Energy and vitamins
Matcha is bursting with a multitude of active substances; including vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. And like coffee, Matcha contains caffeine. Caffeine kick-starts our system and affects the central nervous system, which causes the pineal gland to release adrenaline and cortisol, which wakes us up and gives us energy.
Caffeine and Theanine
In addition to caffeine, Matcha contains the amino acid L-theanine, which balances the effects of caffeine. This means that we can avoid the lightning-quick "spike" of energy that we can get from coffee. And for some of us, it can give a feeling of stress in the body and a kind of over-gearedness. Matcha gives you a boost - like coffee, but in a more harmonious way that is even and easier to maintain throughout the day. The calm and focused state that Matcha provides is lasting, as Matcha does not cause the blood sugar to plummet.
There is a lot of research into the effects of L-theanine on us, and there is still some uncertainty about it. According to Russ Mason who wrote the article 200 mg of Zen: L-Theanine Boosts Alpha Waves, Promotes Alert Relaxation , L-theanine in Matcha can reduce mental and physical stress and give our mood a boost. According to Mason, this is because L-theanine can stimulate and regulate serotonin, dopamine, GABA and other neurotransmitters in our body.
Japanese Zen monks have been using Matcha for traditional tea ceremonies and meditation sessions for over 800 years. The monks used Matcha as a kind of medicine to stay awake and focused in their hour-long meditations. Matcha helped to provide a mental calmness that ensured the monks could remain in the present without distractions.
Matcha is known to increase mental clarity and focus as it contains high amounts of L-theanine, an amino acid that has been shown to have a positive effect on the brain's alpha waves. Alpha waves are responsible for a state of mental calm and relaxation, and when active can help increase concentration and reduce stress.
It is therefore no wonder that Matcha's popularity has spread to the whole world, as focus and mental peace are something that many of us are looking for. For many people, making a cup of Matcha is a ceremony in itself that allows for peace and relaxation in an often hectic everyday life filled with social media, impressions and distractions. Preparing and enjoying this beautiful tea can be a welcome respite and an opportunity for reflection. Thus, the ritual of making Matcha becomes an opportunity to find peace and contemplation in a busy world.