Same as any other green tea derived from the leaf of Camellia sinensis, matcha tea does have caffeine in it. It is one of the reasons why you feel the familiar dopamine rush after having a cup of matcha.
Research shows that matcha tea has caffeine but at a small amount. For instance, the caffeine in a cup of eight-ounce matcha tea can only be up to 70 milligrams. If your tea is more concentrated, more caffeine can also be further absorbed by the body.
The good thing about matcha is it has L-theanine, the amino acid that enables the body to consume caffeine slowly. If a cup of coffee can kick in after 15 minutes, L-theanine in matcha tea delays the effect for up to 30 minutes.
The Wonders of Caffeine in Matcha
Matcha’s benefits are as rich as its color. If you are planning to slow down from coffee and divert to a more guilt-free drink, the following benefits may help you decide to finally start making a cup of matcha.
- Matcha tea lightens up the mood. Like the high spirit brought by coffee, the bit of caffeine found in matcha helps the brain produce serotonin. It is advisable to limit the intake of matcha to a maximum of four cups a day to still adhere to the daily limit of caffeine intake.
- Matcha tea helps you lose weight. Matcha’s caffeine content aids in weight loss by increasing your metabolism by up to 17% at a lower calorie count. The antioxidants in matcha also can cut out your cravings.
- Matcha tea protects your heart. Another antioxidant called polyphenols, which is also present in caffeine, helps prevent blood clotting and equalize blood sugar levels, thus saving you from risks of heart disease.
- Matcha tea improves oral health. Regular green teas are used to treat oral diseases, and matcha tea, a premium type of green tea, helps combat dental problems. Studies show that depression, anxiety, and stress somehow correlate with poor oral health, and matcha’s role in improving one’s mood is the key to avoid dental problems.
- Matcha tea makes you glow. Antioxidants also play a role in the collagen production of the skin. If you often stay up late and would like to revive your skin, a cup of matcha will do the job of rejuvenating your skin back.
- Matcha tea strengthens your immune system. Matcha has another antioxidant called EGCg which targets bacteria in the body. These bacteria are the cause of hepatitis, influenza, and other similar diseases.
- Matcha tea eases arthritis. Polyphenols in matcha are the lifesaver. It works best in protecting the heart and acting as an anti-inflammatory agent to improve the bones and stop friction on the joints.
- Matcha tea is the powerhouse of vitamins and minerals. Among the vitamins found in matcha are vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, and F. Imagine spending just a few minutes preparing a cup of matcha versus the loads of vitamins you can get from it.
The Rise of Decaf Matcha
Caffeine is, unfortunately, not for everyone. People suffering from a heart condition, depression, epilepsy, GERD, and pregnant women are just one of the few who are restricted from taking caffeinated drinks. To not deprive anyone of the opportunity to have a cup of matcha tea, the decaf matcha is born.
Decaf matcha is made by removing 99% of caffeine through the “water process.” In this method, water from the mountain is used to extract the caffeine from the tea. It is said that only 3 mg of caffeine is left after the water process.
There’s still a meager amount of decaf matcha products in the market since the nutrients and antioxidants are also believed to be stripped off when doing the water process. More people are still patronizing the caffeinated but more benefit-packed matcha tea powder.
Both matcha tea and caffeine offer their own health benefits and tasty flavor. However, if going to be ranked on which has the most benefits and less negative effects, matcha tea powder surely wins. If you are still enjoying the dopamine rush of coffee, give matcha tea a try, and your body will thank you later for the healthy treat.