Matcha tea is a green tea in the form of finely ground power obtained from the plant Camellia sinensis. The plant is grown and processed in a unique way characterized by shade-grown for about three weeks before harvest, and the stems and veins are removed in processing. This process results in increased quantities of theanine, a nonprotein amino acid precursor of catechins and caffeine. When looking at matcha green tea for weight management, both catechins, and caffeine have critical metabolic effects that lead to healthy body weight.
Theanine provides a unique brothy or savory (umami) flavor to green tea infusions. Traditionally Matcha green tea has been used for centuries in the Japanese tea ceremony, a Japanese cultural activity that combines specific procedures with a pursued state of mindfulness. Nowadays Matcha green tea is used for culinary purposes, added to drinks, foods, and desserts.
How is Matcha Green Tea Considered a Superfood?
The superfood categorization of Matcha green tea is based on the fact that is a source of highly concentrated antioxidant substances that show many health beneficial effects on blood pressure and cholesterol level1. Matcha green tea also promotes better immune response, induces a state of relaxation, promotes prostate health 2, and has an important effect on metabolism, supporting healthy body fat for healthier body weight 3.
The effectiveness of green tea on weight reduction in obese patients has been demonstrated in randomized, control trials4,5. It was shown to prevent weight regaining after a period of weight management and to counteract the decrease in metabolic rate that occurs after a weight management period 4,6.
The main catechin polyphenols in green tea such as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), epigallocatechin, and epicatechin gallate, which are responsible for its beneficial effects, can enhance energy expenditure and fat oxidation and thereby induce healthy body weight.7 The inhibition of several enzymes may be the mechanism by which the components of green tea induce weight maintenance. Catechins inhibit the catechol O-methyltransferase (COMT), and caffeine inhibits phosphodiesterase. Levels of norepinephrine and cAMP rise because degradation by these enzymes is ceased. Consequently, parasympathetic activity is increased, this sympathetic nervous system activity, increases energy expenditure and promotes the oxidation of fat (lipolysis), sparing fat-free mass (muscles).
Consecutive intake of tea catechins (588 mg/day) reduced body fat, especially abdominal fat in humans.8 This effect is explained by the sympathetic innervation of white adipose tissue. Other potential mechanisms involved in catechin promoted healthy body weight and modifications in appetite, up-regulation of enzymes involved in hepatic fat oxidation, and decreased nutrient absorption.
Catechin and Caffeine Are Key Nutrients for Weight Management
In conclusion, Matcha green tea contains then a robust green tea catechin and caffeine mixture that improves weight management, weight maintenance, spares fat-free mass (muscles), leading to healthy body weight. As a superfood, it also is beneficial for your overall health, thanks to its beneficial effects on blood pressure, serum lipids, immune system, and additional nootropics effects that boost mental performance along with anxiety reduction.9
Matcha green tea is available initially in the form of powder. There are also capsules for the people who don´t like the taste of the tea or prefer a more leisurely way of consuming.
Green tea should not be taken by patients suffering from heart conditions or significant cardiovascular problems. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should drink no more than one or two cups per day because caffeine can cause an increase in heart rhythm.
It is also important to control the concomitant consumption of green tea and some drugs, due to caffeine’s diuretic effects 10.
Green tea catechins may have an affinity for iron, and green tea infusions may cause a decrease in the iron bioavailability from the diet.11
1. Khalesi, S; Sun, J; Buys, N; Jamshidi, A; Nikbakht-Nasrabadi, E; Khosravi-Boroujeni, H (2014). “Green tea catechins and blood pressure: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials”. European Journal of Nutrition. 53(6): 1299–311. doi:10.1007/s00394-014-0720-1. PMID 24861099.2
2. Guo, Y; Zhi, F; Chen, P; Zhao, K; Xiang, H; Mao, Q; Wang, X; Zhang, X (2017). “Green tea and the risk of prostate cancer: A systematic review and meta-analysis”. Medicine. 96 (13): e6426. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000006426. PMC 5380255. PMID 28353571
6. Hursel et al. The effects of green tea on weight loss and weight maintenance: a meta-analysis. International Journal of Obesity, Vol 33, pg 956-961 (2009). https://www.nature.com/articles/ijo2009135.
7. Diepvens K, Westerterp KR, Westerterp-Plantenga MS. Obesity and
thermogenesis related to the consumption of caffeine, ephedrine, capsaicin, and green tea. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 2007; 292: R77–R85
9. Anxiety Disorders.George M. Kapalka, in Nutritional and Herbal Therapies for Children and Adolescents, 2010.
10.Costa LM, Gouveia ST, Nobrega JA. Comparison of heating extraction procedures for Al, Ca, Mg and Mn in tea samples. Ann Sci. 2002;18:313–318. doi: 10.2116/analsci.18.313. [PubMed][Cross Ref]
11.Hamdaoui MH, Chabchob S, Heidhili A. Iron bioavailability and weight gains to iron-deficient rats fed a commonly consumed Tunisian meal “bean seeds ragout” with or without beef and with green or black tea decoction. J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2003;17:159–164. doi: 10.1016/S0946-672X(03)80020-2. [PubMed] [Cross Ref