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Is Matcha Better and More Powerful than Coffee?

Why Coffee Makes You Crash

We all know of that one person that can’t even be bothered with a good morning until they’ve had their first cup of coffee of the day. What is it about this steaming black beverage that can transform Allison in accounting from a sluggish, feet-dragging homo habilis into the tenacious number-crunching Wonder Woman we all know and admire in a matter of minutes? The simple answer is: caffeine.

One cup of coffee typically contains about 100 mg of caffeine, a highly addictive, psychoactive substance. It’s a diuretic, meaning it zaps your body of essential nutrients and actually has similar withdrawal effects caused by nicotine such as irritability, headaches, the shakes and of course, that all-too familiar crash that ensues a refuel sometime around 3 pm. It’s not all bad, however. Caffeine can have a positive impact on your body, such as boosting your metabolism, alertness and increasing your focus along with that productive energy.

Matcha: The Coffee Alternative

The negative side effects are profound enough to beg the question: could there be an alternative? Matcha green tea has stepped into the ring for this debate. In one corner, you’ll find hot bean water lightened and sweetened beyond recognition. In the other, a powerful green tea extract from Japan in a fine powder form that’s so green, it looks as if it could glow in the dark. So, how does the underdog matcha green tea stack up against coffee, the crowd favorite you love to hate?

One serving of matcha green tea contains about 30g of caffeine, which is about a third of what you’d drink in a traditional cup of coffee. Matcha has a very specific production process, where the green tea leaves are grown in the shade. This gives it the unusual -- albeit completely natural -- green color. But what it lacks in caffeine content, it makes up for in antioxidants, essential nutrients and amino acids that seem to make your mind and body cheer in harmonious delight.

Additionally, it’s important to note that all caffeine is not created equal. Caffeine molecules in matcha bind to larger molecules in your body, resulting in your body’s slow and steady absorption. Drinkers of matcha tea don’t experience the sudden crash of energy, but instead report gentle alertness and focus that lasts all day. Unlike coffee, matcha also doesn’t stimulate the production cortisol, which is also known as the “stress” hormone. In short, your body simply responds better to matcha, and this observation is even backed up by history. Ancient monks in Japan would drink matcha as part of a special ceremony, and samurai warriors often consumed it before going into battle. What do you think? Have you tried both and felt how they compare?

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