Matcha is a finely ground powder made from green tea leaves. Matcha has become increasingly popular as people are looking for more natural and healthy beverage options other than those currently available on the market such as coffee, energy drinks, and even sodas. It’s no surprise that matcha is becoming so popular, considering how it may be able to help with weight loss! This article will explore just what makes matcha so special and why you should consider drinking it every day. We’ll also look at what makes the best matcha powder for weight loss, and how to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.
What Are The Things To Look Out For When Buying Matcha Powder?
When you’re looking for the best matcha green tea powder for weight loss, there are a few aspects you should consider:
Where It Was Harvested
Matcha is typically harvested in southern Japan, where it’s been a part of the country’s culture. Harvesting matcha involves growing tea plants under shade for their final three weeks before harvesting to reduce photosynthesis and increase chlorophyll levels in the leaves (2).
This process is what makes Matcha so special because when you drink matcha powder, you’re actually getting more of the nutrients found in green tea leaves. Other green teas are made simply by steaming or pan-frying the plant, which means that some of the nutritional benefits are lost in processing.
Although some varieties are harvested in China, they are said to not be nearly as nutrient-dense. So when you’re looking to buy matcha powder, be sure it’s Japanese and has been grown in the shade to ensure quality.
The Texture Of The Powder
The best matcha looks like a fine powder, similar to baby powder. It has an almost silky feel to it, with no lumps or coarse grains. To achieve such consistency, matcha must be stone ground in cold temperatures. Heat can ruin its quality and make it more granular.
The Color Of The Powder
Matcha is a bright green color because of its high chlorophyll content (6). Generally speaking, the greener the matcha powder (with no yellow or brown tinges), the better. If the powder you’re buying is not bright green, it could mean that something has been added to the powder to change its color, which could mean it’s not actually 100% pure matcha.
How It Dissolves In Water
Pure matcha powder will dissolve almost immediately in hot or cold water without leaving any clumps or residue behind. If your matcha is not dissolving well, this could also mean it’s not pure.
You can also test for freshness by mixing your matcha powder with water and seeing if any fizzing occurs; this is an indication that your powder has oxidized and lost some nutritional benefits.
Organic Versus Non-Organic
Buying organic products if possible is sometimes recommended for food consumption if you want to avoid unnecessary chemicals and pesticides that have been used during production (11). If possible, try to find an organic matcha powder that will ensure you’re getting the most healthy and nutritious cup of tea.
When Should I Consume Matcha?
Matcha drinkers often enjoy having a warm cup of matcha first thing in the morning to give them an energy boost, or throughout the day between meals for a more mellow pick-me-up. Throughout this article, we’ll be exploring what some matcha benefits are and why you may want to try drinking it regularly.
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What Are The Different Types of Matcha?
There are two main types of matcha: ceremonial grade matcha, which is used in Japan for tea ceremonies; and culinary grade matcha, which is also known as cooking or baking grade, intended for drinking or adding to sweet recipes (19).
Ceremonial Grade Matcha
- Has a smoother, silkier texture
- Has a taste that is generally described as sweet
- Contains L-Theanine which helps promote relaxation and focus
- Does not need to be frothed, but can simply be mixed with hot water
Culinary Grade Matcha
- Tends to have a grainier texture because it is intended for baking or cooking
- Has a taste that is often described as savory/umami
- Has more caffeine than ceremonial grade matcha
Best Practices When Preparing And Drinking Your Cup Of Matcha
There are many different ways that people like to prepare and drink their cup of matcha. However, there are a few key tips that all matcha drinkers should know.
The Best Water Temperature For Matcha
The best temperature for boiling water when preparing your cup of matcha is 160-180°F (71-82°C). Boiling or extremely hot water can burn the leaves and create a bitter taste in your drink.
Amount Of Matcha Powder To Add
One level teaspoon of matcha powder is typically the ideal amount needed to prepare one cup of matcha tea. However, if you are using culinary grade matcha, which has a much stronger flavor than ceremonial grade, feel free to use only half-teaspoon; this is enough to give it an extra kick.
