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 the following blog post, we've outlined how seamlessly you can switch from coffee to matcha tea 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)
The bottom line | Get creative with how you switch over to matcha
You won't regret making the switch from coffee to tea as your caffeine source of choice.
Compared to coffee, there are countless ways and recipes you can enjoy and experiment with to replace and switch over from coffee to matcha. We have a huge library full of fun and delicious sweet and savory recipes you can try to incorporate matcha into your daily routine.
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