Does matcha tea help you lose weight? If you guessed YES, you are correct! This post is all about why you should start drinking matcha tea for faster and easier weight loss.
How Matcha Tea Can Help You Lose Weight
Trying matcha for the first time was definitely an acquired taste for me. I didn’t hate it, but I wasn’t sure I liked it either.
But I headed to my favorite coffee shop the following day and ordered it again. This time with soy milk and extra matcha powder. And I was in love!
But I was even more in love when I learned about the weight loss benefits of matcha.
We all know weight loss can be challenging. There are times when the weight feels like it’s coming off effortlessly, and other times when seeing the scale move by even 0.1 pounds is DIFFICULT.
So, anything that can help make weight loss easier is welcomed!
So, if you are considering adding matcha to your diet and want to know precisely how it can benefit your weight loss journey, keep reading.
In this post, I share 5 POWERFUL ways drinking matcha tea can help you lose weight faster.
What Is Matcha?
Before we get to why you need to start drinking matcha, let’s cover some basics.
Matcha is a Japanese green tea powder made from specially grown, processed green tea leaves ground into a bright green powder. Think green tea but in powder form.
Even though green tea and matcha come from the same plant (Camellia sinensis), the process of making them differs. Unlike regular green tea, grown in the sun, matcha is grown in the shade.
The leaves are protected from sunlight 20-30 days before harvest. The shade increases chlorophyll levels, which makes the tea leaves darker and gives matcha its bright green color.
The traditional way to drink matcha is to whisk the powder in some hot water and drink.
But did you know that matcha is used in many other recipes?
Common uses of matcha
- Matcha lattes
- Chia seed pudding
- Matcha ice cream
- Donuts, cookies, cakes, and other baked goods
The Powerful Compounds Found In Matcha Tea That Can Help You Lose Weight
Green tea is widely known for its weight loss and health benefits and has long been touted as one of the best weight loss drinks available.
In fact, you will find green tea extract among the list of ingredients in many weight loss supplements on the market today.
What makes green tea so special?
It’s all about the antioxidants!
Antioxidants are molecules that protect our bodies from free radicals that can cause damage to our cells.
There are many types of antioxidants. There is vitamin C, beta carotene, selenium, vitamin D, and polyphenols, to name a few.
Now, you may be aware of some of the health benefits of antioxidants, but did you know there are weight loss benefits as well?
Green tea is rich in a type of antioxidants called polyphenols that not only have many health benefits but can also help with weight loss.
Polyphenols are plant-based compounds that help protect our cells against damaging free radicals. They are found in plant foods like fruits, vegetables, teas, and spices.
There are many polyphenols, but the ones that stand out most in green tea are catechins. Catechins comprise the majority of green tea antioxidants, specifically the incredibly potent Epigallocatechin gallate, EGCG for short.
EGCG is a powerful antioxidant and, as you will see shortly, is one of the main reasons green tea/matcha is not only great for your health but also extremely helpful when trying to lose weight.
So, let’s dive into the many weight loss benefits of drinking matcha tea.
5 Benefits Of Matcha Tea That Will Help You Lose Weight
1. Increases your metabolic rate
The speed of your metabolism can determine how easy or difficult it will be to lose weight. Simply put, having a faster metabolism helps a lot!
So, if you are looking for some help boosting your metabolism, try matcha!
Green tea/matcha can increase your metabolic rate. There are two main reasons for this. For one, matcha contains caffeine and caffeine alone has been shown to increase metabolism.
Secondly, as previously mentioned, matcha also contains EGCG. This combination of EGCG and caffeine has been shown to boost metabolism and reduce fat.
A study was conducted on 10 healthy male participants randomly assigned to three groups to test the efficacy of the combination of EGCG and caffeine.
The first group was given a green tea extract capsule containing 90 mg of EGCG and 50 mg of caffeine. The second group was assigned a capsule containing just 50 mg of caffeine, and the third group was given a placebo.
The group that received the capsule with both the EGCG and the caffeine experienced the greatest metabolism boost compared to the other two groups.
Another study conducted on 14 participants taking a green tea extract supplement found a significant increase in their metabolic rate over 24 hours compared to those taking a placebo. Furthermore, the effects of green tea on fat burning were even greater during exercise.
A study found that fat burning increased both at rest and during exercise, but much greater during exercise, 17% more, to be exact.
Remember, matcha is a more concentrated version of traditional green tea. You are consuming the tea leaves and, therefore, getting more of that metabolism-boosting combo of EGCG and caffeine.
