Posted on: May 9, 2017 at 11:51 am
Last updated: October 11, 2017 at 8:34 pm

For years we have heard about the amazing health benefits of drinking green tea regularly — from weight loss to fighting off free radical damage. For many of you, matcha green tea is probably a new type of tea, but this lush emerald green tea has been consumed by meditating Buddhist monks for centuries — largely due to its ability to provide calm, focused energy for up to 6 hours!

Matcha’s super powers don’t stop there – loaded with antioxidants, some call matcha the elixir of youth.  Antioxidants are the superheroes of the anti-aging world as they help the body defend against free radical damage.  Read on to learn all about the amazing health benefits of my personal favorite tea, matcha!

Tea Benefits: Key terms and active compounds

  • Antioxidant: Antioxidants help prevent oxidative damage caused by reactive oxygen and or reactive nitrogen species. Oxidative damage to the body, cells and tissues may contribute to premature aging and diseases like cancer and heart disease.
  • Flavonoids: Flavonoids are a type of phytochemical found in tea that are effective antioxidants.
  • Flavonols: Flavonols are a subgroup of flavonoids found in tea and many fruits and vegetables that are antioxidants and are thought to contribute to some of the potential health benefits in these plant foods. They include rutin, quercetin and kaempferol.
  • Theanine: Theanine is an amino acid commonly found in tea that can cross the blood-brain barrier, therefore has psychoactive properties. It may reduce mental and physical stress, and may produce feelings of relaxation by increasing levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), serotonin, dopamine, and alpha wave activity.

matcha benefits


Matcha Benefits – A Superfood With Superpowers

For those who aren’t familiar with this super tea, welcome to the amazing world of matcha.

So, what is matcha green tea powder? Matcha green tea is pretty much regular green tea… on steroids. Matcha is a preparation of green tea leaves that have been dried and stone ground into a fine powder — which means when you drink matcha you are actually eating the whole green tea leaf, instead of just the steeped tea leaves in water.

As you can imagine, actually eating the whole leaf also means that the caffeine content is higher — as are the health benefits. 1 cup of matcha is equivalent to almost 10 cups of regular green tea!
matcha benefits

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Matcha comes in a variety of different grades, ranging from the lowest grade used for cooking, baking, and smoothies, up to ceremonial grade which has the highest level of amino acids.  You can usually tell the quality of a matcha by how green it is – the deeper/brighter the green, the higher the quality. Lower quality or oxidized matcha has a distinctive hay-like smell and a dull brownish-green color.

Matcha Health Benefits Include:

  • Energy and mental alertness
  • Antioxidant support
  • Anti-cancer
    • Multiple studies have shown the positive cancer-fighting effects of green tea compounds on several types of cancer including breast, lunch, pancreatic, stomach, colon, and more. (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 8, 9,10, 11)
  • Weightloss (12, 13, 14)
  • Heart health + Cholesterol-lowering
  • Mood and anxiety
    • L-theanine is a potent amino acid that’s primarily found in teas made from the Camellia sinensis plant.  L-theanine acts as a relaxing agent or anxiolytic without sedative effects or any of the negative side effects of Xanax.
    • L-theanine works somewhat similarly to Xanax by interacting with brain receptors and increasing dopamine, GABA, and glycinelevels in various areas of the brain (19, 20, 21)
  • Improve insulin sensitivity (22, 23)
  • Brain health: 
  • Skin health + Anti-aging: 
    • When applied topically (onto the skin itself), green tea polyphenols have been shown to provide protection against damages caused by UVA and UVB exposure in the sun, which inhibits cancer development and slows aging of the skin. (24)

Matcha Caffeine


Although matcha is caffeinated, you won’t experience the same type of energy crash or jitters that you get when you drink coffee or energy drinks. This is due to a powerful compound contained in matcha called L-theanine that changes the way caffeine is used in the body.

The magic happens when the amino acid L-theanine in matcha binds with caffeine to slow its breakdown in the bloodstream producing a sustainable, non-jittery energy without the crash.  This double benefit of L-theanine naturally promotes relaxation while simultaneously improving concentration.

1gm of matcha contains around 20-35 mg of caffeine, compared to 70-200mg of caffeine in a medium cup of coffee. I personally use roughly 2g of matcha/cup (I like a big cup in the morning), for a total of around 40-70 mg of stabilized caffeine per cup.

