Sorry Coffee, It's Over...I'm With Matcha Now!
Coffee has always been there for us. From our all-night study sessions in college to our 2:30 pick-me-ups at the office, coffee has always given us that energy boost we needed to get our work done. Furthermore, how many of us avoid talking to anyone before we’ve had our morning cup? It is not uncommon for us to get to know our favorite barista by name, and in turn, they recognize us by our “usual” order. Coffee has been such an integral part of our daily routines that I think it’s time to give coffee a break and upgrade to a much healthier alternative: Matcha
Fighting the Crash with Matcha, the Coffee Alternative
It’s no secret that the main reason we drink so much coffee is the caffeine. Most of us have trouble functioning without our daily intake (caffeine is addictive, after all). However, after the cup of coffee gives us energy, we feel an often swift and unforgiving crash. This crash is due to the sharp fall in adrenaline and dopamine levels in our brains. Drinking caffeine prompts your body to produce more of these chemicals, and when you drink coffee these levels increase very rapidly, which means that the effects wear off just as quickly. This burst and crash is what causes us to feel groggy after our morning cup wears off and can lead to anxiousness or even nausea.
The caffeine in Matcha works through your body a little differently. Although there is less caffeine in Matcha than in coffee, the phytonutrients in Matcha help our body process the caffeine much better, allowing our body to maximize the desired impact of caffeine. Specifically, the amino acid L-theanine works to release the caffeine in smaller increments over time, giving your body just the right amount of caffeine when it needs it. This means that you still get the instant rush of caffeine after you finish your cup, but it is a sustained rush and isn’t overpowering. The absence of this crash also makes Matcha the preferred pre-workout drink to coffee, and overall, it makes matcha the best coffee alternative.
L-theanine also has additional benefits on your mental state. L-theanine has been known to promote a feeling of relaxed alertness by increasing the alpha waves in your brain. It has also been known to help prevent a rise in blood pressure that comes when facing a stressful situation. Stressful meeting with your boss coming up? Sip on a cup of Matcha in the morning and watch yourself stay calm, cool and collected.
Ancient Japanese samurais used to drink this stuff before going into battle for a reason. So while coffee gives you the momentum to run through the Monday morning wall, Matcha gives you a rope to slowly climb up and gently let yourself down. Instead of fighting off the caffeine crash with another cup of coffee, it is much healthier (and more friendly on your wallet) to drink Matcha as a coffee alternative.
Matcha is better for your mouth
Another unwanted side-effect of coffee is bad breath. Even though we have dubbed this phenomenon “coffee breath,” it is actually the caffeine in coffee that causes bad breath, not the bean itself. The high amount of caffeine in coffee gives us “dry mouth” by slowing down saliva production. The lack of saliva creates the perfect environment for bacteria to grow, therefore giving your mouth an unwanted odor. The fact that a cup of Matcha has less caffeine is a good start to making it a better alternative to coffee, but drinking a cup of Matcha can actually be good for your overall oral health too.
Matcha is full of antioxidants, specifically catechins. One of these catechins found in Matcha called Epigallocatechin gallate (or EGCG for short) has antibacterial properties. This means that a cup of Matcha helps prevent bacteria from growing in your mouth. Replacing your morning cup of coffee with a cup of Matcha averts your coworkers from detecting that breakfast wrap you just ate. Also, not only does drinking a cup of Matcha help prevent bad breath, it can scrub off the plaque around your teeth. So while you are leaving behind your coffee breath, you can tell the stains on your teeth left from those late-night coffee runs to get lost as well.
One additional benefit of drinking Matcha vs coffee is that a cup of Matcha is good for your skin. The antioxidant ECGC also has anti-inflammatory properties that work to prevent acne in all skin types. It does this by reducing the amount of sebum your skin produces. Sebum is the fat-like substance that is secreted by your Sebaceous glands to help waterproof and lubricate your skin. When too much sebum is secreted, your hair follicles become clogged, which leads to acne. Drinking Matcha helps ensure your body is producing the rights amount of sebum, while also injecting your body with supplemental nutrients and antioxidants. Matcha does everything we want our coffee to do for us and more.
Coffee definitely has a distinct, bitter taste to it. And while we can certainly order coffee in many forms (hot, iced, espresso), it is mostly consumed as a beverage. Matcha’s sweet, umami taste, though vastly different to coffee, is similar in its level of uniqueness. However, in order to get all the nutritional goodness from Matcha, you don’t just have to drink it; Matcha can be prepared into a wide variety of foods. No matter if you prefer sweet foods to start your day, or prefer a more savory breakfast Matcha is the perfect complement to any recipe. Moreover, you can bake it into a breakfast bar if you prefer to grab breakfast on the go. But, of course, if you enjoy taking your time in the morning to read the paper and sip on a hot beverage, preparing a piping hot cup of Matcha is as just easy as preparing a pot of coffee.