How To Make Matcha “Ceremonial” Grade
The reason why the whisking process is so important when preparing this kind of matcha is that it helps break up any clumps of powder that may have formed during shipping or storing, which ultimately results in a smooth, rich consistency.
If you want to drink your matcha straight without using the whisking process, you can mix one teaspoon of matcha powder with 1/4 cup of hot water in a small bowl until the matcha is dissolved. Then, add your matcha to your cup and fill it up with warm or hot water.
What Else Can You Use Matcha Powder For?
Making tea is not the only way to use this bright-green powder.
You can also use matcha in a variety of baking recipes such as muffins, bread, and even brownies. If you’re vegan or lactose intolerant, there are some great recipes that substitute regular cow’s milk with matcha tea.
Matcha is also the perfect addition to smoothies because it adds an extra boost of energy and nutrition to your drink without changing the taste too much.
If you’re trying to cut down on caffeine intake, you can mix it with hot water and drink it as a replacement for your morning cup of coffee.
You can even add it to a DIY face mask for an antioxidant boost.
Is There Anything Matcha Shouldn’t Be Used For?
Some people with very sensitive stomachs may find that they experience an upset stomach if they consume this type of green tea on a regular basis. The caffeine in matcha powder can trigger symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (5). It’s important to start slowly with any new food or beverage before you try consuming it more frequently. For example, if you’ve never had a green tea latte before, try starting with a small portion and gradually working your way up to a larger drink.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Matcha?
Most people know that matcha can be used in tea that might help you lose weight. But do you know that there are many more health benefits associated with this extract? Here are some of the most notable reasons why using matcha powder is good for you:
Aids In Weight Loss
As mentioned earlier, matcha can be used to make a tea that leads to the burning of more calories than usual (18). This is due to its unique composition which has fat-fighting properties that are responsible for this benefit. As an added bonus, it also makes you feel satiated and full for longer periods of time; hence preventing you from snacking on unnecessary calories throughout the day.
Improves Heart Health
Matcha is packed with nutrients that are good for your heart. This is because it contains catechin, a powerful antioxidant that may help lower bad cholesterol levels and prevent blood clots (9). It might also help improve the capillary system which increases nutrient flow throughout your body, including to the brain.
One of its most notable health benefits is the fact that matcha may also boost your immunity (12). This is because it contains EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), a substance that may affect the immune system; possibly preventing you from getting sick in the first place or at least helping you get better quickly when you do fall ill.
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Enhances Mental Functioning
Another great benefit of matcha powder is that it can boost mental functioning due to its caffeine content. After ingesting it, you might notice that your mind becomes clearer with improved attention; you feel more alert and focused as compared to before (3).
Stops Premature Aging
Matcha is also known for its anti-aging benefits (1). This is because it contains antioxidants that may help protect your skin from damage caused by free radicals which can cause wrinkles and fine lines to form earlier than expected. When these particles are blocked, you could notice that your face appears younger and less haggard compared to before.
Regular intake of matcha green tea can also help boost metabolism which is why it is good for weight loss. This is because this substance contains caffeine, an ingredient that can increase your energy levels and make you feel more active throughout the day. As an added bonus, it may enhance fat oxidation during exercise (15).
Catechins are another type of antioxidant found in matcha that contains powerful anti-cancer properties (14). While they cannot prevent cancer cells from forming, they may help prevent these cells from multiplying and spreading to other parts of the body; hence preventing cancerous tumors from developing as well as improving survival rate when cancer is already present in the body.
While there are no clinical studies that support this benefit, many people claim that matcha powder can be used to treat psoriasis thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties which work to reduce skin irritation caused by this condition (8). When used regularly, you may notice a significant improvement in the appearance of your skin compared to before.
Boosts Energy Levels
Matcha can also increase energy levels without causing side effects or jitteriness unlike coffee. This is because it contains caffeine but unlike regular coffee, it only has about 1/3 of the amount; potentially preventing you from feeling restless and worried all throughout the day (10).
