Matcha has become one of the most popular health products around in recent years.
You can find it in almost any supermarket or health store because there’s now a huge market for the potential physical benefits of the tea.
In essence, matcha is very similar to green tea but the main difference in the production process is that it’s covered for around a month before being harvested. By sheltering the tea from direct sunlight, its amino acid content is enhanced due to an increase in chlorophyll production. The result is a much larger nutritional value.
But with all the hype around the product, you might be wondering what actually are the proven health benefits of matcha? Built for Athletes takes a look.
Improved Brain Function
Various scientific studies have shown that consuming matcha results in improved performance in tasks that challenge brain cognition. One such study compared participants who drank matcha tea or ate a bar containing matcha with a group who drank or ate a placebo. They found the matcha group had better attention, memory and reaction time.
A compound called L-theanine is also found in matcha. L-theanine has been shown to enhance the alertness effect of caffeine (which is found in higher quantities in matcha than in green tea), as well as suppress the energy crash that can follow caffeine consumption.
High Antioxidant Content
Antioxidants work against free radicals which can damage cells, and matcha is rich in a type of antioxidant known as catechins.
The content of catechins in matcha is up to 137 times greater than that in normal green tea, so it is a useful way to pack some extra antioxidants into to your diet in order to protect yourself against chronic diseases.
Boosts Fat Burning
A number of studies have shown that consuming green tea can improve weight loss by increasing fat metabolism. Whether taking green tea during exercise or throughout the day, there is evidence to suggest it causes increased energy consumption.
As matcha is a type of green tea and is made from the same plant, it carries these benefits.
Protects The Liver & Heart
Green tea is associated with improved liver health. This is thought to be because it decreases liver enzyme levels which are a marker of liver damage.
Levels of LDL cholesterol, sometimes referred to as bad cholesterol, are also believed to be lowered by green tea consumption, which leads to an improvement of heart health.