FAQ: How Many Calories Are in Matcha Powder on Average?
Dieting can be difficult since we have to limit ourselves in what and how much we eat. As a result, people have taken to dieting in the ways that best suit their needs and preferences, usually employing techniques that are effective physically and psychologically. Some people join programs like Weight Watchers, which employs a custom point system, while others eliminate certain foods outright. One of the most popular techniques for dieting is counting calories, which has grown to be one of the most common methods. Calorie counting has a few complications that must be addressed in the initial stages but can ultimately be effective when done properly.
Calorie counting is not reserved for the foods you tend to snack on or your big meals but must be employed for everything you eat within 24 hours. Some people employ healthy substances to fill the voids where they normally snack on potato chips or similar products.
One such substance is matcha, which has a large following of people who swear by the flavor and enjoy it daily. Many people do not realize that just because something is healthy does not mean it has no caloric value. Therefore, a question many matcha users end up asking is, "how many calories are in matcha powder?" Fortunately, that question is easily answered, and the results will likely pleasantly surprise you.
What is Matcha?
If you have never had matcha, you might wonder what it is and how it is consumed. Despite the fancy name, matcha is just another word for a variant of green tea leaves that have been processed and ground to a powder. Matcha was first realized 1,405 years ago during the Tang dynasty of China. Back then, the Chinese would grind green tea leaves into a powder, steam it, and mold it into bricks that could be easily stored for future trade.
Once the purchaser acquires their brick, they roast and pulverize it back into a powder before decocting it in hot water. The process was finished by adding salt to the decoction, and the result was a steaming hot cup of green tea. Despite originating in China, matcha powder was adopted by Chan Buddhists, who later brought it to Japan in 1191.
Matcha's status as an eastern concept would not last forever because it would eventually find its way west. Nowadays, matcha is readily available in certain markets in Europe and America, where citizens can purchase the powder. Some people brew tea with it, while others use it to create desserts like matcha ice cream. Regardless of the purpose, matcha is a growing sensation in western society and has been heralded for providing the benefits of standard green tea.
Like many products, matcha has several grades that determine purity and function. For matcha, these grades are:
- Ceremonial Grade: Ceremonial grade matcha is a tea that was originally reserved for use in tea ceremonies and Buddhist temples. Despite its significance in these cultures, it is possible to purchase ceremonial grade matcha, though it should be recognized as a delicacy. Ceremonial-grade matcha is typically used in koicha, a thick tea with more powder than water.
- Premium Grade: Premium grade matcha has less religious significance but is still a high-grade form of matcha using young leaves from the top of the plant. This matcha variant is the most commonly consumed and recommended for daily intake.
- Culinary Grade: Culinary grade matcha is the cheapest and most widely used matcha. It has a more bitter flavor profile and is meant to be used as an ingredient rather than consumed directly.
Despite being derived from green tea plants, matcha is considered a higher-tier product than traditional green tea. As a result, matcha is significantly more expensive than normal green tea, and the higher grades will be the most expensive. The biggest difference between the grades is that the leaves are younger in the higher grade matcha than in the lower grade. Despite the higher price tag, matcha remains popular in many kitchens worldwide. The part that might surprise you is that the popularity of matcha is based on its benefits for the body rather than the flavor profile.
What Does Matcha Do?
Matcha is highly sought after for more than its flavor and ceremonial nature in eastern countries. Matcha is a variant of green tea and, therefore, boasts several health benefits that make it a valuable addition to naturalists worldwide. The benefits of matcha have turned it into a major supplement in the United States that, while costly, is worth adding to your reserves. The most obvious benefit of matcha is something it shares with traditional green tea: it increases your energy levels. When we first wake up, we usually experience grogginess and drowsiness as we recover from the previous night's sleep. While most people do not think about it, tea is a powerful energy source in the morning.
Tea, like coffee, is caffeinated and capable of providing a surge of energy so we can face the day without wearing ourselves out too quickly. Despite the differences between matcha and its traditional counterpart, matcha retains these energy-boosting effects. The biggest difference is that matcha has more caffeine per serving than normal green tea. A 1-cup serving of matcha contains between 38 and 176 milligrams of caffeine, whereas green tea has between 20 and 90 milligrams. As a result, consuming a cup of matcha tea will be more energizing than a cup of standard green tea. This energizing effect could be what you must face during the day, especially for those who have to wake up early.
While matcha's energizing effect is highly beneficial, other benefits it offers make it a valuable addition to your diet. Matcha, like green tea, is a powerful antioxidant with a purer composition than its common cousin. Antioxidants help protect the body from oxidative damage and enable it to function without additional strain. This is because antioxidants stabilize harmful free radicals that would damage our cells and induce chronic health issues. While normal green tea is an antioxidant, matcha has been identified as a more powerful antioxidant comparatively. This was confirmed by a study conducted on mice in which the mice in the test group were given matcha supplements. The test group demonstrated reduced free radical damage and increased antioxidant activity. Current science indicates that matcha has more certain catechins that make matcha 137 times more effective as an antioxidant than normal green tea.
