Mazlan has a passion for health and fitness and is into yoga, cycling, home workouts, and healthy food
Regular Green Tea vs Matcha for Weight Loss
Even though matcha and green tea came from the same plant called Camellia Sinensis and have similar health benefits, they also have their differences. These differences are the reason why one is better than the other for the weight loss program.
This article compares green tea and matcha for weight loss and why matcha is better.
Green Tea vs Matcha Summary
|Regular Green Tea||Matcha Green Tea|
Tea leaves are infused in water, and after seeping the leaves are thrown.
Green tea powder mixed with water, hence you ingest the whole leaves
Leaves, stems and shoots are harvested
Only the highest quality top leaves are harvested
Grown in the sun
Unfermented tea leaves
Finely ground green tea powder
Lower antioxidant level
137 x the antioxidant of green tea
Has lower L-theanine
5 times more L-theanine than regular green tea
about 28 mg caffeine in an 8-oz cup, released over 4 hours
about 70 mg caffeine in an 8-oz cup, slow-release over 8 hours
Have less chlorophyll and amino acid
Have more chlorophyll and amino acid
Cheaper and easier to prepare
Pricier and slightly elaborate to prepare
Green Tea is Best for Weight Loss and Detox
Green tea, whether matcha green tea or regular green tea, is rich in catechins, of which epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) has the highest content. It is in the form of polyphenols, a strong antioxidant known for detoxification. It accounts for up to 30% of the dry weight, a significant amount compared to other teas or other foods that are known to detox your body and increase your immune system.
Based on this report, EGCG will also increase metabolic rate during workouts, hence enhancing your weight-loss routine. When combined with a healthy diet and moderate exercise, it is even better.
Unfermented Tea Leaves
In the usual tea production method, the tea leaves will go through a fermentation process. This process will oxidize the antioxidants in the tea leaves. Unlike other teas, green tea does not go through this process and is made from unfermented leaves. So, it retains a higher level of antioxidant.
That is why green tea, with its high level of antioxidant, is best for weight loss and detox. It also protects our system against free radicals.
What Is Matcha
Matcha is a type of green tea that is finely ground into powder form. It is made from only the highest quality green tea leaves that are shade-grown in selected places in Japan. The leaves are hand-picked, steamed, and then dried. After drying, they are ground into a fine powder using a stone mill. This gives a vibrant green matcha powder that is loaded with healthful benefits.
What is Regular Green Tea?
Regular green tea is the harvested tea leaves that are quickly heated either by steaming, pan firing, or sun-drying, which will then be rolled and dried before they are packed.
Matcha for Weight Loss and Detox
When you drink matcha you are ingesting the whole tea leaves and all of its nutritional properties. With regular green tea, you soak the tea leaves or tea bags, and after steeping you throw away the leaves. You are, in fact, throwing away the amazing health benefits of green tea. That is why matcha green tea is far superior for detox or for weight loss compared to regular green tea.
Matcha is grown only in Japan where local farmers cultivate it by traditional methods from growing to grinding.
Matcha Green Tea Benefits
The major polyphenols in green tea are catechol, the antioxidant that enhances fat burning and removes the feeling of hunger.
With matcha green tea, you get the full polyphenol benefits since you consume the whole leaves. In regular green tea, the leaves are thrown away after steeping, so you do not get the full effects of catechol.
This is the antioxidant that will remove endotoxin, also known as LDP. This toxin, caused by bacteria in your gut, can give a variety of problems including diarrhea, fever, and even hemorrhagic shock. This is important to remember when you detox.
Since you are consuming the whole leaves in matcha, you get the full concentration of catechins compared to green tea.
Chlorophyll is another useful ingredient as it improves liver detoxification. Matcha green teas are grown under shade, using bamboo mats or tarp, gradually reducing the amount of sunlight that reaches the plant. This step increases the chlorophyll content and turns the leaves dark green, giving matcha its distinctive green color.
With a higher level of chlorophyll, matcha is better than regular green tea. This also means that the benefits of drinking one cup of matcha green tea are equivalent to drinking several cups of green tea.
Matcha is ten times stronger than traditional green tea. For the same quantity of nutritional content, you require only one cup compared to ten cups of regular green tea. Hence, matcha is better for detox.