As an added bonus, matcha might also improve physical fitness and stamina which is why it is popular among athletes. This is because it contains L-Theanine that stimulates neurotransmitter production in your brain thereby increasing your focus throughout the day while decreasing any feelings of stress or anxiety. It can also make you more alert which allows you to perform better during training sessions and other types of exercise.
According to epidemiological studies, matcha powder may help prevent obesity and type 2 diabetes when taken regularly over time (17).
Are There Any Negative Side Effects Of Matcha Powder?
With all these benefits, you may be tempted to buy matcha powder immediately; but before rushing your purchase, it is important to take note of some negative side effects of this substance which you should know before taking it.
One of the common side effects of matcha is that it can increase your blood pressure levels due to its caffeine content (7). Thus, if you are currently suffering from hypertension; you should avoid using this product or ask for your doctor’s advice first before making any dietary changes.
Also, taking too much matcha powder may cause insomnia and affect sleep quality which is why everyone who plans on taking this supplement should do so no later than early afternoon so they can still have time to relax at night. This is because of its caffeine content that causes sleep disturbances (16).
Finally, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should also avoid taking matcha powder since not enough studies have been conducted to prove that this product is safe for them. While it is unlikely that matcha can harm unborn babies or nursing infants, there are still risks involved in taking dietary supplements during pregnancy and breastfeeding so you should refrain from doing so until further research has been conducted (4). Always discuss any supplements or dietary concerns with your OB/GYN.
As with any supplement or food you plan on incorporating into your diet, it is important to take note of the benefits as well as the possible side effects before making a decision about using matcha powder. Even though there are some precautions you must take before using this product, it has also been found to have many positive effects when taken properly which may be enough reason for you to drink one cup every day in order to improve your overall well-being.
The Bottom Line
Whether you’re looking for an alternative to drinking coffee in the morning or simply want to enjoy something that tastes great and is easy on your stomach, matcha tea can be just what you need! When buying the powder, ensure that you’re buying at the very least culinary grade matcha, which is almost always less expensive than ceremonial or premium grade. Look out for signs of poor storage, and always go organic if you can.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- A Review of the Role of Green Tea (Camellia sinensis) in Antiphotoaging, Stress Resistance, Neuroprotection, and Autophagy (2020, mdpi.com)
- Antioxidant Properties and Nutritional Composition of Matcha Green Tea (2020, mdpi.com)
- Effect of Green Tea Phytochemicals on Mood and Cognition (2017, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Effect of the consumption of green tea extract during pregnancy and lactation on metabolism of mothers and 28d-old offspring (2018, nature.com)
- Effect of decaffeination of coffee or tea on gastro-oesophageal reflux (1994, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Effects of stem removal on physicochemical properties and sensory quality of tencha beverages (Camellia sinensis; Chuanxiaoye) (2021, ift.onlinelibrary.wiley.com)
- Effects on blood pressure of drinking green and black tea (1999, journals.lww.com)
- Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) inhibits imiquimod-induced psoriasis-like inflammation of BALB/c mice (2016, bmccomplementmedtherapies.biomedcentral.com)
- Green tea intake lowers fasting serum total and LDL cholesterol in adults: a meta-analysis of 14 randomized controlled trials( 2011, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Health Benefits and Chemical Composition of Matcha Green Tea: A Review (2020, mdpi.com)
- Human health implications of organic food and organic agriculture: a comprehensive review (2017, ehjournal.biomedcentral.com)
- Immunomodulating effects of epigallocatechin-3-gallate from green tea: mechanisms and applications (2013, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Matcha 101: 6 Secrets to Making the Perfect Cup (2016, vogue.com)
- Matcha green tea (MGT) inhibits the propagation of cancer stem cells (CSCs), by targeting mitochondrial metabolism, glycolysis and multiple cell signalling pathways (2018, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Matcha Green Tea Drinks Enhance Fat Oxidation During Brisk Walking in Females (2018, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Taken 0, 3, or 6 Hours before Going to Bed (2013, jcsm.aasm.org)
- The Effects of Green Tea on Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes (2013, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- The effects of green tea on weight loss and weight maintenance: a meta-analysis (2009,pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Your Guide to the Different Grades of Matcha (2020, teaspoons.co)