2. Matcha tea can help you lose weight by suppressing your appetite
If you’ve ever tried to lose weight in the past, you’ve probably experienced those awful hunger pangs. You know when you finish your meal, and then 30 minutes later, you’re STARVING! Keeping hunger at bay can be difficult while dieting to lose weight.
But there’s some good news. Some studies suggest that green tea could help you lose weight by suppressing your appetite and helping you snack less often when you drink it between meals.
But how does green tea and matcha help with appetite?
The antioxidants in green tea help the body produce more cholecystokinin (CCK), a hunger-suppressing hormone.
Cholecystokinin (CCK is a hormone produced in the small intestines that functions as part of your digestive system and makes you feel physically full. During digestion, it suppresses your appetite to keep you from continued eating until digestion is complete.
The University of Chicago’s Tang Center for Herbal Medicine Research conducted a study on rats to identify the effects of EGCG derived from green tea.
They found that after 7 days of ingesting EGCG, the rats burned more calories and lost more than 21% of their body weight. They also lost their appetite and ate up to 60% less food.
3. Matcha tea can help stabilize blood sugar levels
Maintaining stable blood sugar levels is vital for your health. But did you know that constant spikes in blood sugar can also make weight loss difficult? Spikes in blood sugar can result in the pancreas releasing more insulin to move the sugar out of your bloodstream.
What is insulin?
Insulin is a hormone that is made in the pancreas. It is responsible for how the body metabolizes glucose and thus controls glucose levels in the blood.
When your food gets digested, it is converted into glucose and released into your blood. Insulin is responsible for putting that glucose to work and ensuring you are not walking around with high blood sugar levels all day.
So why is creating too much insulin problematic?
Insulin is also a storage hormone; it not only instructs your cells to open up and take in the glucose to be used as nutrients to provide energy to the body. But it also instructs your cells to store what’s left over in your liver, muscle, or fat cells.
When more glucose is in your bloodstream than your cells can take, it tells your cells to store the rest in your liver and muscles as glycogen. When no space is left to store glycogen, the remaining glucose is stored as fat.
So, the more insulin in your blood, the less fat you burn.
How does green tea help with this?
Green tea may reduce blood sugar levels, giving it an anti-diabetic effect. Several studies have shown that consuming green tea extract over 4 weeks may lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes and even those who don’t have diabetes.
Check out this post on the 7 hormones you need to know about that affect weight loss to learn more about how hormones like insulin can negatively impact weight loss
4. Matcha tea can help you lose weight by helping you reduce stress/anxiety
Did you know that stress and anxiety can affect more than just your mood? Well, it can also affect your weight.
Our hormones play a huge role in weight management. As discussed earlier, too much insulin can negatively affect weight loss.
But insulin is not the only hormone that affects weight loss. Cortisol is another hormone that can play a huge role in weight management.
Cortisol, commonly called the “stress hormone,” is a steroid hormone made in the adrenal gland. It regulates many processes, but its primary goal is to protect the body by responding to stressors.
When the body feels under attack, regardless of whether the danger is real or perceived, cortisol goes to work.
During these stressful situations, cortisol suppresses functions and processes not vital for survival because the body is in survival mode!
It decreases its metabolic rate to preserve energy, which results in burning fewer calories.
But how does it decrease our metabolic rate?
It does this by suppressing some of its processes, which it doesn’t need for immediate survival. One of the processes it suppresses is how it manages glucose.
Glucose is generally transported from the blood to the cells to provide energy and muscle growth nutrients.
But when the body is in survival mode, it only focuses on vital functions and processes that can aid immediate survival.
It keeps more glucose in the blood and thus prevents the usual process of transporting glucose to the muscles and cells.
Aside from our muscles and cells not getting the nutrients they need, all excess glucose in the blood is eventually stored as fat.
Remember, the body is in survival mode and is preserving the energy it needs to escape that situation—the fight or flight response.
But in this case, there is no actual physical danger, meaning you don’t have to fight or fight; therefore, you don’t need that extra glucose for fuel.
If you are constantly stressed, your cortisol levels will stay elevated, and weight loss can be difficult.
But the good news is that green tea contains an amino acid called L-theanine, which reduces anxiety and has significant anti-stress effects. Green tea has one of the highest sources of L-Theanine.
And despite the caffeine content, it has a calming effect, often described as an alert calmness. The L-theanine helps counteract the stimulation caffeine usually has on the nervous system.
Matcha has significantly higher amounts of L-theanine compared to regular green tea.
5. Burns belly fat
Green tea can help you lose weight, but does matcha tea burn belly fat?
