Matcha - The Jitter-free Caffeine Hit
In a world where heavily caffeinated beverages are everywhere, it can be easy to find yourself with caffeine jitters. If this sounds like you, it might be time to seek a healthier alternative to get your daily dose of caffeine.
Enter matcha, a vibrant green powdered tea that has gained popularity for its clean, jitter-free caffeine boost. In this article, we will explore why matcha might just win the crown in the battle of the brew and could be a superior choice for those seeking a sustained energy lift without the unwanted side effects of caffeine.
Caffeine jitters are a thing! What causes them?
Well, caffeine is a stimulant which means it has a stimulating effect on your gut, brain and nervous system. When absorbed, caffeine blocks the calming effect of adenosine, the chemical that causes drowsiness. This prevents signals of tiredness from being transmitted throughout the body, allowing you to feel awake and alert! Caffeine also provides us with a sense of energy through the release of stress chemicals like adrenaline and cortisol (think stress response). This is why caffeine is considered ‘anxiogenic’, i.e., it has the ability to promote anxiety. Studies show that in adults living with panic disorders, it can actually trigger panic attacks. For most people it will aggravate any symptoms of stress causing more of those unpleasant stress side effects (anxiety, high blood pressure, sweating and jitters), causing many people to feel anxious and over-stimulated. Caffeine generally doesn’t cause stress or anxiety by itself but can aggravate these feelings. Moreover, caffeine can affect sleep patterns, including the quantity and quality of your sleep, especially if you drink it later in the day. For people with caffeine sensitivity or those who are slow metabolisers, consuming low amounts of caffeine may cause the same side effects that most people experience at high doses.
Natural and Clean Energy:
Matcha is derived from the leaves of Camellia sinensis, the same plant used to produce green tea. It is grown and harvested in a way that leaves it enriched with powerful antioxidants and other health-promoting nutrients like Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Unlike coffee, matcha offers a natural and clean caffeine source without the jitters due to its rich content of L-theanine, an amino acid that provides a sense of calm against the stimulating effects of caffeine on the body's nervous system. Tea is the only plant that produces this amino acid and it’s particularly enriched in matcha so unless you added L-Theanine to your coffee, there's no way to replicate the same effect.
L-Theanine for Calm Focus:
Research has shown that the L-theanine in matcha works synergistically with caffeine, promoting a feeling of relaxation and mental clarity, helping to foster a state of tranquillity and alertness within 30 to 40 minutes of ingestion. This means a morning matcha ritual is a great way to enhance focus and attention while reducing the jitters and crashes associated with caffeine consumption from coffee.
Slow-Release Caffeine: On average, a cup of matcha contains about 70mg of caffeine, in comparison to 100-140mg in an average cup of coffee. But matcha can actually keep you feeling alert for much longer than coffee can. The caffeine in matcha is released gradually, providing a sustained energy boost. Unlike coffee, where the caffeine hits the bloodstream quickly, causing a sudden surge of energy followed by a crash, matcha's energy boost is more balanced, released slowly keeping you focussed over a period of 6-8 hours. This means that matcha provides a sustainable energy boost without the rapid 30-minute spike, slump, and jitters associated with coffee.
Gentle on the digestive system: While we love our Coffee + Collagen with True MCT oil, matcha is a gentle alternative for those with a sensitive tummy. It has been shown to support digestion and is great for your gut microbes too.
If coffee gives you the jitters, matcha might just be a no-brainer.
Keen to experience all the benefits of matcha? Check out our new Matcha + Collagen.
- Health Benefits and Chemical Composition of Matcha Green Tea: Kochman et al. A Review. Molecules 2020 Dec 27;26(1):85. doi: 10.3390/molecules26010085
- Effects of Daily Matcha and Caffeine Intake on Mild Acute Psychological Stress-Related Cognitive Function in Middle-Aged and Older Adults: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Study. Baba et al., Nutrients. 2021 May 17;13(5):1700. doi: 10.3390/nu13051700
- The Cognitive-Enhancing Outcomes of Caffeine and L-theanine: A Systematic Review. Sohail et al., Cureus 2021 Dec 30;13(12):e20828. doi: 10.7759/cureus.20828.
- Effect of Green Tea Phytochemicals on Mood and Cognition. Dietz et al., Curr Pharm Des. 2017;23(19):2876-2905