7 Proven Health Benefits of Matcha Tea
One of today’s most popular health beverages is matcha tea, and for good reason.
Matcha is delicious and has earned a long list of scientifically proven health benefits, including its ability to help fight obesity, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and more.
Read on to learn about matcha tea and its science-backed health benefits.
What is matcha tea?
Matcha is a highly-concentrated powdered form of green tea leaves that has been used in China and Japan for a very long time. In fact, the word "matcha" and how to say it (maa-chuh) come from two Japanese words that mean "ground" and "tea," respectively.
Like all teas except rooibos, matcha comes from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis. But differences in how it is grown and harvested give it a robust nutrient profile that translates into significant health benefits.
Matcha is grown by covering the tea plants 20–30 days before harvest to shield them from direct sunlight. As a result, the plant produces more chlorophyll, has a higher level of amino acids, and turns a darker shade of green.
After the tea leaves are picked and the stems and veins are extracted, the leaves are ground into a fine powder called matcha.
Matcha is different (and healthier) from other types of tea because it uses the whole tea leaf, making it a more concentrated source of nutrients.
Science-backed health benefits of matcha tea
1. Rich source of antioxidants
Matcha tea's supercharged health benefits come from its polyphenol compounds, called catechins, which are antioxidants found in green tea and other superfoods. However, matcha has a lot more catechins than most antioxidant foods, which makes it a superior health-promoting drink.
Why does matcha contain more catechins?
Tea made with matcha powder has all the nutrients from the whole leaf, so it usually has more catechins and antioxidants than tea made by soaking green tea leaves in water.
Indeed, the amount of specific catechins in matcha is approximately 137 times greater than in other types of green tea (1).
Antioxidants like catechins help keep harmful free radicals in check. Free radicals are compounds that can damage cells and lead to chronic diseases.
In one study, giving mice matcha supplements decreased the damage done by free radicals and increased antioxidant activity (2).
Similarly, adding matcha to your diet may also help stop cell damage from free radicals and protect you from many of the most common long-term diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease (3).
Hint: drinking a refreshing can of 8th Wonder Matcha Tea is an excellent way to get your daily dose of catechins and other antioxidants!
2. Helps weight loss
Millions of people have been struggling to lose weight safely and sustainably, but this has been a losing battle for most of them.
How many people are obese or overweight? The Harvard School of Public Health says that, according to a global health examination survey, about 500 million adults around the world are obese. This means that their body mass index (BMI) is 30 or higher. This equates to nearly 10% of men and 14% of women, which is almost double the obesity rates of 1980. Currently, a whopping 1.5 billion adults are overweight or obese (BMI of 25 or higher) (4, 5).
Being overweight or obese increases the risk of many severe health conditions, so it’s essential that we find a way to help people with their weight loss goals. Incredibly, matcha tea may help.
Research shows matcha tea might help you lose weight and keep it off for a long time.
For example, a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that drinking tea high in catechins for 12 weeks significantly reduced fat mass, body weight, BMI, and waist circumference (6).
In another study from the Netherlands, researchers found that green tea and matcha catechins can help reduce body weight, while other studies have discovered that they may also help improve long-term weight loss by increasing metabolism and burning fat (7, 8, 9).
3. May help prevent cancer
Matcha has a lot of compounds that are good for your health, and some of them have been linked to preventing cancer in animal and test tube studies.
For example, a study on rats showed that green tea extract decreased tumors and stopped breast cancer cells from growing (10).
Matcha is particularly rich in epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a catechin that has been shown to have powerful anti-cancer properties.
In a test tube study, the EGCG in matcha was found to help kill prostate cancer cells (11).
In test tube studies, EGCG has also been shown to be effective against cancers of the skin, lungs, and liver (12, 13, 14).
However, more research on human subjects must be conducted to verify these results.
But isn’t it great to know you could prevent cancer just by drinking 8th Wonder’s organic sparkling matcha tea?
4. Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease
"Cardiovascular disease" (CVD) refers to conditions that affect the heart or blood vessels, like heart attack and stroke. It’s usually caused by fatty deposits building up inside the arteries (atherosclerosis) and blood clots.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., and stroke is the #1 cause of long-term disability. In 2019, CVD accounted for 874,613 deaths in the U.S. (15).
Reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease can save a lot of lives. Fortunately, several studies show that green tea's high levels of antioxidants and catechins may help reduce this risk.
In fact, a study of over 40,000 participants found that those who consumed more than five cups of green tea per day had a 26% lower chance of dying from a heart attack or stroke than those who consumed less than one cup per day (16).
Several studies have found that consuming green tea can help reduce two of the biggest risk factors for cardiovascular disease: high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure (hypertension). Reducing these risk factors may help prevent cardiovascular issues, thereby saving lives (17).
