Buddhist monks have been known to drink matcha before meditation and samurai warriors before battle to prepare their minds. So how does matcha make you calmer yet more alert?
Matcha contains L-theanine, an amino acid known to reduce anxiety and enhance mood. Early research has found that L-theanine naturally promotes feelings of tranquility and heightened concentration by stimulating the production of alpha wave activity in the brain.
At the very least, matcha won’t make you feel more stressed out or super anxious – unlike some other caffeinated drinks (looking at you, coffee). Matcha doesn’t encourage the production of the stress hormone cortisol, unlike coffee. Instead, L-theanine works with the caffeine in matcha to produce a sustained and focused energy, lasting between four and six hours.