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Matcha green tea has many benefits, from its antioxidant content to the slow release energy that comes with its L-Theanine. But with matcha still containing caffeine, you might be left wondering whether matcha is safe for you to drink.
For the majority of people, matcha is totally safe. Most people consume caffeine in their daily lives, whether this be in the form of tea, coffee, energy drinks, Coca Cola, or even chocolate. In all of these cases, matcha is not only safe to consume, but is also better for you than all of these things. Although different forms of tea and coffee vary in caffeine content, coffee often contains 150mg of caffeine per cup, and black tea up to 90mg per cup.
When comparing this to matcha’s 35-70mg per cup, you can see that if you drink tea and coffee, matcha is also safe for you to drink. If you are sensitive to caffeine, matcha could be a good alternative to tea and coffee: if you are able to tolerate the amount of caffeine in a chocolate bar, you’ll probably be okay with a cup on matcha. On top of its lower caffeine content with tea and coffee, matcha contains less sugar than chocolate and contains L-Theanine – the amino acid which makes you feel alert and focused, but without the jittery side effects that come from drinking large amounts of caffeine.
This lower caffeine content is also good news if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. With the recommended amount of daily caffeine for a pregnant woman being 200mg, matcha falls well below that threshold at 35-70mg per cup. However, some women choose to wait until the third trimester of pregnancy before consuming any caffeine at all. Ultimately, the decision is yours, but if you do choose to drink matcha while pregnant, we recommend keeping it at one cup per day to accommodate for other caffeinated foods and drinks you might have throughout the day. For breastfeeding mothers, a cup of matcha won’t hurt, but again, keeping it to one cup a day will ensure that you’re well within a safe amount of caffeine.
When it comes to chronic illness, matcha is usually safe as well. If you’re diabetic, matcha is safe to drink, and there are even studies to suggest that you should be encouraging your friends and family to drink it too: a 2006 study showed that Japanese adults who drank six cups of green tea a day reduced their risk of developing diabetes by up to a third.
While you might not be consuming quite these quantities, there is certainly no harm in adding matcha to your diet. If you suffer from high blood pressure or heart disease, matcha is a good bet as well. Matcha is a natural way of thinning the blood and opening up your artery walls, meaning that more blood can pass through more easily, and this lowers your blood pressure.
Matcha is also safe if you have a skin condition; in fact, people with skin conditions may find that matcha helps them. The high antioxidant content has been found to help eczema and psoriasis in some people, with some people even using matcha powder as a kind of ‘talcum powder’, applying it directly onto the skin. Again, every skin condition is different, and so having a conversation with your doctor is always advisable, but in general, matcha tends to cause improvements rather than flare ups. The anti-oxidant content present may also help conditions such as arthritis.
If you’ve been struggling with your mental health, it might be worth looking into swapping your morning coffee for matcha. One of the most reported side effects of matcha is its ability to boost mood, positivity, and productivity. Again, this is largely down to matcha's L-theanine content, which has calming properties as well as increasing focus and boosting serotonin levels – one of the neurotransmitters that makes us feel happy.
Due to the lower caffeine content, it is also a good alternative for people suffering with anxiety. Highly caffeinated products often cause symptoms of anxiety to flare up, especially with drinks such as coffee and energy drinks, which can leave us feeling on-edge, jittery, and anxious. The lower caffeine and calming L-Theanine of matcha is therefore a much better choice for people with anxiety.
The Bottom Line
As the vast majority of people are just fine to enjoy 1-2 bowls of matcha per day, we too hope that you’ll find it fitting with your lifestyle! It packs amazing health benefits, but as always, if you’re unsure it's best to double check with your doctor before trying something new with your diet.
If you're ready to journey into matcha, we're here to help you choose the right one. Otherwise, without a bit of guidance it can be confusing and hard to know where to start. That's why we've designed the perfect way:
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Team Matcha Kari.