FAQ: How Much Matcha Can You Safely Consume in a Day?
As we grow up, we are often drawn to treats and snacks that taste good but are ultimately bad for our health. Overindulging in these snacks can lead to issues, leading to our parents citing the age-old idiom "too much of a good thing." As adults, we have come to recognize the wisdom in those words, but it is common for us to attribute the meaning to the indulgences from our youth rather than as a piece of general wisdom.
While things like junk food, energy drinks, and other substances can tax our biology, so can the "healthy" substances we consume. There are several foods and herbs that people introduce to their diet to improve their overall health. Unfortunately, it is very easy to overuse these beneficial substances and cause more harm than they fix.
One of the more popular substances is matcha, a variant of green tea. Matcha has skyrocketed in popularity in the centuries since its discovery and has become oddly accessible in America despite being an eastern product. Matcha has been refined into multiple products to make consuming it simpler and the health benefits it offers easier to enjoy. Unfortunately, matcha's health advantages do not make it a perfect substance.
Despite the advantages, matcha still takes a toll on the body when consumed excessively, making it important to know the limit before using it. Therefore, the question we must ask is: how much matcha can we safely consume per day?
What Can Matcha Do?
If you have never used matcha before, you might not know what makes it a popular supplement. In addition to being a naturally grown substance, matcha can provide several health benefits and produce an energizing effect. One of its most important benefits is the ability to improve brain function moderately.
This is not to say that matcha can make you smarter or radically alter how your brain works. Rather, matcha can energize the brain and accelerate its base functions. While this might sound like science fiction, scientific evidence supports matcha's brain-boosting benefits. Specifically, a study where 23 subjects were accepted into a test and divided into 4 groups:
- Group A: The subjects in Group A were given tea containing 4 grams of matcha.
- Group B: The subjects in Group B were given tea containing a placebo.
- Group C: The subjects in Group C were given an edible bar containing 4 grams of matcha.
- Group D: The subjects in Group D were given an edible bar containing a placebo.
Despite having 4 separate groups, the subjects were all assigned tasks to complete during the study. These cognitive tests evaluated neurological functions such as memory, attention span, information processing, etc. The study revealed that the subjects in Groups B and D showed little to no improvement in their cognitive functions. However, the subjects in Groups A and C had improved attention spans and memory and demonstrated improved reaction times. These cognitive enhancements demonstrate matcha's benefit on our ability to function on a neurological level.
Additionally, evidence suggests that matcha can improve our ability to lose weight by enhancing our metabolisms. A small study discovered that subjects in the test group enjoyed a 17% increase in their body's ability to burn fat during moderate exercise. Further research discovered that matcha could increase the energy we expend in 24 hours. Therefore, it seems matcha offers physical benefits outside neurological, making it an ideal supplement for many. The question people are left asking is: what causes matcha to have this effect?
The simple answer is that matcha, like coffee and green tea, contains caffeine. Caffeine has been known to enhance and accelerate certain bodily functions like metabolism and cognizance. The latter benefit is why virtually everyone has a cup of coffee before they go to work first thing in the morning.
How Much Matcha a Day?
Matcha has been refined into so many different products that it has become extremely easy to consume. The most common method for consuming matcha is tea, which is hardly surprising since matcha is a higher-quality form of green tea. One would assume that the close relationship between matcha and green tea and the enhancements to cognitive function and metabolism make it a miracle substance.
Unfortunately, matcha is not immune to the "too much of a good thing" principle affecting many of our favorite treats. Even a cup of matcha tea has limits concerning how much and how often it can be consumed without causing problems. There is such a thing as too much matcha in your system, but it is possible to find a happy median to enjoy matcha without going overboard.
The big problem with matcha is that there are no official guidelines for a maximum tolerable intake. The lack of information is not because there is no risk but because matcha is not a priority for regulatory agencies like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The main recommendation for matcha intake is to use moderation and attempt to limit your daily intake to 1 to 2 cups.
While this advice is sound, it is worth noting that it is insufficient to prevent matcha toxicity. It is equally important to ensure the matcha you consume comes from a reliable source to minimize contact with potential contaminants.
While knowing to limit your matcha intake to 1 or 2 cups daily is beneficial, you probably have questions about the potential risks matcha presents. After all, the potential issues with a natural compound should theoretically be minimal. Unfortunately, there are hazards associated with matcha consumption that could risk your health and expose you to danger.
What Are the Potential Risks of Matcha?
Matcha has been used for centuries by eastern civilizations and is a naturally occurring substance from the same plants that create green tea leaves. The only major difference between them is the preparation and the part of the plant from which they are harvested. Nevertheless, even a natural substance has inherent risks, especially in modern society where harvest yield is crucial to a successful industry.
