The matcha tea has become one of the most popular varieties of green tea. Since the leaves are crushed to create the powder instead of being merely submerged in hot water, it’s richer in nutrients than the traditional green tea and many report that its preparation feels like a relaxing ritual too. Nevertheless, to benefit fully from its properties, you also need to have into consideration the matcha tea side effects.
What are the matcha tea side effects?
Although you need to keep in mind the matcha tea side effects to ensure you don’t harm your body while attempting to lead a healthier diet, the good news is that they are few and rare.
The side effects of this tea only appear when it is consumed in excessive quantities and are mostly due to its content in caffeine.
The matcha tea side effects are mostly due to its high content of caffeine. Since the leaves are used in its preparation this content is even higher than on the regular green tea and can amount to 68mg per cup, while the latter only offers 31.8mg for one cup too.
High quantities of this tea can then trigger dizziness, headaches, nervousness, muscle spasms, irritability and anxiety due to the caffeine content. When drank excessively and frequently it can also lead to digestive disorders, such as diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome.
You should also avoid drinking it in the evenings as it can affect your sleep.
Since the leaves are crushed and used to prepare this tea, there is a bigger risk of contamination. If the soil is tainted with pesticides, lead or fluoride, these will be absorbed by the leaves and will later make it into your cup of tea.
Try to purchase on the organic varieties, as the risk is smaller with these, and look for brands that can present certificates or documentation confirming the regular analysis of the soil and water used in the plantations.
High nutritious content
One of its benefits is also one possible source of the matcha tea side effects.
Due to its high concentration of plant-based components, excessive quantities can lead to an overdose of these and make them toxic to the liver and the kidneys. These components combined with the caffeine content can also interfere with some medication.
Is it safe to drink matcha every day?
It depends on your diet.
In general, it’s perfectly safe to drink every day 1 to 2 cups of tea prepared with 1/2 to 3/4 tsp of matcha powder per cup. However, this is assuming you’re not ingesting caffeine from other sources.
If you also drink coffee or teas with caffeine every day your intake of matcha tea should be reduced.
How much matcha tea is too much?
The recommended maximum intake of caffeine per day is of 200mg. Depending on the brand of the tea and its formulation this could go up to represent 5 cups a day.
Nevertheless, you should use this value only as a guideline. You may be ingesting caffeine from other sources through your diet, which would influence the number of cups you can have without suffering from the matcha tea side effects.
Most importantly, you need to know your body. If you’re sensitive to caffeine even the 2 recommended cups per day can already make you feel the effects of this stimulant and even cause digestive disorders.
How to make matcha tea
Unlike other teas, the leaves of the matcha tea are crushed to create a thin and a bright green powder.
To prepare it, add one teaspoon of the powder to a bowl. You can use a sift to do this and avoid clumps. Add in about 4oz (125ml) of hot (but not boiling) water to the bowl and whisk the mixture to blend it and create a foamy tea.
Pour the tea into a cup and enjoy! If you want to follow the traditional Japanese preparation, you should use a bamboo whisk, named Chasen, to complete this step.
As an alternative, you can also use the powder or the prepared tea and add it to smoothies, lattes and even food recipes.