Do you dream about your morning cup of coffee to kickstart your day? Coffee is delicious however it can cause jitters, high anxiety, and increased heart rate. And, many people easily develop dependencies on coffee. When I noticed this happening to me, I knew it was time for a change. I found Matcha as a Healthy Alternative to Coffee. It’s fabulous and I still get to keep my same morning ritual while getting a dose of calming caffeine.

Caffeine Facts:

  • The FDA recommends 400 milligrams (mg) a day of caffeine for a healthy person. To put that into perspective an 8 ounce (oz) cup of coffee contains 80-100 mg.
  • Coffee challenges: The acidity from the coffee can lead to an upset stomach. Sudden loss of caffeine can lead to headaches and rises in anxiety/heart rate.

Matcha: What It Is

  • A type of green tea, which contains 30-50 mg of caffeine per 8 oz.
  • The leaf from the Camellia sinensis plant is grounded into a powder, which is matcha.
  • Matcha is different from regular tea because the powder is whisked with hot water, allowing the person to drink the whole tea leaf. Generally, regular green tea has the tea leaves infused with water which just gives the extract and not the entire tea leaf.

Matcha: Benefits

  • Matcha improves your focus and brain function by the L-theanine that it contains. When this combines with its natural caffeine properties, it produces a meditative aspect leading to an easier time focusing and a sense of calm clarity.  (1.)
  • Matcha also boosts your amount of antioxidants, which keep your heart healthy. These antioxidants reduce cholesterol and blood pressure. In addition, they also protect your liver function due to their ability to protect against disease. (2.)
  • Some studies have shown matcha has cancer fighting benefits due to the EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), an antioxidant, it contains. (3.)

How to Find the Best Matcha

  • Grades: The grading system of matcha tea does not signify quality, rather the purpose of use for the matcha. The two common grades are Ceremonial and Culinary.
  • Ceremonial: Sole purpose is for beverages because it is naturally sweet with a delicate flavor.
    • Distinguishing factor: the youngest leaves are ground up using a stone which give rise to a deep green color.
    • Choose this version when making a beverage.
  • Culinary: Sole purpose is for cooking/baking because it provides a slightly more bitter flavor.
    • The leaves used are a bit older.
    • Choose this type when cooking or baking.

My Favorite Matcha Latte 

When I started to change up my morning routine from a cup of coffee to a matcha latte I realized that I wasn’t missing out on anything. I felt more clarity, calmness, and energy! I never experienced jitters from the caffeine and no longer felt a dependency for it. I thoroughly loved starting my mornings with a matcha latte knowing that I am starting my day by getting essential nutrients in.

I get my matcha fix through a superfood supplement called Superstar by MIJA. Superstar not only has ceremonial grade matcha, but it also has other incredible superfoods such as goldenberries, camu camu, lucuma, cacao, avocado, turmeric, hemp seeds, chlorella, and nutritional yeast. I simply add 1 Tablespoon of Superstar to warm unsweetened oat milk. It brightens my day without leaving me jittery and anxious.

Take your caffeine fix to the next level and opt-in for a nutrient-dense matcha latte!

Make your own homemade Almond Milk with this easy recipe. Or enjoy some more warm drinks with this mouth-watering Cacao Mexican Hot Chocolate recipe.

By Hailey Brandel, dietetic intern, IG: @enlightenedbyfood