Modern farms need to produce large crops to meet the demand, and the popularity of matcha has led to excessive demand that some farmers struggle to meet. Seeing as most plants have natural predators in the form of insects, many farms use pesticides to repel them and preserve their crops. Matcha trees are no exception to this practice, and many farms use pesticides to keep insects from feeding on the leaves. The problem is that some pesticides are toxic to humans and can leech into the leaves used in manufacturing what we purchase.
While most farms are bound to regulations that restrict the kinds of pesticides they can use, there is still a potential for contamination. There have been instances where matcha crops grown in soil with traces of pesticides, chemicals, and arsenic have maintained those traces in the final product. While this is becoming rarer as agricultural standards become stricter, the issue is still worth consideration. It also means we must ensure our matcha comes from a farm that employs safe practices that minimize toxic pesticides and soil use. While this can prevent issues with matcha, it is ultimately the least of the potential risks.
Overconsuming matcha can be hazardous to your health since our bodies require balance and can be overwhelmed by an overabundance of any particular substance. There have been recorded instances of people experiencing liver problems consuming too much green tea. These liver issues were likely a result of herbal hepatotoxicity, which can occur due to an overtaxed liver or a compromised product.
Nevertheless, overindulging in matcha consumption can strain your body and make it difficult to eliminate the toxins that build up in the bloodstream as your liver tries to process all the nutrients from the matcha. While this might seem like the worst of the problems, there is one other problem that makes matcha something of a gamble.
You will recall that earlier, we mentioned that many of matcha's benefits result from the caffeine in the substance. While you might hear otherwise, green tea has a significant caffeine concentration that produces the same energizing effect as a cup of coffee. While matcha leaves are harvested from the same tree as green tea leaves, matcha leaves are more potent. As a result, matcha contains significantly more caffeine than ordinary green tea and can rival coffee in terms of caffeination. The caffeine concentrations are as follows:
- Coffee: A cup of black coffee has an average of 95 milligrams of caffeine. Some grinds and preparation methods increase the caffeine amount, with some coffees having 500 milligrams. A natural cup of black coffee usually retains the 95-milligram concentration.
- Green Tea: A cup of green tea has an average of between 30 and 50 milligrams of caffeine.
- Matcha Tea: A cup of matcha tea has an average of between 38 and 176 milligrams of caffeine.
As you can see, matcha tea has a higher caffeine average than standard green tea, and the maximum exceeds the average concentration of black coffee. While this might be advantageous in some ways, too much caffeine can have devastating health consequences. Caffeine is an extremely powerful stimulant that can tax the body when consumed excessively. While the FDA has not offered a maximum intake for matcha, it states that we should limit our daily caffeine intake to 400 milligrams at most.
This usually averages to around 4 or 5 cups of black coffee. Insofar as matcha is concerned, you would exceed this limit by the 3rd cup since 2 cups of matcha tea contain a maximum of 352 milligrams.
The risks associated with caffeine consumption are primarily cardiovascular, with excess caffeine contributing to heart attacks. If you consume too much caffeine per day, you will likely experience some, if not all, of the following side effects:
- Excessive Urination
- Accelerated Heartbeat
- Muscle Tremors
You will also feel overstimulated and frequently move to discharge the extra energy. Extremely high rates of caffeine concentration can lead to an overdose that kills you, though this is rare. Nevertheless, caffeine consumption can be taxing on your heart and might strain it to the point that you have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. More research is needed to confirm caffeine's effect on the cardiovascular system, but many existing studies suggest it is a possibility.
The risks associated with matcha consumption can be avoided by exercising restraint and purchasing from a reliable vendor. The former is slightly easier than the latter since so many brands offer their own versions. Additionally, matcha "grades" impact the purity of the substance. These grades are:
The ideal grade is always ceremonial, but you should be fine if you are not using culinary matcha as a supplement. This means the only question left is: where can you find quality matcha?
Finding the Right Blend
Matcha has become exceedingly popular in western society, refined into beverages, supplements, and even desserts to make its consumption easier. Considering the bounty of health benefits matcha offers, it is hardly surprising that we have become so enamored with it. Unfortunately, that same passion for matcha can be our undoing since it is not risk-free, and you must moderate your intake.
Even if your intake falls within the bounds of reason, you must ensure your matcha comes from a vendor that does not employ harmful additives or agricultural tools. This can be a little more difficult to track down since many farms have begun using whatever means necessary to protect their crops.
We at Teami understand the significance of substances like matcha and the importance of finding a product not tainted by chemicals. That is why we offer several natural products focused on health and beauty that you can use for your needs. Among our products is our Matcha Ceremonial Grade Powder, made from the highest-grade matcha and free of chemical toxins. It even comes in multiple flavors like original, chocolate, blueberry, and mango to suit your tastes. We encourage you to visit our website and try our matcha to experience its benefits firsthand. After all, finding the right blend is a Teami effort.
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