Would You Ditch Coffee For This Buzz-Inducing Superfood?

premium_matcha_resized_2Photo: Courtesy of Aiya.
Coffee and I have a long, storied love affair. While my habit peaked at eight cups daily (in college, predictably), I still feel sub-optimal with anything less than four or five in my system over the course of a day. And, honestly, no matter how many health benefits are supposedly associated with a cuppa Joe, I think my withdrawal headaches are as good a sign as any that it's time to make a change.
Advertisement
Enter matcha, a high-grade, finely-ground green tea powder that's slowly coming back onto our collective radar as a healthy alternative source of caffeine. Traditionally, matcha has played a crucial role in tea ceremonies in China and Japan and has been prepared continuously by Zen Buddhist monks for over 1,000 years. It also happens to be packed with vitamins and polyphenols — incredibly useful antioxidant molecules that help to prevent cancer, heart disease, and aging. According to nutritionist Shira Lenchewski, matcha has "7x more antioxidant action than regular green tea — it's great for improving immunity function and reducing inflammation."
Plus, preparing it couldn't be simpler. Just dissolve the powder in water or milk (hot or cold both work, but it dissolves most easily in hot water). The result is a fresh-tasting, herb-y, creamy concoction that's sort of like a thicker, richer, more indulgent form of green tea. My favorite way to get my matcha fix, though, is in smoothies — just add it to the blender like any other powdered supplement.
Could matcha really replace that daily coffee? I didn't expect to get much of a jolt from from the green tea, but I've actually been blown away at the calm alertness I feel after my morning matcha. And, at 70mg of caffeine per cup (versus coffee's 100mg) Lenchewski says, "Matcha gives you a real energy kick, but without the jitters." We'll drink to that.
Advertisement

More from Diet & Nutrition

"How can I make sure I'm getting my vitamins?" is actually a very loaded question. The answer? It depends on who you ask. If you're talking to someone ...
If you've ever wondered why you go through several cups of coffee a day while your best friend stops at two, researchers may have found the answer — and ...
Halloween (prime vampire season) is coming up, so it's only natural if you've been eating more garlic lately. The only downside of all that supernatural ...
On Wednesday, I was in one of those elevators with a news and advertising screen when I was faced yet again with the results of the month of sobriety ...
When you get pregnant, the food advice you receive tends to revolve around what you supposedly can't eat or drink: sushi, seafood, alcohol, soft cheeses...
If you live in the Northeast of the U.S., you might want to check on the meat in your fridge. The CDC announced on Saturday that it is investigating a ...
How many times have you woken up with a disgusting hangover after a heavy night and vowed never to drink again? Well, this common plight could one day be...
It seems like everyone’s looking for ways to eat more protein. And there’s a good reason for it, too: Often known as the “building block” of the body, ...
While you'll probably never hear anyone raving about the deliciousness of their school cafeteria hot lunch, it's a much better alternative to not having it...
On Monday, Kellogg's recalled 10,000 Nutri-Grain Whole Wheat Waffles packages that were potentially contaminated. And on Wednesday, Blue Bell Creameries ...
If you haven't yet heard the word “gluten,” you've probably been living under a rock. Celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Miley Cyrus have embraced the...
If Stranger Things reawakened your childhood love for the ubiquitous Eggo waffle, we have some pretty upsetting news. On Monday, Kellogg's voluntarily ...
Apple cider vinegar's (ACV) reputation as a miracle cure certainly isn't new — supposedly even the Ancient Greeks were into the stuff. Today, though, the...
Hackers leaked the medical files of Serena Williams, Simone Biles, Venus Williams, and basketball player Elena Delle Donne early Tuesday, the World Anti-...