5 Reasons Matcha Green Tea is Great for Athletes
Matcha takes the benefits of brewed green tea and boosts them. It’s consumed whole, making it more nutrient dense than other teas, and its powdered form allows us to add it to our Sport Hydration Drink Mix & Sport Energy Chews so that you get the benefits of Matcha when on the move. Here are five reasons why matcha is perfect for athletes.
1. Helps to boost performance.
Tea, like many plant-based foods, is a functional food. A functional food contains essential nutrients like carbohydrate, fat, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Matcha contains catechins (disease-fighting antioxidants) like epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), and studies have shown increases in performance using EGCG caused by an increase in fat use. In one human study, short-term consumption (945 mg over 48 hours) of EGCG has been shown to increase maximal oxygen consumption without changes in cardiac output, hinting a greater ability of muscle to extract oxygen (Richards, 2010).
2. Keeps you alert.
Tea has the ability to act as a stimulant due to naturally occurring caffeine. Caffeine is also a performance enhancer due to its ability to mobilize free fatty acids, improve alertness, and enhance glycogen resynthesis. Combined with other ingredients such as cane sugar and tapioca in our Energy Chews, you get a great tasting energy boost.
3. Reduces stress.
Tea can act as a mood stabilizer. The presence of the amino acid L-theanine works synergistically with caffeine to improve focus.
4. Boosts immunity.
The phytonutrient count in Matcha is unreal, which helps with immune function. Matcha's phytonutrients have an array of attributes including anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, anti-hypertensive, anti-microbial, neuroprotective, DNA protective (Ho, 2014), cholesterol lowering, and thermogenic or metabolism increasing properties. Furthermore, In one study, an acute dose of green tea catechins (22 mg per kg of body weight) immediately after exercise in Tae Kwon did show improvements in immune function (Lin, 2014). All of these ingredients and nutrients are essential for an athlete to perform at their best.
5. Improves recovery.
Matcha could help you recover after a hard workout. While much has been made about EGCG’s positive effects on performance, studies have also shown that EGCG may have implications for humans in recovery from exercise as well. One in vitro (outside of the body) study has shown that EGCG can help prevent muscle wasting (Mirza, 2014) which can have massive implications when recovering from intense exercise.
Want to learn more? Check out this post: What is Matcha Green Tea and why is it in a sports drink?