June 13, 2024

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7 Proven Health Benefits of Matcha Tea

Matcha tea is a kind of green tea. It may be good for your heart, weight, and other aspects of health due to its antioxidant content. It’s also easy to incorporate into your diet.

Matcha is popular in health stores and coffee shops, available as matcha shots, lattes, teas, and desserts.

Like green tea, matcha comes from the Camellia sinensis plant. However, it’s grown differently and has a unique nutrient profile.

Farmers shade the plants used for matcha for most of the growth period. This lack of direct sunlight increases chlorophyll production, boosts the amino acid content, and gives the plant a darker green hue (1).

After harvesting the leaves, producers remove the stems and veins and grind the leaves into a fine powder. This is matcha.

Matcha contains the nutrients from the entire tea leaf and contains more caffeine and antioxidants than are typically present in green tea.

Studies of matcha and its components have unearthed a variety of benefits, showing that it can help protect the liver, promote heart health, and even aid in weight loss.

Here are 7 possible health benefits and advantages of consuming matcha.

Matcha is rich in catechins, a class of plant compounds in tea that act as natural antioxidants.

Antioxidants help stabilize harmful free radicals, compounds that can damage cells and cause chronic disease.

Matcha is grown in the shade. When the leaves are harvested, the catechin content is lower than in other types of green tea. However, when you dissolved in water, it produces 3 times more (1).

One study showed that giving mice matcha supplements reduced damage caused by free radicals and enhanced antioxidant activity (2).

Including matcha in your diet could increase your antioxidant intake, which may help prevent cell damage and lower your risk of several chronic diseases (3).

SUMMARY

Matcha contains antioxidants, which may reduce cell damage and prevent chronic disease.

The liver is vital to health and plays a central role in flushing out toxins, metabolizing drugs, and processing nutrients.

Some studies have found that matcha may help protect the health of your liver.

A 2015 review of 15 studies found that drinking green tea was associated with a decreased risk of liver disease (4).

However, in 2020, some experts noted that while matcha may benefit people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) by reducing liver enzymes, it may increase liver enzymes in people without NAFLD (5).

More research is needed to look at the effects of matcha on the general population since most research is limited to studies examining the effects of green tea extract in animals.

SUMMARY

Some studies have shown that matcha could prevent liver damage and decrease the risk of liver disease. However, additional studies are needed to look at the effects on humans in the general population.

Some research shows that several of the components in matcha could help enhance brain function.

One study in 23 people looked at how people performed on a series of tasks designed to measure brain performance.

Some participants consumed either matcha tea or a bar containing 4 grams of matcha, while the control group consumed a placebo tea or bar.

Those that consumed matcha showed improvements in attention, reaction time, and memory compared with those consuming the placebo (6).

Another small study showed that consuming 2 grams of green tea powder daily for 2 months helped improve brain function in older people (7).

Matcha has a higher concentration of caffeine than green tea. Depending on the type, brand, and processing, green tea tends to contain around 11–25 milligrams per gram (mg/g), while matcha contains 19–44 mg /g (8).

Matcha also contains a compound called L-theanine, which alters the effects of caffeine, promoting alertness and helping avoid the crash in energy levels that can follow caffeine consumption (8).

How else can matcha boost your energy and focus?

SUMMARY

Matcha has been shown to improve attention, memory, and reaction time. It also contains caffeine and L-theanine, which can improve several aspects of brain function.

Matcha contains some compounds that have been linked to cancer prevention in test tubes and animal studies.

For instance, matcha is high in epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a type of catechin that may have powerful anti-cancer properties.

Some laboratory and animal studies have suggested it may help prevent some types of cancer, although more research is needed (1, 9).

SUMMARY

Test tube and animal studies have found that the compounds in matcha may inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

Some research has suggested that drinking green tea, which has a similar nutrient profile to matcha, may help protect against heart disease.

Green tea consumption has been linked with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, compared with coffee, and some studies have suggested it might help lower the risk of high blood pressure and other complications in people with heart disease (10).

The compounds in matcha are similar to those in green tea, and some people have suggested it may have similar benefits. However, at least one animal study appears to contradict this claim (11).

SUMMARY

Studies show that green tea and matcha can decrease several heart disease risk factors.

Green tea is well known for its ability to enhance weight loss and often features in weight loss supplements.

A 2020 review concluded that, together with dietary measures and exercise, taking up to 500 mg per day of green tea for 12 weeks might reduce body mass index (12).

Although most studies have focused on green tea, matcha comes from the same plant and contains similar compounds.

SUMMARY

Some studies show that green tea extract helps increase metabolism and fat burning, both of which may aid weight loss.

There are many ways to enjoy matcha.

You can make traditional matcha tea by sifting 1–2 teaspoons (2–4 grams) of matcha powder into your cup, adding 2 ounces (59 ml) of hot water, and mixing it together with a bamboo whisk.

You can also adjust the ratio of matcha powder to water based on your preferred consistency.

For a thinner tea, reduce the powder to a half teaspoon (1 g) and mix with 3–4 ounces (89–118 ml) of hot water.

For a more concentrated version, combine 2 teaspoons (4 g) of powder with just 1 ounce (30 ml) of water.

You can also:

  • combine matcha with turmeric in a tea or latte
  • stir it into milk-based foods and drinks, such as lattes or rice pudding
  • try it in desserts, such as matcha ice cream or cookies

If you’re feeling creative, try whipping up protein smoothies to boost the nutrient content of your favorite recipes.

SUMMARY

There are many ways to prepare matcha, so you can choose the one you like best. It can also be incorporated into a range of different recipes.

Despite its potential health benefits, it’s best to consume matcha in moderation.

Matcha contains more caffeine than green tea. While some caffeine may be beneficial, too much can have adverse effects, such as increasing the heart rate (1, 13).

Some scientists say that a high intake of catechins can cause liver problems, although they note that this is unlikely when people consume green tea as food or drink (14).

Drinking matcha may also increase your exposure to contaminants like pesticides, chemicals, and even arsenic found in the soil where the tea plants are grown (15, 16).

Research has suggested that 338 mg of catechin and EGCG per day is safe for adults to consume. This is the amount in around 4 g of matcha, or 2 level teaspoons (17, 1).

However, the maximum tolerable intake of matcha powder may depend on the individual. To be safe, make sure to consume matcha in moderation.

Also, look for certified organic varieties to reduce the risk of impurities.

Summary

Drinking a lot of matcha may not be beneficial for everyone. Opt for organic matcha and drink 1–2 cups per day for maximum benefit.

What are the benefits of matcha?

Matcha may help you manage your weight, think more clearly, and reduce disease risk because of the antioxidant content. However, more research is needed to support many of these benefits.

Does matcha burn belly fat?

Some research suggests that taking green tea as a part of a weight management plan — alongside exercise and other dietary changes — may help reduce BMI and waist circumference (13).

Does drinking matcha have any disadvantages or risks?

Matcha is high in caffeine and may contain traces of pesticides and other chemicals. The beneficial compounds it contains, such as catechins, may be harmful in high quantities. It’s best to consume matcha in moderation, for instance, 1–2 cups of tea per day or up to 2 teaspoons of matcha.

Matcha comes from the same plant as green tea, but it contains more concentrated levels of antioxidants and other plant compounds.

It may have a variety of health benefits, ranging from enhancing weight management to decreasing the risk of heart disease.

It is also simple to prepare as a tea and suitable for adding to shakes, desserts, lattes, and other foods and drinks.