When people need an energy boost, most of them go for a cup of coffee.
The stimulant effect of coffee comes from caffeine. In addition to increasing mental alertness and focus, caffeine boosts physical energy temporarily, revs up fatty acid metabolism, and may improve physical strength as well. But note that the dose of caffeine in a cup of coffee can interfere with blood glucose control, as reported in the Lancet article cited below.
Now there is a beverage choice that can provide these benefits and more. It’s matcha tea, a special form of green tea.
Matcha tea contains caffeine, though less than coffee and as many people are finding, it has better affects on health.
Matcha Tea and Energy
In addition to caffeine, matcha tea contains L-theanine, a natural amino acid that creates a state of relaxed alertness. The combination both calms and energizes body and mind.
L-theanine boosts brain levels of serotonin and dopamine, combating the energy-depleting effects of stress. It may also boost memory and cognitive function, allowing you to think more clearly.
Matcha Tea and Disease
Matcha tea is also loaded with antioxidant power, more so than coffee. These antioxidants help to combat free radical damage in the body and may lower the risk of disease.
Studies have illustrated that regular consumption of green tea can help lower cholesterol levels and prevent heart disease. Some research also suggests that it may help prevent cancer.
Matcha Tea and Hydration
Finally, if you think you are hydrating yourself by drinking a few cups of coffee a day, you need to think again. The high amounts of caffeine in coffee increase urination and can actually have a dehydrating effect on the body.
If you opt instead for matcha tea with its level of caffeine, you won’t get this dehydrating effect. Instead, it will help maintain your fluid balance, which is what your beverage of choice should be doing.
So is matcha the new coffee? It seems it very well may be. If you want to optimize your health, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain from enjoying a cup of matcha tea instead of coffee tomorrow morning.
Cheraskin, Emanuel, et al. "Effect of caffeine versus placebo supplementation on blood-glucose concentration." The Lancet 289.7503 (1967): 1299-1300.
Bursill, Christina A., Mavis Abbey, and Paul D. Roach. "A green tea extract lowers plasma cholesterol by inhibiting cholesterol synthesis and upregulating the LDL receptor in the cholesterol-fed rabbit." Atherosclerosis193.1 (2007): 86-93.
Bushman, Joan Louise. "Green tea and cancer in humans: a review of the literature." Nutrition and cancer 31.3 (1998): 151-159.