Matcha is a very high quality green tea. It is made from Camellia Sinesis plant which is a plant which all teas come from. Matcha tea is steamed which leaves most of the nutrients still active. The matcha tea is then stone grounded in to powder. It is stored in a dark, oxygen free environment to ensure that the nutrients are well preserved. Matcha is a superfood loaded with antioxidants.
Matcha tea has a very high content of EGCg. Matcha tea has a high amount of catechins which is an antioxidant. 60% of the catechins in the matcha tea is made up of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg). EGCg is documented for it's cancer fighting properties. Matcha has about 100 times more EGCgs compared to other teas on the market.
Matcha tea has caffeine but also has amino acid L-theanine which keeps the mind relaxed. Drinking matcha tea promotes alpha waves in the brain. Alpha pattern brain state is a state of mind which we are awake but relaxed at the same time. Alpha wave patterns are associated with creativity. L-theanine leads to production of dopamine and seratonin which are associated with improved memory, mood and concentration. Please check out my articles on alpha brain patterns and L-theanine titled "Stay Calm As A Monk With Green Tea"and "How To Be Creative". Buddhist monks used Matcha tea prior to meditating. Since Matcha promotes Alpha wave patterns, it is a great idea to drink this prior to meditation. Matcha tea was used as a part of the Japanese tea ceremonies. The samurai also used Matcha prior to battle. Alpha wave patterns are also associated with "being in the zone" and optimum performance. I believe that the Samurai benefited from being relaxed but focused at the same time. Athletes can use this tool just as the samurai did. If you have trouble focusing on studying, instead an energy drink, give matcha tea a try.
Matcha energizes not only the mind but the body as well. This is another important reason why the Samurai used this tea prior to battle. Since matcha tea has caffeine and L-theanine, it provides benefits of caffeine in a smoother and steadier fashion without the side effects such as nervousness, or restlessness, etc. Some studies show that green tea improves endurance up to 24%.
Due to it's high chlorophyll content matcha also detoxes the body as well. I think matcha tea is a great energy drink replacement. If it is good enough to aid the Samurai in battle, it should be good enough for athletes. Energy drinks are super processed with tons of sugar and other chemicals. Matcha is a much healthier alternative. If you are super sensitive to caffeine as my self or have allergies, you may want to be careful drinking matcha. It is a powerful drink. Use it wisely and it will serve you well.