My Switch from Coffee to Matcha
A few months back, I ran an experiment on myself to see how I would do on matcha instead of my daily cup of coffee. I wrote a blog post for my favorite matcha company, Matcha Konomi, about it, and thought I would also share it here! I documented the experience on stories but those are gone now.
From their site:
I love reading health and nutrition related articles and studies. I can get lost in them for hours. I'll find one which will spark a question, so I'll find another, and so on until (too much) time has gone by. Something that I had been looking into for a while was the negative effects of coffee on anxiety. Don't get me wrong- I love coffee! I love the smell, the warmth, the flavor that's reminiscent of dark chocolate... everything about it really. That being said, as someone who struggles with anxiety, I was willing to give up coffee as a week long experiment to see what would happen.
Coffee and matcha are the only caffeinated drinks I consume regularly, and although they both have caffeine, they are very different drinks. The caffeine in matcha is paired with L-theanine, which is an amino acid that promotes calmness in the body. Theanine sort of balances out the caffeine in matcha by reducing jitters and cloud-brain, and is sometimes even used as a natural remedy for treatment of anxiety. I was sold, and ready to try for myself.
Here's what happened to me during my experiment:
1. I got caffeine headaches. I'm not going to lie. The first few days were pretty rough. I only drink one cup of coffee each morning, but since matcha has considerably less caffeine than coffee, my body felt it. I drank tons of water and pushed through though, because I was determined to make it through the week.
2. I had no jitters. The rapid heartbeat and jittery fingers that normally accompany my morning cup of coffee were nonexistent.
3. I felt calm and focused. I noticed that I was able to focus better in my classes, and my brain didn't feel like it had a cloud of fog over it.
4. I didn't miss the taste or ritual of coffee. Matcha in itself provides its own ritual in making it, so I didn't miss the process of sticking a k-cup in the machine and listening to it brew. Instead I enjoyed heating water to steaming and blending in my matcha powder as a new ritual (I know I don't do it the traditional way- sorry!).
5. I didn't feel anxious. I know this is a big claim to make. I am a skeptic, so I'm thinking maybe the fact that I dealt with no anxiety during my week had to be a coincidence, or the placebo effect. It's true though. I felt calm and at peace throughout the week. I slept better. I could relax. I'm not saying that all of this was due to one food- because I don't think that one food can heal all (as I said, I'm a skeptic) but I can't deny what happened when I replaced coffee with matcha. This is enough alone to make me want to stick to my morning matcha ritual over coffee.