Slow Release of Energy
Matcha also gives a slow release of caffeine that will last for at least eight hours. This is important for sustained energy when you detox. Caffeine in regular green tea lasts for up to four hours only.
Comparison of Antioxidant Level of Matcha Green Tea
As mentioned earlier, antioxidants are an important element for detox. Studies on the lipophilic and hydrophilic antioxidant capacities of common foods in the United States show one gram of matcha tea contains 1,384 ORAC units, more than other types of food. Hence, superior food for detox.
This study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry used the Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity test (ORAC), developed by the USDA and Tufts University, to measure the antioxidant potency of foods and beverages. See the comparison table below. Higher numbers mean more antioxidant effects and more beneficial to our bodies.
|Food Type||Antioxidant Levels in ORAC units|
Infographic - Why Matcha is Better than Green Tea for Detox
How to Buy the Best Matcha?
Learn how to buy the best Matcha using the following guidelines:
- The best Matcha comes from Japan
- The color must be vivid or vibrant "spring" green
- It must have the aroma of fresh green tea leaves
- Tea grade matcha is ground on a stone mill to give a fine powder texture. This process produces a specially shaped powder molecule imparting the taste and mouthfeel of matcha. This is unlike industrial grade matcha which is ground by machines. To try this, check the label if it is stone ground.
- The flavor is a deep umami flavor (brothy or meaty)
- It is delicate and can turn bad if not stored properly. So buy in small quantities to maintain freshness. 30gm is ideal.
Where To Buy Matcha?
There are many places where you can buy matcha but I usually buy them online. My favorite store is Matcha Konomi. This is 100% organic matcha tea so the color is not as vivid green as non-organic matcha. It tastes a bit sweeter and not bitter like other matcha brands, which suits me fine. There is no middle-man so you get value for this excellent quality.
Buy Only Japanese Matcha
Before you order yours online, make sure you select the right grade - do you want a culinary or ceremonial grade? Prices vary and culinary is the cheaper grade and ideal for a latte and for cooking. Buy only matcha from Japan, better still from Uji, Kyoto (Japan).
More Info on Different Grades of Matcha
Matcha tea comes in different grades and for your convenience, the following is a brief description:
- Ceremony Grade—This is the most expensive and is the highest quality green tea powder available. It has the highest umami flavor but with the lowest bitterness. This is used in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony and should not be mixed with sweeteners or other ingredients.
- Cafe Grade—Made from higher grade tea leaves, it has a strong flavor and a low level of bitterness. It is perfect for cooking, baking or special beverages like matcha latte, green tea smoothie or your daily matcha tea.
- Organic Matcha—From tea bushes grown in organic plantations. Organic tea has a lighter green color compared to the same grade of non-organic matcha, partly because of its natural characteristic.
- Kitchen or Culinary Grade—This is the cheapest grade and has a lower umami flavor and higher bitterness. It is perfect for large-scale brewing and mixed into other foods. It is darker in color and sold in larger packaging.
How to Prepare Matcha Tea
There are many ways to prepare matcha using several tea utensils. If this is the first time you try matcha, don't buy the matcha tea set until you are sure this tea will be in your daily routine.
Let me show you the simplest way to prepare matcha without using the tea set:
- Since it is in powder form, it can be lumpy during storage. Sift the matcha with any fine-meshed strainer to get rid of these lumps.
- The traditional way is to use chawan, a Japanese bowl and bamboo whisk. Since we are not investing in this matcha tea set, get a cocktail shaker, or any similar container that is heat-resistant instead.
- Preheat this container with hot water, then throw the water away.
- Next, place two scoops of matcha tea (that was shifted earlier) into the container (about 1.5 teaspoon size).
- Then, pour 70ml of hot water (about 70 degrees C).
- Shake the container vigorously back-and-forth until you get a nice froth and there are no more tea clumps.
- Alternatively, a handheld milk-frother will also do the trick.
- That's all there is to it—enjoy your drink.
- For detox, drink first thing in the morning, then at midday.
FAQs on Matcha Green Tea
How Often Should You Drink Matcha Tea?
