Lana Del Rey, yoga pants and coffee - my personality type from 2022 never really needed an upgrade! Except for when it came to switching to a daily beverage that agreed with my body more. Yes, I was that girl who could not start her day without an iced coffee. I was that girl who would force her colleagues to take a coffee break just after a heavy lunch. I was that girl whose Starbucks card went through so much wear and tear, that it stopped working right before boarding a long flight. Until, I watched the film Tár and in my quest to emulate the main character's intense energy, switched to matcha. And let me you something, it is absolutely worth something jumping off of a clip tied to a chair!
A bad coffee drinker
Let's start with some backstory. I have maneuvered ADHD symptoms and anxiety for as long as i can remember. Sure my morning Frappuccinos were waking me up and spiking my serotonin levels by being stinking sweet, but they also left me in a energy crash by mid-day. Other deterrents from coffee?
- A skincare girlie like me obviously knows the aromatic drink can be quite dehydrating for you skin after all
- And as the daughter who inherited her father's IBS, in addition to his tendency to taking pictures of sunsets, coffee wasn't the great for my gut either. Overdoing made my stomach upset and often messed with my appetite at the end of the day.
- Lastly, as someone who's been instructed to steer clear of inflammatory foods, coffee can behave more as an adversary and less as a friend.
So a hastened heart rate mixed with inability to concentrate since I was like 5, may have been the reason for my jittery personality that many found “quirky”. Enter Matcha!
My first impressions of shopping for Matcha was how truck it is to find genuine, ceremonial-grade matcha that offers that fresh yet smooth taste. I quickly went through a couple of recommendations online, bought one that comes with a chasen and started adding matcha to my routine after breakfast and as a mid-afternoon pick-me-up. Here's what I noticed:
Sustained energy without jitters
Even though matcha is known to contain a higher amount of caffeine as compared to coffee, the presence of L-theanine, an amino acid that promotes relaxation, makes it less jittery. I feel a more sustained and calm energy boost minutes after consuming it which usually last for about six hours.
My health drink for the day
Matcha is rich in antioxidants called catechins. They have the potential to help fight inflammation and oxidative stress. As compared to coffee, matcha is believed to have a higher concentration. This combination of caffeine and catechins is also known tohave a positive impact on metabolism, which I fully credit for helping with a healthy weight management. I mean, if you're skipping the sweet milk, creams and concentrates of iced coffees, that's half the battle won right there!
The calming cuppa
Remember the L-theanine we mentioned above? Well it's actually quite calming and helps counteract the stimulating effects of caffeine. I noticed increased alertness while doing my tasks but without the anxiety or restlessness that used to accompany my daily iced Americanos. Plus, since matcha is generally less acidic and gentler on the stomach, I end my days feeling content and at ease in my body.
In fact, over a course of a little over a year, I have started to notice enhanced mental clarity and focus. I find myself being able concentrate better and stay energetic for longer. Having said that, if you're highly sensitive to caffeine, matcha may not be right for you. And for people who have turned it down saying it tastes too “green”, maybe keep enjoying the delicious cup of coffee (I'm low-key jealous!).