Matcha and Caffeine

A recent questions customers have been asking is, “how much caffeine does matcha have?”

Matcha contains roughly 25mg of caffeine, which is approximately one-third the caffeine of a cup of brewed coffee. This is by most standards a very small amount of caffeine; it is easily tolerated by many people for whom coffee makes them jittery because all of the other components that make up matcha in effect slow down the release of caffeine into the body. It typically takes a good three to six hours for this minimal amount of caffeine to be absorbed into the bloodstream, and yet the wakefulness effects are apparent almost immediately upon drinking it.

Matcha doesn’t make you “wired” — it’s nothing like coffee.

Matcha is different from coffee, and from other teas, in one important aspect the caffeine in matcha works in a synergistic manner with all the other great stuff that matcha contains, including hefty quantities of phytonutrients, antioxidants, and amino acids.

This combination of caffeine + phytonutrients + antioxidants + amino acids produces an unusual effect on matcha drinkers  an uncanny ability to focus and be productive over an extended period of a few hours (for some, the effect can last up to six hours). The effect is quite fascinating, and extremely pleasant for most people because there is none of the jitteriness associated with caffeine from coffee.

Because the caffeine molecules in matcha bind to larger and more stable molecules (especially catechins), the caffeine is, essentially, released over time, instead of all at once, as it is with espresso or brewed coffee, into the bloodstream. In contrast to coffee, this timed-release mechanism tends to inhibit any sudden insulin increases, so there is no “crash” associated with quick drops in blood sugar that so many coffee drinkers feel an hour or so after drinking a cup. Nor does matcha stimulate the production of cortisol, the stress hormone, as coffee can.

 


Rick Williams
Rick Williams

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