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· By Avery Hastings
Matcha is a type of green tea that is ground into a fine powder and is traditionally prepared by mixing the powder with hot water to create a frothy, green tea beverage. A single serving of matcha is typically made with 1 gram of matcha powder (about ½ tsp.) and about 2-4 ounces of hot water. For one serving or matcha, the caffeine content is about 70 milligrams of caffeine per serving.
Now, let’s compare this to other beverages like coffee and black tea. All else being equal, the caffeine content of matcha is generally lower than the caffeine content of coffee. However, the amount of caffeine in matcha can vary depending on the specific type of matcha and how it is prepared. On average, one cup of coffee has about 80-100 milligrams of caffeine. It is also worth noting that people typically consume smaller servings of matcha compared to coffee, so the total caffeine intake from matcha may be similar to or even higher than that from coffee in some cases.
Believe it not, black tea is also made from the exact same leaves as matcha! Matcha and black tea leaves come from the Camellia sinensis plant. The main difference lies within the production methods for black tea and matcha. When producing black tea, the leaves are allowed to fully oxidize before they are dried. In comparison, matcha leaves are shaded for 14-21 days, then steamed, dried, de-veined and ground into a fine powder.
Compared to the caffeine in matcha, one serving of black tea contains about 47 milligrams of caffeine. That’s 23 milligrams less than the 70 milligrams found in matcha. So, compared to black tea, matcha contains more caffeine. However, it is important to note that caffeine in tea can vary depending on factors such as the type of tea, how it is prepared, and the serving size.
It is not accurate to say that the caffeine in matcha is "cleaner" than the caffeine in coffee. Caffeine is a naturally occurring stimulant found in a variety of plant-based foods and beverages, including coffee, tea, and chocolate. Did you know that the chemical make-up of caffeine, regardless of the source is the same? So when you are comparing the caffeine in matcha to the caffeine in coffee, it is no different, even though the effects of consuming different beverages may have a different effect.
Some people may prefer the lower caffeine content of matcha, while others may prefer the higher caffeine content of coffee. Some people may prefer matcha to coffee because it contains a wider range of beneficial compounds, such as antioxidants and amino acids, which may provide additional health benefits. In addition, the caffeine in matcha is released slowly into the bloodstream due to the presence of L-theanine, which helps to reduce the caffeine's stimulating effects. This gradual release of caffeine may provide a more sustained energy boost compared to the faster-acting caffeine found in coffee. This is why many prefer matcha to coffee as the caffeine in coffee provides the “coffee jitters”.
When caffeine is consumed, it is absorbed into the bloodstream and travels to the brain, where it blocks the action of a chemical called adenosine. Adenosine is a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate sleep and relaxation, and it accumulates in the brain as we stay awake. When caffeine blocks the action of adenosine, it can cause an increase in the levels of other neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and norepinephrine, which can lead to increased alertness and energy.
Your daily cup of matcha is well-known for its ability to give you a caffeine kick and increase alertness and energy. The caffeine in matcha is often consumed to help people feel enter a state of calm, focused alertness. Some studies have also suggested that caffeine may have other potential health benefits, such as:
Drinking too much matcha, or caffeine in general can have negative effects. In addition to its effects on the brain, caffeine can also stimulate the body in other ways. If you consume too much caffeine (yes, I repeat, even with too much matcha!) you may experience some of the following issues:
So how much caffeine should you be drinking each day? Generally, one should not consume no more than 400 milligrams of caffeine per day. 400 milligrams of caffeine is about 4 cups of coffee, or almost 6 cups of matcha!
The choice of whether to have a cup of matcha, coffee or black tea for that needed energy boost depends on your individual preferences, health-related goals, as well as any potential health concerns. How much caffeine is appropriate for you depends on your individual needs and based on your personal caffeine tolerance. Remember, like anything in life, moderation is key including caffeine intake – regardless if you are getting your caffeine source from matcha, black tea or coffee!
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