I Drank Matcha Every Day For A Week & Here's What Happened
I've never been a "coffee person." Despite always loving the scent of a brewing batch growing up, when I was finally old enough to try coffee for the first time, I absolutely hated it. So, somehow, I got through college and early 20s with absolutely no caffeine except for iced tea. It wasn't until I lived in NYC for a few months that I was introduced to matcha and became an instant fan. In fact, I recently took my newfound devotion to it a step further and drank matcha every day for a week to see if the energizing benefits were significant enough to add to my morning routine for the long haul.
Because of matcha's steep price point (most large matcha lattes live in the $7 or $8 range — and more if you want a dairy substitute), I decided it was best saved for special occasions or when I really needed that extra boost of caffeine. With all of that in mind, I decided to start making my own matcha lattes at home to see if it would improve upon my productivity.
Thanks to safer at home orders in Los Angeles, I have way more free time on my hands and I decided to challenge myself to drink matcha everyday for a week to see how I felt. Here's how it went.
Drinking Matcha Every Day: The Recipe
The most important part (for me) in adding matcha to my daily routine involved perfecting my latte recipe. I like my matcha strong and not too sweet, but I love dairy so I'm usually not down with milk alternatives.
The ratio I settled on was two teaspoons of matcha powder per 16-ounce glass, with half of it filled with ice, and milk poured up to about three quarters of the glass. Most days, I indulged in a 32-ounce latte, so there were a total of four teaspoons of matcha powder in each drink. I sweetened the concoction with one Truvia packet per two teaspoons of matcha and dissolved it into the hot water while I was mixing up my team with an electric whisk. (If I decided to make it hot, I used a milk steamer to get it all frothy.)
Drinking Matcha Every Day: The Experience
According to Dr. Richard Firshein, D.O., the founder of Firshein Center, introducing caffeine into the body regularly can have varying effects. "The way we process caffeine is regulated by the frequency that we consume it, the type of beverage it is found in, our genetic predispositions and our gut biome," he explains."If someone isn't used to [ingesting caffeine], their body may not be used to it and they may have more severe side effects."
Fortunately, for me, that was not the case, but I did notice a difference. The first day, I couldn't believe how much energy I had. I honestly felt like I was bouncing off the walls. I'm a hardcore breakfast person, so in addition to my hearty meal, I had both a 16-ounce and 32-ounce matcha latte because I wasn't sure how much I'd need to get through my workday. (The answer? Not that much.)
Despite my heavy consumption, I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that I didn't have the caffeine crash many coffee drinkers do in the middle of the day. According to Matchabar founders (and brothers) Graham and Max Fortgang that was because "the value proposition of matcha energy is entirely different from coffee or other teas." They explain, "Matcha, unlike coffee or steeped tea, is created by grinding fresh tea leaves into a fine powder. By extension, when you drink matcha you are consuming the entire tea leaf in powder form."
The matcha blend developers go on to explain that coffee and traditional tea use an extraction process wherein the flavor and caffeine are extracted from their natural form. "Due to this fundamental difference, the caffeine in matcha is released over an extended period as you digest the full leaf," they say. "The caffeine you are ingesting is still in plant form, so your body breaks it down and makes use of the caffeine much more efficiently. The effect is an extended caffeine release, more mileage out of the same fuel." (Dr. Firshein also mentioned that this extended energy may have something to do with matcha's high antioxidant and L-Threonine content.)
Toward the end of the week, I started realizing that I couldn't have matcha too late in the day, or I wouldn't be able to go to sleep at night. I drank a latte at 2 p.m. one day to power through a work project and ended up having a pretty restless night, so I decided to limit my matcha intake to mornings only.
Drinking Matcha Every Day: The Takeaways
I was already a huge matcha fan prior to the trial, but this week really encouraged me to make it a regular part of my routine. Before this, my only source of caffeine was from homemade cold-brewed iced teas, which I drank more for hydration than anything else. But for me, making a matcha latte every morning was about so much more than just getting that boost of energy.
As someone who has had trouble settling into a real routine — my work schedule is constantly changing and I don't have set hours — setting up my matcha station every morning became a therapeutic moment that I looked forward to every day. I loved having the opportunity to not pay attention to my phone and to just focus on making something that made me feel good as my day got started.
"We always tell people, 'try [matcha] and pay attention to how you feel," the Fortgang brothers told me. "Matcha is celebrated for clean focused energy, [which] we like to think of as mental awareness."
Well, consider me hooked. Consuming matcha every day has made my mornings something to look forward to — which I can truthfully say was never the case before.
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