How To Make Matcha

Using matcha daily is easy — you can make a cup of matcha hot, iced, or even add a tsp of matcha to your morning smoothie!


matcha benefits

  • Water Temperature: 180 F degrees
  • Steep Time: 3 min
  • Suggested Serving Size: 1/4 tsp per 6-8oz of water
  • Additional tip: use a bamboo whisk in a matcha bowl to whisk your cup to perfection


  • Simply take 1/4 tsp of organic matcha and add to a shallow bowl.
  • Pour 1/3 cup nearly boiling water over the matcha and whisk until frothy and no clumps appear.
  • Top the rest of the cup up with hot water and that’s it!
  • OPTIONAL: You can also add some manuka honey and coconut cream, or milk of your choice for extra flavor and sweetness.

Here’s a handy video to show you a more traditional way of making a hot cup of matcha:

So if you’re looking start adding matcha to your daily routine to reap it’s amazing health benefits you can purchase some HERE!

Happy whisking 🙂

  1. “Cancer-Preventive Potential Of White Tea.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2017.
  2. Xie, Liping. “Epigallocatechin-3-gallate Inhibits Bladder Cancer Cell Invasion via Suppression of NF-κB‑mediated Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 Expression.” Molecular Medicine Reports (2012): n. pag. Web.
  3. Samavat, H., A. R. Newman, R. Wang, J.-M. Yuan, A. H. Wu, and M. S. Kurzer. “Effects of Green Tea Catechin Extract on Serum Lipids in Postmenopausal Women: A Randomized, Placebo-controlled Clinical Trial.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2016): n. pag. Web.
  4. Xiang, Li-Ping, Ao Wang, Jian-Hui Ye, Xin-Qiang Zheng, Curt Polito, Jian-Liang Lu, Qing-Sheng Li, and Yue-Rong Liang. “Suppressive Effects of Tea Catechins on Breast Cancer.” Nutrients 8.8 (2016): 458. Web.
  5. Zhu, Jianyun, Ye Jiang, Xue Yang, Shijia Wang, Chunfeng Xie, Xiaoting Li, Yuan Li, Yue Chen, Xiaoqian Wang, Yu Meng, Mingming Zhu, Rui Wu, Cong Huang, Xiao Ma, Shanshan Geng, Jieshu Wu, and Caiyun Zhong. “Wnt/β-catenin Pathway Mediates (−)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) Inhibition of Lung Cancer Stem Cells.” Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications (2016): n. pag. Web.
  6. Singh, Madhulika, Priyanka Bhatnagar, Sanjay Mishra, Pradeep Kumar, Yogeshwer Shukla, and Kailash Chand Gupta. “PLGA-encapsulated Tea Polyphenols Enhance The chemotherapeutic Efficacy of Cisplatin against Human Cancer Cells and Mice Bearing Ehrlich Ascites Carcinoma.” International Journal of Nanomedicine (2015): 6789. Web.
  7. Wang, Yugang. “Regulation of Id1 Expression by Epigallocatechin‑3‑gallate and Its Effect on the Proliferation and Apoptosis of Poorly Differentiated AGS Gastric Cancer Cells.” International Journal of Oncology (2013): n. pag. Web.
  8. Zhu, Bao-He. “(-)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate Inhibits VEGF Expression Induced by IL-6 бvia Stat3 in Gastric Cancer.” World Journal of Gastroenterology 17.18 (2011): 2315. Web.
  9. Appari, Mahesh, Kamesh Babu, Adam Kaczorowski, Wolfgang Gross, and Ingrid Herr. “Sulforaphane, Quercetin and Catechins Complement Each Other in Elimination of Advanced Pancreatic Cancer by MiR-let-7 Induction and K-ras Inhibition.” International Journal of Oncology (2014): n. pag. Web.
  10. Liu, Shi, Xiao-Jie Wang, Ying Liu, and Yun-Fu Cui. “PI3K/AKT/mTOR Signaling Is Involved in (-)-Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate-Induced Apoptosis of Human Pancreatic Carcinoma Cells.” The American Journal of Chinese Medicine 41.03 (2013): 629-42. Web.
