The world is going through unparalleled times right now. A lot of us have been stuck in our homes for an extended period of time. Going outside the home has been quite difficult. News around the world tells us stress and anxiety are increasing. So how can we reduce stress and anxiety? While there are many ways to help, this article will look at how matcha can benefit stress and reduce anxiety.
L-theanine in Matcha
Matcha is made from the Camellia sinensis plant. Before harvesting, the plant is covered and is shade-grown. Because of this process, high levels of amino acids are produced. L-theanine is an amino acid found in green teas, but because of how matcha is produced, levels of L-theanine are much higher. L-theanine naturally found in matcha has been known to produce a feeling of calm alertness and a reduction of stress.
Kenko Tea sources the highest quality matcha from the Nishio region of Japan. It is packed full of L-theanine and other amino acids. L- theanine has been shown to increase dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain, which results in calm feelings and lifts your mood. (1) This is how matcha combats stress and anxiety. Unlike crashing from coffee because of caffeine, L-theanine helps our bodies slowly absorb the caffeine. The combined effect of this amino acid and matcha helps sustain energy levels, brings a sense of alertness, and gives you a calm state of mental clarity.
Matcha and Mice
A study in mice tested how matcha combatted stress levels. An enlarged adrenal gland is a common symptom of anxiety and stress. The adrenal glands of mice given matcha were significantly smaller than mice who were not given matcha. What should be pointed out is this experiment also showed that low-quality matcha did not have the effect that high-quality matcha has on combating stress and reducing anxiety. (2,3)
Cookies Can Help
Another experiment was conducted with university students in Japan. For 7 days two groups of students were given matcha cookies 3 times a day, some a placebo cookie, and others the test cookie. Then, for the next 8 days, the students were given the same cookies while at pharmacy practice. Each morning and night, students measured their saliva for statistical analysis. For those who had the test cookies, matcha reduced stress and anxiety. Stress and anxiety were not reduced for those who ate the placebo cookies. (4) This experiment showed that matcha does not have to be drunk to help us combat stress and anxiety. We can also have matcha in cookies or in other recipes. It also shows us, yet again, that high-quality matcha is necessary for combatting stress and anxiety.
Looking for a way to reduce stress and anxiety in these uncertain times? Instead of reaching for a coffee or energy drink that will leave you feeling amped up and wires, try switching to matcha tea for that feeling of calm alertness and peaceful calmness.