Matcha Green Tea - Why is it so good for you?
Karl, Laurence and Annabelle from PAWA Health spent a virtual Friday Night In with us last week. I have always been so intrigued about matcha green tea but never really knew why it was good and how to use it. So very generously, the team behind PAWA Health were happy to fill us in on the benefits of Matcha and ways that we can use it in our daily food routine!
So it's over to them…..
Matcha health benefits
There are numerous health benefits from matcha green tea consumption. To make it simple, we tabulated the health benefits and linked them back to who could benefit. We’re science and fitness nerds so we are interested in knowing what the benefits are and more importantly, how the matcha constituents can improve health with support from clinical studies.
Based on our experience and research, the main benefits of matcha green tea include:
· fat-burning for weight loss;
· reducing the risk of cardio-vascular disease;
· improved ability to ignore distractions & switch between tasks;
· helping drinkers reach a state of calm focus (without jitters like coffee).
Who can benefit:
BUSY PEOPLE - Improve ability to switch between tasks, reduce stress and boost energy levels. The combination of the amino acid L-Theanine and caffeine can enhance mental clarity (Giesbrecht et al., 2010). L-Theanine reduces anxiety and attenuates an increase in blood pressure (Yoto et al., 2012).
ELITE ATHLETES - Focus on your sport with undivided attention, improved reaction times and enhanced blood flow. The combination of L-Theanine and caffeine reduces susceptibility to distractions (Owen et al., 2010). This mix can also lead to faster reaction times (Haskell et al., 2008). The antioxidant EC can stimulate eNOS to dilate blood vessels (Ramirez-Sanchez et al., 2010 and Loke et al., 2008) for enhanced oxygen and nutrient delivery and waste removal.
OVERWEIGHT INDIVIDUALS - Increase fat burning throughout the day and help you along your weight loss journey. The combination of green tea and resistance training can increase resting metabolic rate and lean body mass while decreasing body fat and waist circumference (Cardoso et al., 2013). The combination of the antioxidant EGCG and caffeine consumed prior can improve fitness in overweight women (Smith et al., 2010).
PHYSIQUE COMPETITORS & BODYBUILDERS - To remain lean throughout the year or to improve the results of your cutting phase. EGCG inhibits an enzyme responsible for the degradation of adrenaline and noradrenaline. These hormones assist with fatty acid liberation from fat cells into circulation to be burnt as a fuel source (Chen et al., 2005). Caffeine increases metabolic rate and fat burning (Westerterp-Plantenga et al., 2005).
STUDENTS - Improve ability to switch between subjects of study, ignore distractions and sustain attention. The L-Theanine and caffeine combination improves speed and accuracy of attention-switching tasks with reduced susceptibility to distractions (Owen et al., 2010). It also improves performance on sustained attention tasks (Foxe et al., 2012).
We’ve realised how versatile and intriguing matcha green tea powder by getting creative in the kitchen over the last year.
Tea connoisseurs can experience the traditional matcha tea ceremony to celebrate the greatness of the little things. Usucha (thin tea) with a perfect creamy froth by using a bamboo chasen (whisking tool). The process is ritualistic and adds to the calming nature of the tea.
Chefs and foodies can fascinate their guests with the electric colour of our matcha or use it as a palate cleanser before a degustation or a fancy dinner! It’s easy to mix in with dry ingredients when baking or making pancakes. Matcha can neutralise residual flavours so it’s great for dinner parties when you want to make sure your guests enjoy each course. Heston Blumenthal created a palate cleanser called Lime Grove using matcha in the mousse before dusting it through a muslin bag for decoration.
You can add matcha to ALL juices and smoothies. But we recommend sticking to non-dairy milk if you want to make the most of matcha’s antioxidant power. There are studies suggesting that dairy milk can diminish the cardio-vascular protecting benefits, metabolic rate and bioavailability of the antioxidants. So if you’re keen on optimising the fat burning properties, try to stay clear of dairy or use alternatives such almond or rice milk.