The Ultimate Guide To Matcha Tea For Athletes
Matcha is good for you. Nothing surprising there, right? Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last five years, you’ve most likely seen countless headlines touting matcha’s superhero-like benefits, coffee shops serving vibrant green matcha tea and Matcha lattes, and Supplement companies intergrading the powdery tea into their product lines.
And all for good reason – Matcha green tea is a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support the body and health of everyday gym-goers to avid athletes.
From increased performance to aiding in workout recovery, now is the perfect time to revisit the benefits that matcha provides athletes of all levels.
What’s the Difference Between Matcha Tea and Green Tea?
Although Matcha tea and green tea come from the same plant, the technique in which matcha is grown and processed is what takes this powdered tea to the next level. Simply put, matcha is grown in the shade three weeks before harvest which causes the levels of chlorophyll as well as the amino acid content in the plant to increase. Regular green tea, on the other hand, is left in the sun until harvest.
The leaves of the shade-grown green tea plant are then ground into a fine powder (resulting in matcha), preserving all of the health benefits of the plant, therefore taking the benefits of green tea and boosting them.
This process also results in higher levels of antioxidants and caffeine, creating the perfect natural pre-workout supplement.
With that, matcha tea boasts a long list of phytonutrients, and antioxidants such as EGCG, making this green tea an athlete’s best friend.
How Matcha Improves Recovery After a Workout
With hard training comes all sorts of soreness and the search for supplements to help lessen the pain and heal torn muscle fibers. One of the powerful antioxidants in Matcha does just that. EGCG (a catechin), targets stress caused by sports training. One study found that EGCG prevented the destruction of muscle mass post workout which is exciting news for those who train regularly.
Matcha is the man when it comes to helping you push the pace. Studies have shown that athletes have experienced improved endurance when supplementing with matcha, as it helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure allowing you to push harder, and longer.
Matcha Boosts Performance by Using Fat as Energy
The combination of catechins and caffeine from matcha tea results in more energy usage (stored fat) for the body to pull from and utilize. Studies have shown that matcha can boost athletic performance through an increase in stored fat availability during exercise
The Benefits of Matcha
No more jolting your nervous system with a sudden release of caffeine into your veins only to crash later on. Matcha contains an important amino acid, L-theanine, which encourages your body to release caffeine at a sustainable pace, resulting in a calmer sense of alertness during workouts with a slow release of energy.
Matcha Tea Vs. Green Tea: Nutritional Value Comparisons
One cup of Matcha is equivalent to 10 cups of regular brewed green tea with:
- 137x Antioxidants
- 5x L-theanine
- 10x Vitamin C
- 99x Carotene
- 27x Vitamin B2
- 96x Vitamin B6
How to Prepare Matcha Tea
Depending on the serving size of the Brand you choose, simply add the serving size to a hot cup of water and whisk until the powder is evenly dissolved. Enjoy as-is, or add your favorite cream.
- Ways to Enjoy Matcha: Add one teaspoon of Matcha tea to your favorite smoothies, lattes, oatmeal, and clean baked goods such as homemade protein bars and energy bites.
Top 3 Must Try Matcha Brands
*Culinary grade is best for smoothies and baked goods while Ceremonial grade is best consuming as a tea.