Several studies have shown that consuming green tea can reduce belly fat. A study conducted over 10 years found that people who drank green tea consistently had smaller waist circumferences and lower body fat percentages.
Another study found that green tea drinkers significantly reduced body fat percentages, specifically in the abdomen.
In this double-blind study, there were 240 Japanese men and women. Subjects consumed either green tea containing 583 mg of catechins or 96 mg per day (control group).
At the conclusion of the study, the group that consumed green tea containing 583 mg of catechins had the most significant results.
They had a much more significant reduction in waist circumference, hip circumference, body weight, and body fat percentage.
They also had lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels when compared to the control group.
So now that you know some of the amazing benefits of drinking matcha tea for weight loss, I’m sure you are ready to make a cup! I will show you shortly how to make it the traditional way and how to make a matcha latte.
But first, let’s briefly discuss matcha’s caffeine content and if there are any safety concerns with drinking matcha.
Does Matcha Have Caffeine?
Like green tea, matcha does have caffeine. But because it’s more concentrated than regular green tea, it has more caffeine than green tea.
How much caffeine does matcha have?
The caffeine content in matcha varies depending on how much powder you use to make it and the type of leaves used. But typically, matcha contains between 18.9 mg and 44.4 mg of caffeine per gram.
The average 8 oz cup of matcha is made with 2 grams of matcha (about 1 teaspoon) and has about 70 grams of caffeine.
Most matcha brands include caffeine content on their packaging, and from what I’ve seen, most contain about 35 grams of caffeine per ½ teaspoon (1 gram).
Matcha Tea Side Effects
So, does matcha have any side effects? Well, the short answer is it depends.
As stated earlier, matcha is safe and very beneficial for most people. The FDA considers 400 mg of caffeine daily safe for most healthy individuals.
But a few people should not drink matcha or, at the very least, proceed with caution.
Who shouldn’t drink matcha?
Stay away from matcha or, at the very least, limit your intake if:
- You are pregnant
- You have a high sensitivity to caffeine
Remember, matcha does have caffeine. So, it is never a good idea to go overboard on caffeine, as high doses of caffeine can bring unwanted side effects.
Extremely high doses of caffeine can cause:
How To Make Your Own Matcha At Home
To make matcha tea:
Add ½ to 1 teaspoon matcha powder to a cup or bowl, preferably a small bowl.
Add a small amount (1-2 teaspoons) of boiling water to the bowl and whisk in a zig-zag motion, preferably with a bamboo whisk or a spoon, until all lumps are gone.
Pour in some more boiling water, about 6-8 oz and whisk vigorously until frothy and drink.
If you can drink it this way, then great, you will get all the benefits of matcha without the added sugar/calories. But you can also make a latte, which is how I usually drink mine.
To make a matcha latte:
- Add a small amount of water to the matcha powder and whisk to blend and remove all the lumps.
- Add some steamed milk of your choice (basically, you are following the directions above, but instead of adding more water after mixing with 1-2 teaspoons of boiling water, you would add milk instead).
- Add your favorite sweetener, whisk until frothy, and enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Is Better For Weight Loss Matcha Or Green Tea?
Both matcha and green tea have amazing health and weight loss benefits. As previously stated, regular brewed green tea is packed with antioxidants, such as EGCG.
So, both are great, but matcha is more potent; it has more caffeine and more EGCG. The amount of this antioxidant is multiplied, so you get three to ten times more antioxidants in every sip when you drink matcha vs green tea.
How much matcha tea should I drink to lose weight?
For optimal weight loss benefits, aim for 1-4 servings of matcha per day, preferably closer to 4 if you are not too sensitive to caffeine.
You could start your day with a serving or two of matcha. Then, consume another serving 30 minutes before each meal as the day progresses for a maximum of 4 servings.
But how much is 1 serving of matcha?
One gram is equal to 1 serving of matcha, which is equivalent to about ½ teaspoon. People generally use ½ to 1 teaspoon of matcha powder to make 1 cup of tea and sometimes more when making lattes.
As mentioned earlier, there are many ways to consume matcha. You could drink it as a tea, aiming for 2 -4 cups daily, depending on how strong you like your matcha.
You could make matcha lattes or add matcha to your favorite smoothie, oatmeal, and chia seed pudding.
Does matcha tea help you lose weight? Yes, matcha can be highly beneficial for those trying to lose weight. It can help boost metabolism, suppress appetite, stabilize blood sugar, relieve stress, and reduce belly fat.
Let me know in the comments if you have tried matcha. What was your experience with it in terms of taste and weight loss? And if you have yet to try it, do you plan to? I’d love to hear from you.
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