Asian countries have used green tea for centuries to treat emotional issues such as depression. But recent studies in 2017 and 2018 have revealed that consuming green tea and matcha may also remedy symptoms of stress and anxiety.
Green tea is a great source for vitamins and antioxidants. But green tea is also rich in essential amino acids. Studies have found that the amino acid L-theanine and to a lesser extent arginine can help to diminish stress and anxiety. It appears that the main factor is L-theanine’s ability to reduce blood pressure and relax muscle tension.
Green tea appears to be one of the highest sources of L-theanine compared to any other food or beverage tested by science. So, drinking green tea can provide incredible anti-stress and anti-anxiety effects when consumed daily.
One clinical study on humans in 2017 found a significant and consistent reduction in stress after consuming 15mg/d of L-theanine in green tea for 10 days.
Matcha, as we know has a concentrated amount of all green tea chemical compounds, because it contains not just the green tea leaves, but the stems and veins as well. It follows that green tea matcha does contain higher levels of the amino acid L-theanine than found in sencha green tea. So, you would expect that matcha would be even more capable of controlling symptoms L-theanine.
However, another study published October 10, 2018 suggests that caffeine blocks the body’s absorption of L-theanine. At least that is what research confirms. So, matcha having a much higher level of caffeine than sencha (about 72 mg versus 30 mg) can block much of the stress-reducing absorption of L-theanine.
The technique to gain the benefits of L-theanine in matcha is to reduce its caffeine. In the same 2018 study, stress and anxiety reduction were realized by drinking L-theanine rich matcha when caffeine and ECGC was reduced.
You may remember the article we posted entitled, “Is Using the Microwave Bad for Green Tea”. If you missed it or want to read it again, here’s a link. In that piece, I did some in-depth research on recent studies addressing the effects of using a microwave to brew green tea.
What I found in the studies is that using the microwave to brew your Japanese green tea extracts about 92% of the caffeine level found in Japanese green tea.
By removing the high levels of caffeine through microwave heating, your body will be able to absorb higher levels of L-theanine, as well as other beneficial compounds you want from green tea.
So, if you answered “Yes” to our Quiz Question, you were absolutely correct! Drinking Japanese green tea and matcha, especially if you prepare it through reducing its caffeine content, you can positively affect symptoms of stress and anxiety in your life.
Although you know what an advocate I am to the daily consumption of Japanese green tea, it never ceases to amaze and thrill me when science confirms my promotion of green tea’s healthful benefits.
Let me know how Japanese green tea affects you in positive ways. Until next time, I hope Japanese green tea is part of your healthy daily lifestyle.
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