Let’s talk Matcha and why I’ve decided to MAKE THE SWITCH from my beloved black coffee to this (over the top trendy) alternative.
I know I know, this stuff is “totally in” right now and I as much as I don’t want to jump on this bandwagon for the sake of preserving my long time morning rituals and sense of self, my body is calling for a healthier option.
Hang In there with me while I break this down.
Let me preface this with a major CONFESSION >> I’m a hardcore caffeine addict (not exaggerating here). I easily drink 500mg of caffeine a day via my French Press (and it’s starting to take a toll on me.) I’ve made a habit of fueling my body with the highest quality foods I can find yet here I am, struggling. One of my final hurdles is my addition to black coffee.
So what exactly is MATCHA? >> The Dictionary has it defined as “powdered green tea leaves, dissolved in hot water to make tea or used as a flavoring”. You’ve seen the bright green donuts, lattes and smoothie bowls right? This is supposedly the stuff of legends, and I’ve decided to see what all the hype is about. It’s been exactly one week since I decided to take the plunge and I’m excited to share my experience with you after I drop some knowledge because: science.
*Side Note >> Not all matcha is created equally, I’ve tested a few and displayed the difference between two ORGANIC matcha powders. Both of these are sold on amazon, both with 4.5 star reviews. One is ceremonial grade, organic, locally sourced and certified through JAS and USDA, the other is culinary grade, USDA organic and substantially less expensive. Can you guess which is which? (Hint, vibrant green is better). The higher quality matcha has an earthy, mild flavor with only hints of bitterness while the opposing product reminds me a lot of spirulina (an algae based superfood that I love with all of my heart but have to be honest, it smells like a fish tank). If you haven’t had great experiences with your matcha before, it makes a huge difference where you source from.
ANTIOXIDANTS >> Matcha has incredible levels of antioxidants, and not just the quantity, but if you source your matcha carefully you’ll reap the benefits of a wide variety of amazing antioxidants that far surpass other teas or food sources. According to this study, a clean, high quality matcha contains 137 different antioxidants which blows coffee away in this department.
Why are antioxidants important? >> For individuals like myself or my son who struggle with free radicals in our system due to multiple food sensitivities, gut dysbiosis and genetic components, this is especially helpful. Antioxidants bind to free radicals in the system and help neutralize these molecules to keep them from damaging healthy cells. This helps the body function optimally, cleanse itself and reduces environmental oxidative stressors that accumulate in the system over time. I love how this study breaks it all down.
CAFFEINE LEVELS >> Matcha contains about 30% less caffeine than coffee which is a huge bonus for me. I consume about 68 mg of caffeine in my morning cup of matcha (I use about a tsp in my morning cup) which pales in comparison to the 500mg I was consuming before. The best part is that the caffeine in matcha releases much more slowly than coffee, providing consistent energy and focus for between 6-8 hours. This has saved me from excessive consumption and the jitter / crash effect that coffee had on me (and my poor adrenals)
DETOXIFICATION >> The process of preparing leaves to be ground into matcha involves a natural process of restricting light that drastically increases levels of chlorophyll (hence that rich beautiful green color). Chlorophyll helps to bind to heavy metals and chemicals and flush them from the body, something individuals like myself and my #sensitivesprout desperately need help with.
What I’ve noticed so far >> This is really where I see one of the biggest differences. I used to drink and drink and drink my black coffee hoping to “get ahead” of my exhaustion. I’m a mom with three kids and I told myself that being exhausted was just my version of normal, but after a week of drinking Matcha I realize that the exhaustion I felt was likely from my poor adrenals being pushed to their limits. There was never enough coffee to make me feel “alert” or in the zone, and I would drink coffee until I became extremely over stimulated. I’m talking heart palpitations, light headedness, extreme anxiousness etc, and when my system couldn’t take it anymore I’d experience an awful crash. This presented in the form of serious mood swings, irritability and exhaustion.
Since the switch>> I’m never exhausted, in fact it’s 5:00 am here in Austin Texas and I am wide awake with great focus. While it took me a few days to adjust, I didn’t suffer any caffeine withdrawal symptoms. I actually was able to increase my green juice intake with all of the extra energy I’ve gained. I accomplish so much more during the day, my anxiety and mood swings have diminished and I never feel jittery. These days I’m much more alert and “in the zone” and my warrior moms out there know that this is crucial.
Can I mention my skin?! My face has cleared up drastically. I always thought my patchy, dry skin stemmed from sugar consumption or lack of sleep and was surprised to see my skin change so quickly. This was a huge bonus for me, as I’ve always been extremely self conscious about my skin.
I’ve been on this regimen for over a week now and I’m feeling AMAZING. I usually wake between 5 -6 am with my kiddos coast through my day with ALL THE FOCUS & none of the jitters. Some afternoons I make a small cup of matcha or a green juice which sustains me until bedtime which is around 11 pm. I’ve also found that I sleep better and feel more rested the next day.
If you’re contemplating making the switch, I’m a big fan of the benefits. I’m a die hard coffee lover and honestly haven’t missed my morning mug one bit. This is definitely a permanent change for me. As always, share your experiences with us below! Have you tried it? What are your thoughts?