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Health Blog

The MSN Healthcare Health Blog offers news and analysis on weight loss, fatigue, personal health, and health news. It includes contributions from Dr. Mark Neumann and others. Click now.

 

Is Matcha Tea Good For Adrenal Fatigue? [3 Best Matcha Teas to Use]

Mark Neumann

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Matcha tea has a variety of uses and to determine whether it is actually good for Adrenal Fatigue or not requires more than a one-line answer. We must first understand what Matcha tea exactly is and what effects it can have on Adrenal Fatigue. 

What is Matcha Tea?

Matcha tea is one of the oldest forms of green tea. Unlike most green teas, this variety is famous in Japan rather than in China. The thing that sets this type of green tea apart the most is the fact that it is in a powdered form rather than the more common leaf form. Matcha tea is typically considered to be one of the better green teas because of a few reasons. The first is the vibrant color which it gives off when tea is made with it. Matcha tea leaves are very green and when tea is made with them the tea takes the color of the leaves, becoming a very vivid shade of green which is very appealing to the eye.

Matcha tea is also very high in theanine and caffeine which makes it stand out from the rest of the green teas. Theanine is a non-protein form of amino acid and is responsible for reducing stress levels in human beings. The theanine contents of this particular green tea are also very high compared to others which means that it has more stress-relieving properties than most teas. The caffeine content in this tea is also very high when compared to other teas. That means that it has more awakening properties than most teas which is why it has been used for ages by monks to reach stages of enlightenment. The reason why Matcha tea has more caffeine and theanine is because of the unique properties of the plant. The scientific name for the Matcha plant is Camellia Sinensis and it has one unique property which makes it stand out from the rest. This plant produces more caffeine and theanine when it grows in the shade rather than in the sun. This is the reason why it is high in both of these and why the growing process involves putting them in the shade a few weeks before the harvest.

Matcha tea also differs from other green tea by how it is processed and made fit for consumption. The process to actually make the Matcha powder is quite arduous and heavy. The process is also dependent on what the quality of the Matcha tea is. There are 3 main quality types of Matcha tea. The first is the Ceremonial grade that is the best of the best. This type of quality is extremely difficult to find outside of Japan as most of the produce is used for tea ceremonies and other significant traditions that require the use of green tea. That is why this quality of tea is usually priced around $100 to $150 for every 100g. The second quality is called Premium grade which is what most people opt for when they want to buy Matcha for just drinking purposes. This quality is quite rich in flavor which makes it suitable for both new and old Matcha tea drinkers. This grade of Matcha tea is usually priced at around $50 to $90 for every 100g. The grade of Matcha tea is that of the Cooking grade. The Cooking grade of Matcha tea is usually not used for brewing purposes. Instead, it is used for cooking and making edibles such as Soba noodles and Matcha flavored shaved ice.  

Why Is There a Difference in Grade and Quality?

The difference in the grade and quality of Matcha tea actually has scientific reasons. The grade quality can be judged by how high the leaves are on the plant. The top of the plant is where the best leaves are because at the top of the plant the leaves are still growing. That means that most of the nutrients of the plant are sent to the growing leaves which is why they have the best taste when they are used in brewing. The absolute top of the plant is from where the Ceremonial grade is harvested. The next few top layers are where you'll be able to find the Premium grade whereas the rest of the plant is where the Culinary or Cooking grade is found. The reason why the quality falls as you go down the plant is because the leaves that are on low down on the plant are older and thus do not contain fresh nutrients for growth. This means that these leaves are actually a little bitter and tougher when compared to the leaves that can be found on the top of the plant. 

Why is Matcha Tea More Expensive?

There are two main reasons why Matcha tea is more expensive than the rest of the green teas. The first is related to its production. Not everyone grows the tea. It is an art form that requires heavy investment and a lot of experience and knowledge which is why there aren’t many growers of the tea. That means that there isn’t a huge supply of it thus making the product rarer and more expensive. The second reason why Matcha tea is more expensive is because of all that is needed to actually make the tea fit for consumption. The tea leaves have to be ground up to make Matcha tea because through that process the cellulose walls are broken down and the tea releases its flavor. The process cannot be completed en masse because if the tea leaves even get a little warm then they lose the unique flavor that makes them unique. That is why only about 100 grams of tea leaves are ground up at a time. The grinding process is done in a granite grindstone and typically takes about 30 minutes for a full batch to be completed. As this is the case, it slows down the production by a lot and it takes a while to get a good quantity of the tea. This also results in the tea having a slow yield thus making the product even rarer than it already should be.  

How To Prepare Matcha Tea

There are two traditional ways to prepare Matcha tea, each resulting in different types of teas. The first is the method that produces a thin Matcha tea which is the more common variety, usually drunk by people of all walks of life. The preparation for thin Matcha tea is actually pretty simple. There is a simple ratio that can be followed for making the perfect blend of thin Matcha tea. For every four grams of Matcha tea you should use 80 ml of water. The method is not as straightforward as other teas though. The tea is first placed in the container that you wish to drink in and then water is added to the tea. The water should be at a temperature of about 185 F (80 C) which is below the boiling point. The water that you pour in should never be boiling because that destroys the natural tea flavor. Warm water is best suited for this task. After the water has been added you need to whisk that tea so that no powder remains and all you see is the tea in its clear form. No milk or sugar should be added but traditionally a small sweet known as wagashi is served with the tea to be eaten before the tea. The tea is typically a little bitter which is why the sweet is necessary. A sugar cube also acts as a good substitute.

