Matcha is also known as green tea. The leaves of the plant are ground and put into capsules for ingestion. The reported benefits are wide and varied from weight loss to fighting cancer. There are several different types with different doses. So how do you know which one is right for you?
In this article, we will discuss the different forms of capsules, their reported benefits and how to take them. Everything you will need to know will be covered here so that you can make the most informed decision about starting a matcha powder capsule regimen.
Green Tea Popularity
Green tea has been used for drinks and powders for centuries. First established in the Orient, mainstream media and knowledge of ancient wisdom has brought the tea leaves to western civilizations.
When it’s reported health benefits surfaced, green tea started being infused in everything. From soft drinks to vitamin pills, green tea can be found almost anywhere. The most common is tea bags for making tea, and in capsule form for direct ingestion.
You can also find ointments and oils that are made from the extract of the tea leaves. Used as a topical application, the oil is used to treat a myriad of skin issues and overall health concerns. While the health benefits are still being studied, many people, including celebrities, endorse the tea and highly recommend it.
Because the powder of the leaves is raw, the taste is very bitter and commonly found to be unpleasant. This accounts for capsules being produced to avoid the bitter taste lingering on your tongue.
Matcha Green Tea Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ Video]
Most of the beneficial aspects come from the extract itself, instead of the leaves. The green tea extract benefits claims are vast. One of the most widely talked about, and speculated, is that it fights off cancer cells. While the claims are promising, there hasn’t been any official scientific research to back them up.
Green tea is also thought to aid in cardiovascular circulation and can even improve cardiovascular health overall. Once again, though studies and tests are done against placebos, haven’t unearthed any significant claims or support.
The matcha powder is also believed to defend the body against age-related diseases. Mental health, reversing the effects of strokes and reducing the chance of heart attacks, the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s are also claimed.
Until more studies are conducted, though, actual proof can’t be substantiated. Until then, people continue to swear by the extract and its benefits.
One thing that consumers and science can agree on is that tea leaves contain a substance called epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG. EGCG is an antioxidant that has shown signs of fending off free radicals and reducing the damage to certain cells. This can account for the anti-aging benefits associated with green tea.
How is Matcha Taken?
There are three basic ways to get the EGCG and other benefits associated with matcha. The first, and most widely used, is through brewing the leaves into tea. Drinking the tea will introduce the matcha into the body where it can be absorbed, and its effects started.
Because of the amount of matcha needed, though, you will need to drink a lot of green tea to get any of the green tea side effects, or health benefits. However, in the age of supplements, you can also make matcha powder.
Matcha powder is the powder created from grinding and pulverizing the matcha into a fine dust. The main problem, aside from time, is that you will still need to ingest the powder orally. Doing so will introduce a much larger amount of the good stuff into your body. However, the taste is very undesirable.
You can find matcha powder in pill form. The capsules will protect your mouth from having to taste the matcha and will still introduce higher EGCG amounts over tea bags. Purchasing the matcha capsules will also reduce the time it takes to create your own. You won’t have to grind any powder leaves or brew tea.
There are many varieties of matcha and green tea available. Regardless of how you choose to take it, tea bags in all flavors and varieties contain the EGCG of green tea; the capsules are the most potent and even making your own powder or using the extracted oil will give you the needed benefits.
One of the most popular alternatives is green tea CR. The “CR” refers to Curcumin and Resveratrol. Curcumin is an extract from the root of turmeric. It is believed to be a healer of joint tenderness, swelling, and function.
Resveratrol is classified as a polyphenol, the same as matcha, which will reportedly aid in cardiovascular health and can also improve brain function. The warning here is that many sites selling green tea CR will claim the many studies and trials done with the ingredients and will say that they are “proven.”
This just isn’t a fact. It is true that there have been studies and trials done involving all three (either together or separate) ingredients, but nothing has been proven in substantial enough numbers to make a valid case either way.
Also, note that curcumin and resveratrol are both not natively absorbed by the body and you will be required to ingest huge quantities to reach body levels that report any benefits.
While green tea CR has no known side effects, the long-term studies of mixing the three ingredients haven’t been fully established. Since it is an herbal supplement, it is also not regulated by the FDA. If you choose to try taking these capsules, you should do diligent research on the brand, the company, and the manufacturing process.
Green tea pills are another common form of ingestion. While boasting only the benefits of green tea, or matcha, it is still cautioned when taking them (as is the case with any supplement or medicine). Too much of anything can be bad for you. When increasing your dosage, you should do so gradually, and under the care of a medical professional.
Green Tea Side Effects
Even herbs can have side effects, and green tea is among those. While most serious side effects are only reported in small numbers of the population, it is wise to start slow and take note of any symptoms.
Short-term side effects are rare and hardly very serious. Most reports are upset stomach and constipation. These side effects can be easily alleviated by ceasing ingestion or oil application.
Long-term ingestion of green tea (longer than two years) or ingestion of high amounts can have more serious side effects. These can include:
- Liver and kidney failure
- Irregular heartbeat
While death is a highly serious side effect, this is usually only seen in high dose ingestion. The reported dosage for the higher risk side effects are 10 to 14 grams. When looking at your labels, this will often show as milligrams per kilogram. If the label has more than 150mg, that is too high.
In general, though, you should be safe as long as you keep the dosage of green tea down, the term of ingestion to under two years, and not a daily intake. Most of the side effects are caused by the caffeine that is present in the tea and extract.
If you are pregnant, nursing, or may become pregnant, you should not take green tea in any form. Green tea can also inhibit birth control and have adverse interactions with antibiotics and other medications.
If you are taking any medications or are pregnant, you should consult with your doctor about any and all medicines, herbal or otherwise, that you are taking. If you suffer any of the side effects, you should stop taking green tea and anything with caffeine and speak to a doctor.
Matcha capsules are a great way to get EGCG and the health benefits associated with it. When decided to take the supplement or adding more to your daily intake, you should always do thorough research.
The company, the brand, and the results will all differ. Knowing what you are ingesting and how much is very important. Because green tea contains caffeine, you should limit the intake to known, healthy levels.
Drinking tea daily is safe for most adults. The levels in the tea are not as potent as those of the oils and capsules. However, combining ingestion methods or taking matcha capsules for extended periods of time can have adverse effects on your health.
If you are ever in doubt, consult a doctor. If you don’t have any low-level side effects, you can enjoy your daily tea or regular capsule intake. If you do suffer any symptoms, you can easily cut back on the dosages and frequency and the symptoms should disappear.
If you do continue to have symptoms, consult a doctor. Otherwise, enjoy your tea and supplements!
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