This powdered green tea has become more and more popular as the health conscious consumer demands a newer and trendier superfood. As smoothie bowls and acai berries are on their way out, matcha is edging its way in and for good reason. The wise Japanese sages have known of its power for almost a thousand years when the first seeds were brought to Japan and the tea was developed specifically for tea ceremonies, where it was used for mental clarity and energy, while also allowing for a calm meditative state. Matcha’s popularity in the western world is fairly new and is now considered one of 2016’s top health crazes. We consider ourselves part of this trend… Okay, maybe not. But we were definitely on board with matcha long before Starbucks, so that has to count for something.
When Sportland began developing its performance teas, Matcha Green Tea was a no-brainer for many of its energy blends. Because of its high caffeine content and low acidity, it is the perfect substitute for coffee and other stimulants. However, there are countless other ways in which Matcha Green Tea can enhance your athletic potential and life in general.
But first, what exactly is matcha again?
Well, quite simply, it’s ground up green tea leaf and that is the key to it being different than other forms of green tea. Because you are consuming the entire tea leaf, rather than steeping in a bag which results in less than 20% of the active ingredients in tea being drawn out, you are getting all 100% of the benefits of the tea leaf.
What’s in it for you?
All of this:
It has been proven to fight cancer and cancer sucks, so drink more Matcha.
It is rich in fiber and if you don’t know the benefits of fiber just ask your grandma.
It lowers cholesterol and blood sugar, without raising insulin levels. Which means you'll crave less cookies, which means you’ll lose weight, which means you’ll run faster, which means you might win 1st place at your next race, which means you could win your weight in beer! And then you’ll have to start over, so maybe just take the win and have a cup of tea.
It’s packed with unique amino acids, especially L-Theanine which is a proven stress reducer.
High in Antioxidants
Full disclosure, we totally hate this claim. Because it’s so overused and basically gives you a reason to consume red wine and chocolate in large doses, while drunkenly proclaiming in a Love Actually induced rant about how much you are finally taking care of yourself and fighting off heart disease.
But for real, antioxidants are nutrients and enzymes responsible for fighting against the negative effects of UV radiation, and preventing a number of life-threatening health issues. Antioxidants are in such foods as raw fruits, green veggies, and dark chocolate. The first amazing benefit of Matcha Green Tea is that just one cup provides over 5 times as many antioxidants as any other food – the highest rated by the ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) method. When you drink matcha, you get 300% (we never exaggerate) more antioxidants than in a cup of regularly brewed tea. *Deep breath* In conclusion, antioxidants are awesome, and when consumed in Matcha Green Tea you do not have to adhere to the moderation rule. But who really does anyway?
No, we did not make up this term. Or did we?
Green tea contains a specific set of organic compounds known as catechins. Among antioxidants, catechins are the most potent and beneficial. One specific catechin called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg) makes up 60% of the catechins in Matcha Green Tea. EGCg is most widely recognized for its cancer fighting properties. Scientists have found that Matcha Green Tea contains over 100 times more EGCg than any other tea on the market. Matcha body-slams and chokes out cancer. Matcha Green Tea FTW.
Matcha has been used by Chinese Daoists and Japanese Zen Buddhist monks as a means to relax and meditate while remaining alert. This is due to the amino acid L-Theanine contained in the leaves used to make Matcha. L-Theanine promotes the production of alpha waves in the brain, which induces relaxation without an inherent drowsiness. Your options are go for a 5 mile run or connect with the divine - the choice is yours my friend.
Boosts Memory and Concentration
L-Theanine also aids in the production of dopamine and serotonin, which serve to enhance mood, improve memory, and promote better concentration. Now you’ll really remember why you hate Friday morning track workouts.
Increases Energy Levels and Endurance
While all green tea naturally contains caffeine, the energy boost received from Matcha is largely due to its unique combination of other nutrients. The increased endurance from a cup of Matcha Green Tea can last up to 6 hours and because of the effects of L-Theanine, Matcha drinkers experience none of the usual side-effects of stimulants, such as nervousness and hypertension. Simply put, it calms you down, while also giving you more energy. We know… It’s a paradox.
We added this just so the Kardashians might pick it up. SEO and all that.
Drinking Matcha Green Tea has also been shown to increase metabolism and help the body burn fat about four times faster than average. Matcha causes no negative side-effects, such as increased heart rate and high blood pressure. Our feelings are that if Kanye drank more Matcha and less slushies, he and Kim would be doing just fine.
How does Matcha Green Tea benefit athletes?
Matcha, aside from a higher caffeine content than other green teas, has several benefits for athletes. Studies show that drinking Matcha has improved physical endurance by 24% during difficult workouts, it’s nearly calorie free, it boosts metabolism, and it burns fat. It lowers athletic stress, helps regulate blood pressure and heart rate, and because of it’s special growing procedures, is substantially higher in chlorophyll, which is a powerful body detoxifier. Ultimately, you burn harder, safer, and cleaner when you drink Matcha.