Another important benefit of matcha further reinforces the energizing effect its caffeine content offers. In addition to energizing the body, matcha consumption has been linked to neurological enhancement. Everyone has days where they struggle to think clearly due to having a long day or sleeping poorly the night before. Regardless of why you are struggling, boosting your mental functioning could be essential to your ability to face the tasks ahead. As odd as it sounds, matcha has an interesting effect on neurological function and can enhance your brain's natural ability to process stimuli. There was a study involving 23 subjects who were given a series of tasks to complete to measure brain performance.
The study's test group participants were given tea or a bar containing 4 grams of matcha. The control group was given a placebo to compare matcha's effects on neurological function. The study revealed that the subjects in the test group demonstrated significant neurological improvements, including increased attention, reaction time, and memory, when compared to the placebo group. These results are further explained by caffeine consumption being tied to neurological enhancement by increasing brain function and reaction time when consumed in moderation.
Matcha's benefits are not exclusive to energy and neurological function. It can be used to treat another equally important organ vital to our continued survival. The liver is an essential organ for over 500 essential bodily functions like purging toxins, blood purification, and cholesterol management. When our liver's health deteriorates, we become more susceptible to health issues that could lead to increased blood toxicity, cholesterol issues, etc., that can be fatal if left untreated. Fortunately, evidence suggests that matcha consumption can help address liver health issues.
An animal study involving diabetic rats assessed the effects of matcha over 16 weeks on their biology. The results found that the rats in the test group experienced improved protection for the kidneys and livers of the subjects. A human study shed more light on how matcha could protect liver health. Eighty subjects with fatty liver disease were divided into 2 major groups:
- Test Group: The test group was given 500 milligrams of green tea extract (matcha) daily for 90 days.
- Control Group: The control group was given a placebo daily for 90 days.
After the 12-week mark, the subjects in the test group demonstrated a significant decrease in their liver enzyme levels. These enzymes are indicators of liver damage, with higher levels corresponding to more severe damage.
With matcha's numerous benefits, it should not surprise anyone that it has become so popular in the United States. While the health benefits make it a valuable supplement, it also contains several nutrients that make it a worthwhile addition to the average diet. Unfortunately, one more concern exists for those looking to introduce matcha to their routine while employing certain dietary tactics.
How Many Calories in Matcha?
If you are among the many people who use calorie counting as a weight management tool, you probably want to know how many calories matcha will cost. Fortunately, there is good news for anyone concerned that matcha would be a significant strain on their reserves. On average, a teaspoon of matcha powder (2 grams) constitutes 6 calories, making matcha an extremely light addition to your diet. The calorie count might decrease depending on the grade, but you will be hard-pressed to find matcha that exceeds 6 calories per serving.
This low caloric value is good news, but there is a caveat to counting calories. Not all calories are created equal, and you must look beyond the caloric value to determine the effect something will have on your weight.
Every nutrition label provides a list of details that provide the:
- Total Fat
- Saturated Fat
- Trans Fat
- Total Carbohydrates
- Dietary Fiber
These details directly affect how your food and drink impact your overall weight and whether the calories are the biggest issue. Dietary value percentages accompany these values on the far right of the label. These percentages determine how much of the total calories each section encompasses. Whenever you consume anything, you want these values to meet the following criteria:
- Saturated Fat: The saturated fat should be less than 20 grams per serving.
- Sodium: The sodium should be less than 2,300 milligrams per serving.
- Dietary Fiber: There should be at least 28 grams of dietary fiber.
These 3 values are the most important to monitor, but the question you might have is what these values are for a serving of matcha. The nutritional information for matcha is typically as follows:
- Total Fat: 0g
- Saturated Fat: 0g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Sodium: 0mg
- Total Carbohydrates: 0g
- Dietary Fiber: 0g
- Sugars: 0g
- Protein: 0g
While matcha has no negative nutritional values, it lacks dietary fiber, meaning it should not be relied on to sustain you. Nevertheless, with a 6-calorie value, matcha is an easy substance to add to your diet without guilt or concern. The issue is finding quality matcha that meets your standards and has a high-quality grade.
Finding the Right Blend
Matcha is an extremely popular and culturally significant product that benefits consumers. The trick is finding a reliable source of matcha that meets production standards and, preferably, uses ceremonial or premium-grade matcha.
We at Teami believe that the best health and beauty tools are made with natural products. That is why we offer products like our Matcha Powder, which provides a healthy dose of ceremonial-grade matcha. The best part is that 2 grams of our matcha are only 3 calories, so you do not have to worry about draining your daily calorie reserve. If our product seems like a good fit, we encourage you to visit our website. After all, finding the right blend is a Teami effort.
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