5. Improves brain function
Matcha and other teas contain the amino acid L-theanine. Numerous studies show that consuming foods and drinks with L-theanine may help you relax. Yet, in combination with caffeine, another chemical in matcha tea, L-theanine, can make you feel relaxed and alert.
A 2017 study showed that 200 milligrams (mg) of L-theanine improved cognition and selective attention in 20 males. Combining 160 mg of caffeine amplified this effect (18).
A 2017 review examined 49 human studies and found that matcha tea has plant compounds that boost mood and performance. For example, L-theanine alone makes you feel calmer and more relaxed, while caffeine makes you more productive and gives you more energy (19).
But L-theanine and caffeine combined improved alertness and attention, especially when participants were multitasking.
This indicates that matcha tea, like 8th Wonder Sparkling Match Tea with Cherry Blossom and Reishi, may help support a state of relaxed attention and alertness. How amazing is that?
Some research suggests that matcha tea contains a significantly higher amount of L-theanine than other kinds of tea. But other research shows that the amount of this amino acid in matcha varies widely depending on the product (20).
6. Reduces risk of type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a problem with how the body controls and uses glucose (sugar) as fuel. This chronic illness causes an excessive amount of sugar to circulate in the bloodstream. In the long run, high blood sugar can cause serious health problems, such as heart disease, kidney problems, and nerve damage.
Type 2 diabetes is almost entirely a lifestyle-induced condition, often caused by eating poorly, being overweight, and not exercising enough.
So, one of the best ways to avoid type 2 diabetes is to make a few healthy changes to your diet and lifestyle. Some research suggests that adding matcha to your routine may be especially helpful.
For example, one study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that drinking green tea, which includes matcha, was linked to a lower risk of developing diabetes after age, gender, body mass index, and other risk factors were taken into account (21).
Another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that drinking green tea lowered blood sugar levels and made it easier to control them over time. In addition, drinking green tea also led to a big drop in insulin levels (22).
7. May help support liver health
You may not hear much about the liver, but it is crucial to your health as it helps get rid of toxins, breaks down drugs, and processes nutrients.
Some studies have shown that matcha may help keep your liver healthy.
For example, one study gave matcha to diabetic rats for 16 weeks and found that it helped keep the kidneys and liver from being damaged (23). (Diabetes is the primary cause of kidney failure.)
In another study, 80 people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease were given a placebo or 500 mg of green tea extract every day for 90 days.
Green tea extract lowered the level of liver enzymes by a lot after 12 weeks (24). When these enzymes are high, it means that the liver has been damaged.
A review of 15 studies also found that drinking green tea was linked to a lower chance of getting liver disease (25).
Frequently asked questions
What does matcha tea taste like?
Matcha tea has a strong and distinct earthy flavor, similar to spinach or wheat grass.
What is the difference between matcha tea and green tea?
Green tea grows under the sun, while matcha tea grows in the shade for three weeks before harvest.
The color of green tea is dull and brownish, while the color of matcha tea is vibrant and green. Shade increases chlorophyll levels in the leaves, giving matcha its bright color.
Matcha tea is a concentrated source of catechins, making it a healthier choice than green tea.
Who should not drink matcha tea?
Because it has a lot of caffeine, it is not good for children, women who are pregnant, or women who are nursing.
It's also not a good idea for people with iron-deficiency anemia, since it can make it harder for the body to absorb iron from food.
People who are sensitive to caffeine shouldn't drink too much matcha because caffeine can cause a fast heartbeat, irritability, and trouble sleeping.
Finally, green tea can interfere with some prescription medications, so those who are taking prescriptions or have chronic health concerns should talk to their doctor before using matcha.
Does matcha burn belly fat?
Yes. First, matcha has been demonstrated to increase metabolism and fat burning. This means that it tackles the weight problem from two different angles. It gives you a natural boost in your fight against extra pounds by giving you more energy and speeding up your fat metabolism, which is usually hard to access.
Green tea and matcha are both made from the same plant, but matcha packs in more antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds since it uses the whole leaf.
Matcha and its parts have been linked to a number of health benefits, from lowering the risk of heart disease to helping people lose weight.
Boost your health with 8th Wonder Organic Sparkling Matcha Tea!
Sit back, relax, and enjoy 8th Wonder’s Sparkling Matcha Tea blended with cherry blossoms and reishi.
Each sip will leave you feeling refreshed, energized, and ready to tackle the rest of the day. No matter where you are—at home, at the office, or on the go—you can just open a can and enjoy the sweet, earthy flavor that provides essential nutrients.
Each 12-ounce can contains 40 calories and is made entirely of Japanese matcha, cherry blossom, and reishi.
Plus, it is organic, gluten-free, and certified vegan, with no sugar added!