Matcha Caffeine vs. Coffee Caffeine. Yes, There Is A Difference.
More and more people are realizing that they don’t like the jittery feeling they get from a strong cup of coffee. Still, people continue to drink it for a number of reasons; it tastes good, it provides a jolt of energy, it’s a ritual. Matcha offers the same benefits without physical or mental discomfort. In fact, the way matcha works with the body and brain creates harmony between energy, focus, and relaxation.
One serving of traditionally prepared matcha, about 1 teaspoon of powder, contains roughly 70mg of caffeine. An average 8oz cup of coffee contains roughly 100mg. The exact measurement of caffeine in both cases will vary based on the grade of the matcha or coffee and the amount of each used in a serving. At the typical ratio of a little over half the potency of coffee, matcha is able to provide a significantly longer period of calm, and centered, alert states of mind.
One of the factors is the rate of release of caffeine into the body. The caffeine in coffee hits hard and fast. A big hit of caffeine may help ward off drowsiness, but it can also induce heart-racing anxiety, and the intense stimulating effect is often followed by a crash. Matcha, on the other hand, hits clear and sustains its effect without the peaks and valleys. Like other slow release effects (think fiber from oatmeal), the caffeine from matcha promotes a balanced sense of alertness for a longer time (4-6 hours). This slow release of caffeine is due to matcha’s high antioxidant and amino acid count. The caffeine binds with the antioxidants and gets released into the body as it absorbs the antioxidants over the course of a few hours.
It’s not only the antioxidants that make matcha’s caffeine so efficient, it also has a high concentration of L-Theanine. There are a number of studies that confirm L-Theanine’s ability to boost alpha brain waves and promote states of calm relaxation. Alpha brain waves are associated with heightened states of awareness, similar to meditative states, enhancing the moderate amount of caffeine to create a sharply focused mind. As a compliment, L-Theanine also reduces anxiety and promotes states of deep relaxation through the formation of the neurotransmitter GABA. GABA is most commonly taken as a supplement for its soothing effect, but in the case of matcha, nature has provided an impeccably balanced combination of stimulating and calming substances.
The complementing components in matcha are what make the caffeine so efficient even at a lower potency. While coffee, and most teas, are extractions, the whole matcha leaf is dissolved in water. Consuming the entire plant, rather than an infusion of it, may contribute to the natural balance of elements. Trusting in the built-in balance of nature, particularly green leafy plants, is often the healthiest and most efficient option.
While the caffeine itself doesn’t vary much between coffee and matcha, the way it gets absorbed by the body and brain differ significantly. The integrated actions of stimulating and calming make matcha an obvious, and superior, choice for those interested in a sustained, and clean burning, peaceful energy. Matcha makes things happen!
Team Matcha Kari