1 to 2 cups of matcha tea per day is more than enough to take advantage of its many health benefits. Matcha tea is also generally safe to drink daily.
When is the Best Time to Drink Matcha Tea?
Morning is the best time to drink matcha tea and on an empty stomach for better absorption of the catechol, the antioxidant that enhances fat burning and removes the feeling of hunger. It gives an excellent caffeine boost to energize your day. But if you have gastric or any stomach problems, then drink after a light breakfast since matcha has tannins that can increase stomach acids in some people.
When is the Best Time to Drink Matcha for Weight Loss?
If your reason is for weight loss, then drink matcha tea about an hour or so before your workout to increase the metabolic rate and for the extra boost for endurance.
Is Matcha Good for Studying and Improves Memory?
Matcha contains caffeine and a high level of L-theanine that enhances alertness attention, and memory. L-theanine also produces a state of calm and focus, which are ideal to improve cognitive function and clarity to aid your study.
Is Drinking Matcha Good For Your Skin?
Matcha is loaded with the antioxidant catechins, Vitamin A, C, K, B-Complex, and methylxanthines that help promote healthy, glowing skin, and reduce wrinkle. It also has the highest level of EGCG, which is good for skin cancer prevention and helps treat acne, when you drink and apply matcha to the skin.
Is Matcha Gluten-Free?
Yes, matcha is naturally gluten-free.
Does Matcha Make You Poop?
Yes, it does. Matcha has high levels of dietary fiber and tannins, which act as a mild laxative.
Why is Matcha So Expensive?
To produce good matcha, the growing, harvest, and production process is very time-consuming and labor-intensive. Only the highest quality leaves are harvested and all these are the factors that made genuine matcha expensive.
How Do You Tell a Good Matcha From a Bad Matcha?
Good matcha is vibrant green in color while bad matcha is either dull green or yellowish color.
How Do I Store Matcha to Maintain its Freshness?
Matcha should be consumed within 3 to 4 weeks once it is opened to maintain its color, freshness, and taste. If you don't consume it daily, then seal and store your matcha in the fridge away from strong odors. If your matcha has passed the 'expiry period' use it for baking matcha cakes etc.
Have You Tried Matcha for Weight Loss or Detox?
If you have tried matcha for weight loss or for detox, we love to hear from you. Please share your experience in the comment section below.
- Beneficial effects of green tea: A literature review - US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health
- Tea and Health: Studies in Humans - US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health
- Modulation of Metabolic Detoxification Pathways Using Foods and Food-Derived Components: A Scientific Review with Clinical Application - Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 760689
- Does Matcha Beat Green Tea in Health Benefits? - The Wall Street Journal
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2017 Mazlan
Mazlan (author) from Malaysia on May 15, 2019:
Hi Kathleen. The EGCG in matcha will improve your metabolic rate and hence, increases the fat burning process but you must combine it with a moderate intensity workout. How much matcha or EGCG needed to lose weight depends on your physical makeup - your metabolism, genetic factors, hormones, lifestyle etc. Your 10mg twice a day sounds good and you should continue to drink matcha and not be demotivated. Hope this helps.
KATHLEEN on May 13, 2019:
İ HAVE BEEN TAKİNG MATCH GREEN TEA AS İNSTRUCTED FOR OVER 1 MONTH BUT NO WEİGHT LOSS.
İ TAKE 10MG TWİCE A DAY, AM İ GOİNG WRONG??
Lucy DY on February 22, 2018:
I always drink green tea but I will try matcha now. Thanks for these great and useful article on detox with matcha
Mazlan (author) from Malaysia on February 02, 2018:
THY, you must. Even though it cost more, it is worth the money. Buy the cheaper matcha and once you get used to the flavor, you can move up to the better grade matcha.
THY on January 30, 2018:
I have tried green tea but not matcha. After reading this interesting article I am now tempted to try.
Mazlan (author) from Malaysia on November 08, 2017:
Hi, Dora. You should give it a try. A simple intro to matcha can be via Starbucks Macha Lemonade or Green Tea Latte. This is not the real stuff but a good start to try before buying matcha powder.
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on November 08, 2017:
Thanks for the introduction to matcha tea, and for all the information your article provides. Never heard of it before. Very helpful.