced participants' ability to recognize happy facial expressions on others. (7)
Quality Matcha with higher amounts of caffeine is a vibrant green. The greener the better!
Getting so many added health benefits has never been as simple and delicious as preparing a traditional cup of matcha. And if you are feeling creative in the kitchen, you can even try whipping up matcha chocolate, cakes, or protein smoothies to boost the nutrient content of your favorite recipes.
Follow these six steps to make the perfect bowl of Matcha (AKA green liquid magic):
Whenever you make a change, even when its new and healthier choices, your body needs time to adjust. Giving your body time to adapt by making a slow transition over nine days can make it easier to switch to matcha . Looking for more delicious ways to incorporate matcha in your diet? Check out our post on what to add to matcha to make it taste better.
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