Matcha Green Tea: Benefits for Health and Performance

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Matcha green tea is a millenary drink to which many have paid attention at a scientific level, not only because its compounds could favor athletic performance, but also because apparently it could present multiple health benefits , which are provided by its great contributions of polyphenols and alkaloids.

In the following article we will address an analysis where we will evaluate these compounds, their benefits and what the scientific evidence tells us about it.

Origin and characteristics of green tea

The green tea matcha starts use and consumption in ancient China, is thousands of years ago, this was mostly used for its medicinal and supposedly healing properties.

Matcha green tea  is obtained from the leaves of a plant called Camellia Sinensis and unlike other varieties such as black tea, matcha green tea is not fermented, which is why it would obtain its characteristic shape and a very strong green color. unmistakable.

Polyphenols and alkaloids provided by matcha green tea

Among the polyphenol variants found in matcha green tea we can highlight: epicatechin (EC), epigallocatechin (EGC), epicatechin gallate (ECG) and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). This last polyphenol is  the most abundant and highly active in green tea, and therefore the most researched by science.

Matcha green tea also has a large number of alkaloids ,  caffeine being the most important when it comes to training or improving sports performance. Although it also provides us with theobromine and theophylline, which are very important anti-fatigue precursors, making matcha green tea a good pre-workout or pre-workout nerve activator.

On the other hand, we also have Theanine, which is an important amino acid in improving brain stimuli. Finally, and perhaps not so kind, we have Tannins, which are polyphenols that are also found a lot in grapes and that can interfere with iron absorption.

Matcha green tea, does it add something to our health or performance?

It is true that there are no miraculous foods or supplements , that is, foods that make us lose weight or improve body composition directly, but there are foods, supplements or drinks, as in this case, that can indirectly enhance our effects of a correct caloric deficit or well-programmed training. In short, keys to improving body composition and that seem to be evidenced by matcha green tea .

Matcha green tea as an enhancer in improving body composition

A meta-analysis carried out by Hurserl R. and collaborators, highlights the synergies produced between caffeine and catechins present in matcha green tea . This study was carried out in two population groups, which were assigned the same nutritional plan and physical exercise, in contrast, that one group incorporated green tea into their diets and the other group only a placebo.

The people who ingested the green tea managed to reduce on average 1.3 kg of their body weight, however, those who ingested the placebo did not obtain significant improvements.

Despite this, other studies carried out with people who did not incorporate a training plan with the intake of green tea, did not find significant results.

In this way, it is evident that matcha tea would only enhance its thermogenic effects and improvements in body composition, as long as it is accompanied by physical exercise and correct nutrition , otherwise it would not generate any significant ergogenic effect.