Matcha Tea is the new kid on the block in terms of ‘superfoods’. But what actually is it? Erin Young, founder of Zen Green Tea explains all in the blog post as well as why we should be drinking it for enhanced health and performance.
Why you should be drinking this tea for health and performance
With the increasing focus on health and natural foods many athletes are turning away from traditional pre work out drinks and artificial nutritional substances and instead looking to natural alternatives. Rising in popularity is matcha green tea which is increasingly becoming the focus of scientific studies that are showing its role in assisting with weight loss & weight management, boosting energy & endurance, reducing & relieving inflammation, supporting the immune system and protecting from cancer.
So what is matcha?
Matcha green tea is the whole green tea leaf which is briefly steamed, dried and ground into a fine vibrant green powder. The powder dissolves in water so you consume the whole tea leaf not just the steeped water. As a result, matcha green tea contains 137 x the antioxidants on standard green tea and has the highest concentration of the antioxidant EGCG which is one of the most powerful cancer fighting antioxidants.
Here are some of the reasons behind just a selection of its health benefits:
Assists with Weight loss and Weight Management
Matcha assists with weight loss and weight management in four specific ways:
- Boosts fat burning: A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that consuming matcha can raise the bodies fat burning rate (thermogenesis) from the normal 8-10% to 35-43%.
- Reduces Fat Absorption: Matcha helps block the ability of digestive enzymes to break down fat so the amount of fat entering cells is reduced and instead this fat is passed through the body in digestion.
- Reduces hunger: Matcha helps regulate the hormone Leptin helping to reduce your hunger cravings.
- Stress reducer: Matcha helps reduce stress and as a result your body does not produce as much of the stress hormone Cortisol which is a known contributor to stubborn midsection fat.
Boosting Energy & Endurance
Matcha is a natural source of sustained energy due to the unique way it delivers caffeine into your system. With matcha the natural tea caffeine is absorbed and released slowly by the body over a period of 6-8 hour. This means that matcha provides a sustainable energy boost and does not deliver the rapid 30 minute spike, slump and “jitters” associated with coffee. You will feel alert, energized and calm when you drink matcha. This is perfect for anyone wanting constant and sustained energy.
Supporting and Relieving Inflammation
Studies have shown green tea can help reduce inflammation and joint pain because of its active ingredient EGCG which is a powerful antioxidant that works to stop the production of certain inflammatory chemicals in the body. Matcha contains a much higher level of EGCG compared to standard green tea bags making it the perfect anti-inflammatory drink.
Supports the Immune System
Matcha has an anti-inflammatory effect on the immune system. The more matcha you drink or use in your food, the better allergic reactions (IGE) are suppressed. The catechins and L-Theanine in matcha have an anti-viral effect in flu. The EGCGs have an anti-bacterial effect on different sickness-causing micro-bodies, including Candidias Albicans. Matcha inhibits the growth of parasites. Matcha thus curbs infections, clears up free radicals, reduces oxidative damage and protects the kidneys.
Protects from Cancer
Matcha contains the highest levels of cancer fighting EGCG antioxidants only found in green tea. Researchers believe that the EGCG in matcha:
- Prevents free radicals from damaging cells which leads to cancer
- Suppresses tumour size
- Kill cancerous cells and inhibit their progression
- Increases breast cancer survival rates
So what does matcha taste like?
Surprisingly matcha is very light in flavour- it does not have any bitterness and is delicious to drink as a hot or iced tea and is also a perfect additive to smoothies or juices.
If you are looking for some great ways you can use matcha, check out the zen green tea website and the specific recipes below!
Sugar Free Iced Tea: http://zengreentea.com.au/sugar-free-iced-tea/
Matcha Green Tea Smoothie: http://zengreentea.com.au/matcha-smoothies/
Matcha and Pistachio Bliss Balls: http://zengreentea.com.au/pistachio-matcha-bliss-balls/
Two Ingredient Matcha Nice Cream http://zengreentea.com.au/two-ingredient-healthy-matcha-nice-cream/