Matcha and Energy

You always hear that matcha gives you energy, but do you know why?

It’s all because of an amino acid called L-theanine.

Have you heard of it before?

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L-theanine is an amino acid found in abundance within the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis tea plant (all tea comes from the same plant: Camellia Sinensis) and is responsible for Matcha’s naturally sweet taste. Green tea has the highest amount of L-theanine amongst all teas and, within the varieties of green tea, Matcha has the highest concentrations due to the shading process it undergoes.

 But what does L-theanine do?

It allows our body to absorb the caffeine in Matcha very slowly, which results in a sustained period of energy (up to six hours). Studies have shown that concentrations of 50 mg of the amino acid L-theanine increases alpha brain waves and “increased alpha activity in the brain induced by L-theanine has been associated with increased creativity, increased performance under stress, and improved learning and concentration as well as decreased anxiety.” Besides that, the high amount of L-theanine present in Matcha antagonizes the stimulatory effects of caffeine by decreasing serotonin levels that have been artificially elevated by caffeine, which means we can sustain the feeling of alertness longer. How good is that?

Sabs & John

Eschenauer G1, Sweet BV. Pharmacology and Therapeutic Uses of Theanine. In: Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2006 Jan 1;63(1):26, 28-30.