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Matcha is a form of green tea that has been enjoyed in Japan and China for over 900 years. Other than drinking it straight, matcha can also be enjoyed in many different ways. I like to start off the day by whisking myself a nice warm cup of matcha every morning. It is a deliciously rich way to start my day. There are many benefits to drinking matcha in the morning. On days where I have more free time, I would slowly make it with my bamboo matcha whisk and when I am more busy, I use a milk frother to quickly whisk it up.
What is matcha?
Matcha is Japanese green tea leaves that has been finely grounded into powder. The tea leaves are grown in a shaded area to avoid direct sunlight. They are then harvested and ground up into powder. When the tea leaves are grown in shade, it increase the chlorophyll production and thereby boosting the amino acid content. Since you are drinking the actual tea leaves, you will receive a higher amount of caffeine and antioxidants than drinking regular green tea.
When you buy matcha, there are many different brands to choose from. Matcha comes in various grades of quality. One of the best quality would be ceremonial grade matcha. This means that the matcha is suitable for using in the Japanese tea ceremony. Because of the high quality, most people would only drink ceremonial matcha with just water. If you aren’t worried about drinking the highest grade of matcha, regular matcha will do fine.
Another thing you need to look out is whether there is sugar included in the matcha. I agree that it might be very tasty to drink your matcha latte sweetened, but it is best to avoid drinking matcha with sugar. This is because matcha powder with sugar added tends to have a very concentration of sugar. It could be up to 50% sugar and that is not good for you to be drinking. Therefore, it is ideal for you to buy pure matcha powder (check the ingredients of the product) and add your own sugar if you want to sweeten it.
Benefits of drinking matcha in the morning
Good source of caffeine
If you are anything like me, you’ll need a dose of caffeine to start the day. After sleeping all night, my body gets a bit dehydrated and I wake up feeling sluggish and tired. A cup of matcha is a great way to start the day with breakfast. While many people like their morning ritual with coffee, tea (especially matcha) offers many health benefits compared to coffee.
Matcha contains more caffeine than the regular tea. On average, a cup of matcha contains about double the amount of caffeine than the regular cup of tea. Not only is it higher than the average cup of tea, the caffeine content can also vary depending on how much powder you add to make your tea. However, matcha still contains less caffeine than coffee. For those of you who get jittery or nauseous after a few hours of drinking coffee, matcha might be a safer alternative as it contains less caffeine.
I think matcha provides just enough caffeine for a nice energy boost to start the day without being way too much. If you are sensitive to caffeine or trying to cut down on caffeine, matcha is a great way to start.
In addition, L-theanine and amino acids in matcha helps slow down your body’s absorption of caffeine. This suggests that you should enjoy a good amount of caffeine without feeling jittery while also having more energy for a longer period of time. Because of the slow release, you also should not receive the same kind of crash you get when you drink too much coffee or stop drinking coffee.
Research has shown that drinking matcha or tea has the ability to lower the levels of your stress hormone cortisol. Matcha is rich in the amino acid L-theanine, which is very helpful in lowering stress and anxiety. L-theanine can help reduce your blood pressure and also relax the tension in your muscles. Studies also show that it might also have the ability to raise your dopamine levels. This is a neurotransmitter in your brain that is involved with pleasure.
I think drinking tea is a great way to help set up a calmer morning. If your still sleepy brain is flooded with stress, it will make it hard for you to slow down when there is other stress triggers. In fact, when you sleep, your brain stops releasing melatonin, a hormone that is involved with calm and sleep. Then when you wake up, your body is given cortisol to help kick you up and awake. Therefore, it might be beneficial for those who are stressed often to start off their day with a cup of matcha as it provides you with both caffeine and keep you de-stressed.
Increase fat burning
Matcha in particular is considered to be something that can enhance your weight loss. Studies have shown that it can help speed up your metabolism to increase the amount of energy you spend and can even increase fat burning by 17%.
The green tea catechin called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) in particular has been known to play a role in weight loss and fat burning. Research has shown that EGCG can help increase your calorie burn and help your body burn your stored fat for energy. In addition, researchers also think that EGCG might even be able to effect the levels of your hunger hormone and therefore reduce your appetite.
The only catch is that you will probably need around 8 to 10 cups of green tea a day to see moderate effect. But for those of you who are trying to lose weight, matcha is probably a simple way to help as even a little boost is still better than nothing.
All in all, matcha is something that is very easy to prepare and has a lot of benefits for you. All you have to do is add a teaspoon or two into a cup of hot water and whisk. If you are feeling creative, you can even add it into a latte or even in a protein smoothie to increase the nutritional content of your drinks.
For some people, you might want to avoid drinking matcha on an empty stomach as this might lead to upsetting their stomach. For those of you who might have gastric reflux or peptic ulcers, drinking matcha on an empty stomach might cause heartburn or other stomach issues. Therefore, if you are not used to drinking matcha, I would recommend you start with half a teaspoon of matcha and drinking the tea with a meal.
Do you drink matcha in the morning?