Nowadays, you can't talk health without hearing about antioxidants. These compounds help neutralise chemicals called free radicals (unstable molecules) produced by oxidation in the human body. Once formed, free radicals can be damaging to other cellular components in the body, causing them to function poorly or die. Thankfully, matcha contains a wealth of these free radical fighting antioxidants.
ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) is the method of measuring antioxidant values in food, developed by the National Institute of Health. The ORAC rating for matcha is roughly 1300 units on a per gram basis, making it one of the highest among the superfoods. Matcha contains more antioxidants than all of the other antioxidant-rich foods combined.
If you're looking for that extra edge at the gym, matcha may just be the perfect supplement to your regular exercise routine. With virtually zero calories and no sugar, Matcha is a source of dietary fibre, important vitamins and minerals and gives a sustained energy boost.
Matcha is loaded with EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate). EGCG is the most abundant antioxidant in tea and is known for its ability to boost metabolism and help the body break down large molecules to be utilised as energy (fat oxidisation) (2,3). The concentration of EGCG in matcha is an impressive 137x more than regular green tea.(4)
Athletes training and competing in sports may also notice the benefits of increased focus and faster reaction time due to the L-theanine and caffeine combination (5).
Substitute your pre-workout for some ice cold matcha and feel the difference.
Matcha's unique cultivation process significantly boosts its chlorophyll levels. Chlorophyll, commonly sold as a supplement, is similar in structure to haemoglobin – the molecule responsible for carrying oxygen around the body. It is said to be a natural detoxifier, regenerating the body at a cellular level.
Matcha is also a source of dietary fibre, which helps stabalise glucose and cholesterol levels and keep the digestive system healthy (6).
1. Juneja, L (1999), L-theanine—a unique amino acid of green tea and its relaxation effect in humans. Trends in Food Science & Technology 10 (6–7): 199.
2. Boschmann, M, Thielecke, F (2007), The effects of epigallocatechin-3-gallate on thermogenesis and fat oxidation in obese men: a pilot study. Journal of the American College of Nutrition 26(4): 389-395.
3. Cardoso, G., Salgado, J., Cesar, M. and Donado-Pestana, C. (2013). The effects of green tea consumption and resistance training on body composition and resting metabolic rate in overweight or obese women. Journal of medicinal food, 16(2):120–127.
4. Weiss, David J.; Anderton, Christopher R. (2003). Determination of catechins in matcha green tea by micellar electrokinetic chromatography. Journal of Chromatography A 1011 (1–2): 173–80.
5. Haskell, C., Kennedy, D., Milne, A., Wesnes, K. and Scholey, A. (2008). The effects of L-theanine, caffeine and their combination on cognition and mood. Biological psychology, 77(2): 113--122.
6. Brennan, CS (2005). Dietary fibre, glycaemic response, and diabetes. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, 49(6):560-70.