Are you Team Coffee or Team Matcha?
It’s the battle between two of our favorite caffeinated contenders: coffee and matcha! Normally when you ask someone to choose their favorite caffeinated beverage there is zero hesitation...coffee lovers will jump out of bed to run straight to their french press and matcha fans will never start their day without their go-to green drink. With such strong opinions out there, we had to do a little digging to find out which kind of “caffeine crazy” is the right kind of crazy!
If we’re going strictly by numbers, coffee is the clear winner here. Coffee packs a punch with anywhere from 150mg-200mg of caffeine per cup. In contrast, matcha contains much less caffeine coming in at about 60mg of caffeine per teaspoon of matcha powder.
The caffeine content in coffee vs matcha comes from two different sources and has slightly different effects. The source of caffeine in coffee comes from coffee beans while matcha’s caffeine content comes from green tea leaves. It’s important to know how the caffeine from each source makes you feel (this will vary person to person). In general, the energy boost you feel from coffee is quick and pronounced. You will typically feel the maximum effects about an hour after drinking coffee and for most people this will last several hours. Depending on your body and how fast you metabolize the caffeine, it can take up to 10 hours for your body to completely clear it. This means that it’s probably a good idea to skip that afternoon double shot espresso especially if you’re more sensitive to caffeine. The quick onset and higher amount of caffeine in coffee can make some people feel jittery, anxious, nauseous, and like their heart is beating faster. If you’re new to drinking coffee it’s always a good idea to start with a smaller amount and see how you feel!
The caffeine effect from matcha is described as much more subtle than caffeine. There isn’t as drastic of a peak from the caffeine in matcha and it can be a smoother energy boost (you may not even feel the caffeine at all). You typically feel the effects for 4-6 hours and because there is less caffeine per serving there is a lower risk of feeling jittery.
Whether you’re reaching for a cold brew or matcha latte, the good news is both drinks are packed with antioxidants! Think of antioxidants as little defenders that help protect our body from free radicals that cause stress, aging, and disease. The best way to get our antioxidants is through the foods we eat and/or drink!
Coffee is packed with antioxidants that come from polyphenols and the hydrocinnamic acids in coffee beans. Both of these compounds help the body fight off free radicals that we encounter every single day. The health benefits of coffee have been studied extensively and research shows that it is linked to a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes as well as the onset of liver, heart, and neurological diseases. It may also benefit mental health and help you live longer!
Matcha is also loaded with antioxidants and other health-promoting nutrients! Similar to coffee, matcha contains polyphenols that have been studied for reducing inflammation. It's been shown to improve cholesterol, triglyceride levels and blood sugar levels. The main substance in matcha, known as EGCG, may prevent cellular damage by reducing the formation of free radicals. Matcha also contains L-theanine which can promote relaxation, concentration, support memory, and elevate your mood.
While we may not have a clear cut caffeine champion here, it’s safe to say that both are great choices to sip on! Incorporating caffeine into your day can be a great way to get your antioxidants as well as a boost of energy. Never tried matcha before? Swap your morning latte with a matcha latte and see how it makes you feel!