Matcha Tea, The Basics.
Literally meaning “Powdered Tea”, Matcha Tea has always had a lot of praise for its meditative benefits as well as its ability to make you feel awesome.
Is it just sales and marketing or is there really something to all the hype and mystique? Let’s find out…
How is Matcha Tea Grown?
Covered in shade cloths to encourage the growth of fresh dark green shoots, the leaves are picked and briefly steamed to prevent fermentation.
They are then cold aged, to deepen the rich flavours, before being ground into a powder ready for drinking.
But have you ever wondered why Matcha tea has such an effect?
Does Matcha Tea Work?
Personally, I have not experienced Nirvana or lost several pounds in one day, like some claim but the overall effect of Matcha Tea is a feeling of calm, wellbeing and yes it does help with weight loss, a little.
While traditional, or normal, tea is made by steeping the leaves in hot water, the consumption of Matcha Tea is actually the ingestion of the whole tea leaf in powdered form.
This has the effect of providing added nutrients over normal tea and a little dietary fibre as well.
By drinking Matcha you are taking in a whole lot more Vitamins, Minerals and Polyphenols.
The Polyphenols in Matcha Tea will help regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and one of the Polyphenols in Matcha Tea, EGCG, has been shown to boost metabolism and even halt help the growth of cancer cells!
Matcha Tea and Meditation.
Matcha contains three times the Caffeine of normal steeped tea but also contains a natural substance called L-Theanine, which induces relaxation without causing drowsiness.
The L-Theanine is probably the reason why Zen monks in Japan have long used Matcha tea to stay alert yet relaxed during long periods of meditation.
Traditionally used in a mindfulness meditation the “here and now” mindset in the preparation of Matcha Tea, along with the natural relaxation that Matcha consumption brings, helps to explain why Matcha Tea and meditation have been so closely linked.
So if Matcha Tea is so good for meditation, which traditionally involves minimal movement, how can it have an effect on weight loss and body composition?
Matcha Tea and Weight Loss.
Well for starters Matcha, as part of a meditative routine, has a beneficial effect on Cortisol levels, Cortisol being a steroid hormone (Glucocorticoid).
Produced by the two adrenal glands, located above each kidney, Cortisol is known as “the stress hormone” for a reason.
Cortisol is generally released in the morning to help the body wake from sleeping but is also released during exercise or “Fight or Flight” situations.
A little Cortisol released at the right time plays an important role in human biology.
But when Cortisol is elevated for extended periods, it can have a deleterious effect on weight gain in all of the wrong areas, think love handles and other unwanted side effects.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition featured a study in 1999 which showed that the tea is exceedingly high in Catechins which have a thermogenic effect and promote fat oxidation, far exceeding that which would be expected from the Caffeine content alone.
Drink Matcha Green Tea, Get Lean.
The consumption of Matcha increased the body’s basal rate of burning calories, thermogenesis, from around 8–10% up to a staggering 35–43%.
Another study showed that Matcha, taken before exercising, resulted in around a 25% increase in the use of fat as the bodies preferred energy source for the workout.
Worth knowing, when every calorie burned in the gym counts.
Try giving Matcha a place in your healthy lifestyle, it would be great to hear from you and your experience with Matcha so please leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts.
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