The thick variety of this tea requires more Matcha than the thinner variety. For every 4 grams of the tea, you should only use 40 ml of water meaning if you want to make a full cup you should use 8 grams of the tea. This type of tea is not whisked, instead, slow stirring is required to make sure that the mixture is smooth. This type of tea is usually made from Matcha tea that has been produced from tea plants that are at least 30 years old. This ensures that the tea has a more mild and sweeter taste. Since the Matcha used in this type of tea is expensive, this type of tea is usually made for tea ceremonies so if you ever have the pleasure of drinking this type of tea then you should consider yourself extremely lucky.  

Benefits of Matcha Tea

There are a lot of health benefits that have been associated with Matcha tea. Matcha tea has all the typical benefits that are found in green tea as well as additional benefits that are only found in Matcha tea. Since Matcha tea is a form of green tea, it contains epigallocatechin gallate which is a type of catechin. Catechin is a natural phenol and antioxidant which has proven to be helpful in preventing cancer, diseases, as well as helping in weight loss.

The benefits that are only native to Matcha tea revolve around the high caffeine and theanine content that this type of tea has. The high levels of caffeine make this tea a great substitute for coffee. It wakes you up better and faster than coffee without overcharging you with caffeine. The theanine content also means that this type of tea is excellent at reducing stress levels in humans. Since this type of tea is grown in the shade it has a higher theanine content than other teas which makes this tea uniquely suitable for combating stress.  

Is Matcha Tea Good For Adrenal Fatigue?

Matcha tea is actually great for Adrenal Fatigue but to properly understand how it can help people with Adrenal Fatigue, we must first explain how Adrenal Fatigue works and what it exactly is. That is integral in correctly diagnosing it and deciding whether Matcha Tea is actually beneficial for you or not. 

What is Adrenal Fatigue?

Adrenal Fatigue is a disease that concerns the adrenal glands that are located above the kidneys. In this disease these glands become stressed and due to that, they produce varying levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. This disease is different from other diseases because the level of variation in cortisol is minimal. Thus it does not impact the body in huge ways, rather it changes the body in subtle ways, which although not dangerous can reduce the quality of life that you normally have. These subtle changes include the following:

✔      Chronic fatigue

✔      Extreme weight gain

✔      Extreme weight loss

✔      Brain fog

✔      Sleep apnea

✔      Lower blood sugar

✔      Higher blood sugar

✔      Decreased libido

✔      Autoimmune failures

✔      Depression

✔      Irritability

✔      Hair loss

✔      Muscle or bone loss

✔      Insulin resistance

✔      Cravings for sweet or salty foods

✔      Skin ailments

✔      Weakened stress response 

How Can Matcha Tea Help With Adrenal Fatigue?

Since Adrenal Fatigue is linked to stress, it stands to reason that anything that can lower the amount of stress in your body will help with Adrenal Fatigue. Matcha tea has been linked to reducing stress in your body. In fact, in a study conducted in the University of Shizouka in Japan, the usage of Matcha tea showed a reduction in adrenal hypertrophy which showed that using the tea was linked to reducing the sensitivity one has to stress. There is one thing though that may make people with Adrenal Fatigue cautious about using Matcha tea and that is the caffeine content. This tea has higher caffeine content than most green teas but that should not deter you from using this tea. The caffeine content is immensely low when compared to soda or coffee and the caffeine may actually prove to be beneficial as it comes from a completely natural source rather than one that has been artificially introduced into the drink.  

Our 3 Favorite Matcha Teas to Use

There is a lot of room for personal preference when it comes to tea, and that could not be truer for Matcha tea. Every location and every producer has their own unique taste and even that could be prone to variation throughout the years as their plants get older. Here are our picks for the Matcha tea brands that we prefer.  

1)                  Jade Leaf Matcha - Green Tea Powder

This might be the best Matcha tea powder for beginners. The reason for that is simple. The tea from this brand is very light and a little sweet. That makes it great for beginners that want to get into Matcha tea. The umami flavor in this tea is not hard which makes this one the easiest to drink out of all the ones that we tried. The low umami flavor may not appeal to the more enthusiastic drinkers though so if you’ve already been drinking Matcha tea for a while then this tea isn’t the one for you.  

2)                  Matcha Organics - Premium Japanese Matcha Green Tea Powder
This is the Matcha tea that we favor the most. This brand has high quality Matcha tea that blends easily and doesn't leave behind a residue when the tea is made with it. We appreciate this one more because it has more of a kick. This brand also stays true to the Japanese roots of the tea which is why we like this one so much. 

3)                  Soar Organics - Organics Japanese Matcha Green Tea Powder

This one is sourced directly from Kyoto, Japan and is notable for its nutty and woody flavor. If you’re looking for a thick tea with a unique flavor then this is the one for you. This brand makes sure that the harvest is stone ground and packed in tins so that the freshness of the tea doesn’t fade.

There are also a lot of things that should be taken into consideration if you are looking to buy Matcha tea. There are a few things that you should always be on the lookout for. 

If you're buying a brand that is not included in our list of recommendations then the first thing you should see is where the tea is from. The more specific the brand is about where it's from the better. Typically areas in Japan are where the best type of Matcha tea can be found. There are also a lot of Chinese producers but their brands are best suited for culinary rather than brewing uses. You should also keep an eye on the production and expiration dates. Matcha is best consumed six months after its production. If that is not the case then you should avoid the brand. Smaller things that you can keep an eye out for is whether the tea is packed in a tin or not, what quality it is, and what the color of the tea is. In these things you should buy tea that comes in a tin that is at least premium quality, and is bright green rather than brownish-green. That's all you need to know to buy the perfect Matcha tea for yourself.