  11. Cerezo-Guisado, María Isabel, Rafal Zur, María Jesús Lorenzo, Ana Risco, Miguel A. Martín-Serrano, Alberto Alvarez-Barrientos, Ana Cuenda, and Francisco Centeno. “Implication of Akt, ERK1/2 and Alternative P38MAPK Signalling Pathways in Human Colon Cancer Cell Apoptosis Induced by Green Tea EGCG.” Food and Chemical Toxicology 84 (2015): 125-32. Web.
  12. Hursel, R., W. Viechtbauer, and M.s. Westerterp-Plantenga. “Effects of green tea on weight loss and weight maintenance. A meta-analysis.” Appetite52.3 (2009): 838. Web.
  13. Hursel, R., W. Viechtbauer, A. G. Dulloo, A. Tremblay, L. Tappy, W. Rumpler, and M. S. Westerterp-Plantenga. “The Effects of Catechin Rich Teas and Caffeine on Energy Expenditure and Fat Oxidation: A Meta-analysis.” Obesity Reviews 12.7 (2011): n. pag. Web.
  14. Wang, Hongqiang, Yibo Wen, Yaping Du, Xiuyuan Yan, Hongwei Guo, Jane A. Rycroft, Niels Boon, Eva M.r. Kovacs, and David J. Mela. “Effects of Catechin Enriched Green Tea on Body Composition.” Obesity 18.4 (2009): 773-79. Web.
  15. Yin, Jianguo, Fang Huang, Yuhong Yi, Liang Yin, and Daoquan Peng. “EGCG Attenuates Atherosclerosis through the Jagged-1/Notch Pathway.” International Journal of Molecular Medicine Int J Mol Med (2015): n. pag. Web.
  16. Stendell-Hollis, N. R., C. A. Thomson, P. A. Thompson, J. W. Bea, E. C. Cussler, and I. A. Hakim. “Green Tea Improves Metabolic Biomarkers, Not Weight or Body Composition: A Pilot Study in Overweight Breast Cancer Survivors.” Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics 23.6 (2010): 590-600. Web.
  17. Maki, Kc. “Camellia sinensis (green tea) catechins seem to affect body composition positively.” Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies14.2 (2009): 98-99. Web.
  18. Hsu, Chung-Hua, Tung-Hu Tsai, Yung-Hsi Kao, Kung-Chang Hwang, Ting-Yu Tseng, and Pesus Chou. “Effect of Green Tea Extract on Obese Women: A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Clinical Trial.” Clinical Nutrition 27.3 (2008): 363-70. Web.
  19. Pradeep; Lu, Kristy; Gray, M.; Oliver, C. (2006). “The Neuropharmacology of L-Theanine(N-Ethyl-L-Glutamine)”. Journal of Herbal Pharmacotherapy. 6 (2): 21–30. doi:10.1300/J157v06n02_02. PMID 17182482.
  20. Wakabayashi C, Numakawa T, Ninomiya M, Chiba S, Kunugi H (2012). “Behavioral and molecular evidence for psychotropic effects in L-theanine”. Psychopharmacology (Berl.). 219 (4): 1099–109. doi:10.1007/s00213-011-2440-z. PMID 21861094.
  21. Lu, Kristy, Marcus A. Gray, Chris Oliver, David T. Liley, Ben J. Harrison, Cali F. Bartholomeusz, K. Luan Phan, and Pradeep J. Nathan. “The Acute Effects Of L-theanine in Comparison with Alprazolam on Anticipatory Anxiety in Humans.” Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental 19.7 (2004): 457-65. Web.
  22. Liu, C.y., L.h. Huang, I.j. Chen, and C.h. Hsu. “Green tea extract lowers insulin resistance and triglyceride on type 2 diabetes patients with dyslipidemia: A randomized, double-blinded, and placebo controlled study.” PharmaNutrition2.3 (2014): 114. Web.
  23. Brown, A. Louise, Joan Lane, Jacqueline Coverly, Janice Stocks, Sarah Jackson, Alison Stephen, Les Bluck, Andy Coward, and Hilde Hendrickx. “Effects of Dietary Supplementation with the Green Tea Polyphenol Epigallocatechin-3-gallate on Insulin
  24. Hsu, S. (2005). Green tea and the skin. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 52(6), 1049 – 1059.
Dr. Nadia Kumentas ND
Co-founder at Affect Health
Nadia Kumentas is a Toronto-based naturopathic doctor, tea drinker, yoga doer, animal lover, and plant enthusiast. She is also the co-founder of Affect Health, a professionally formulated medicinal tea company. "

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