What is Matcha?
Matcha is a unique type of green tea (made into powder) and is one of the most prized beverages in Japanese culture. In a nutshell, matcha originates from the same leaves as regular green tea. In fact, many different tea leaves originate from the same plant, called the Camellia Sinensis plant.
The difference is the way the leaves are grown and processed. Different growing regions and tactics yield different levels of nutrients and antioxidants in the leaves.
Matcha Powder vs Green Tea Leaves:
The biggest difference between the two is the way in which you consume them – matcha is in powdered form and you eat the entire leaf while regular green tea leaves are just steeped in water (but not consumed). By consuming the entire leaf in powdered form, you’re actually getting more nutrients and antioxidants according to most studies.
Another big difference is the way the leaves are grown and processed. Although they come from the same leaf, leaves being grown for matcha are shaded from the sun in the last few weeks of growth, which increases the chlorophyll content in the leaves leaving you with a beautiful bright green color, while regular green tea leaves are left out in the sun to dry.
Top 4 Benefits of Matcha Green Tea Powder:
These are the top 4 reasons why I, personally, love matcha powder and like to enjoy it in my smoothies on occasion – usually once or twice per week.
1. Super Energizing
The natural caffeine content in matcha not only gives you energy and mental clarity, but it also gives a “calming” effect to balance out the energy it gives. It’s the perfect synergy of energy/focus vs calm. I’ve never had a jittery feeling or crashed from consuming matcha powder – but it is very important to get a high quality, organic matcha powder.
*Note: If you have adrenal fatigue, I recommend avoiding any type of caffeine all together and opt for non-caffeinated herbal blends.
2. High in Antioxidants
This stuff is super high in antioxidants due to the way it’s grown and processed and also because of the fact that you’re consuming the whole leaf. To give you an idea…. 1 tsp of High Quality Matcha Powder contains:
- 6x’s more antioxidants than a serving of goji berries
- 17x’s more antioxidants than blueberries, and
- 60x’s more antioxidants than spinach!
Eating foods high in antioxidants is extremely important these days, especially with all of the environmental toxins we breath in on a daily basis. Antioxidants are what combat any potentially dangerous free radicals in our body. They’re great for preventing diseases, such as cancer.
3. Speeds Up Metabolism & Fat Loss
Some studies have shown that drinking matcha green tea powder prior to a workout resulted in 25% more fat burning during exercise. The combination of natural caffeine for extra energy and naturally occurring catechins, which promote fat oxidation, are most likely the reason for this.
My Super Energizing Matcha Smoothie would be an ideal pre-workout drink [RECIPE & VIDEO BELOW]
Because matcha leaves are grown in the shade, they contain much higher amounts of chlorophyll than other green teas. Chlorophyll is what gives plants their green color. It helps to detox the body of heavy metals, toxins, carcinogens, etc. Plus, it helps to cleanse the blood – clean blood is critical to having superb health as it delivers the nutrients to your cells!
Don’t Overdo It Though…
As wonderful as Matcha Green Tea Powder is for you, all variations of green tea may contain very small amounts of lead or fluoride (yes, even organic varieties).
The many benefits of green tea (especially matcha) tend to outweigh the odds; however, it’s still worth noting. I suggest only having it as a treat 1-2x’s per week or less. And, avoid matcha if pregnant for this reason.
My Super Energizing Matcha Smoothie Recipe…
Check out the video below to see how I make my matcha smoothie. This smoothie is perfect for a pre-workout drink or as a meal replacement (especially for breakfast). The healthy fats are going to keep you full and energized all morning long.