If you're like me and can't go a day without drinking at least one cup of coffee, the thought of taking it out of your diet is probably unbearable.
But, what if I told you there's a replacement that not only shields you from those caffeine headaches but will make you feel even more awake than your daily Starbucks latte AND help you shed those pounds you've been storing up over the winter?
Yep, something that magical exists, and it's called matcha.
I know, I know, matcha is nothing new. I'm sure your friend Instagrammed a pic of her matcha latte last week. But, I'm also sure you've never had the health benefits of matcha compared to coffee in a way that made you actually consider replacing it with your daily brew.
That's where experts Jessica Flint and Anna Kavaliunas come in. In their new book published by Dovetail Press, "Matcha: A Lifestyle Guide," Flint and Kavaliunas break down exactly why matcha isn't just an Instagram fad — it's a superior coffee alternative that energizes you, reduces stress and helps you lose weight.
Here's how it works:
Matcha, Coffee and Productivity
Even though coffee contains slightly more caffeine per cup than matcha, matcha will keep you energized way longer than coffee.
As Flint and Kavaliunas describe it, matcha is a "calming stimulant," meaning because of its high amino acid content, it enters your system more slowly than coffee, delivering energizing effects over a longer period of time.
In other words, one cup of matcha will keep you awake for your entire day, instead of having to load up on espresso shots every couple hours when you start to fall asleep at your desk.
Energy isn't the only way matcha makes you more productive than coffee, either. L-theanine, a "feel-good amino acid" abundant in matcha, is known for lowering your stress levels and giving you "a calm euphoria similar to that brought on by meditation," as Flint and Kavaliunas put it.
That means instead of getting the jitters we've all gotten from drinking coffee, you'll be relaxed, happy, alert AND focused, all at once, for any daily task you have to take on.
Matcha, Coffee and Weight Loss
If matcha's productivity benefits haven't convinced you to ditch coffee, the weight loss benefits definitely will.
When comparing the grams of antioxidants in healthy foods, such as açai berries, dark chocolate and walnuts, to matcha, matcha has them beat. I mean, it has more than four times the amount of antioxidants than goji berries, which are practically the holy trinity of health foods if you ask anyone wearing a flannel at a Brooklyn cafe.
Why is that so important? Because antioxidants help fight off diseases, keep our skin healthy and, you guessed it, speed up our metabolisms.
More specifically, matcha contains A TON of the polyphenol antioxidant, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) -- 140 times more of it than green tea, according to Flint and Kavaliunas -- which is the primary antioxidant for increasing your body's ability to burn fat, aka helping you lose weight.
So if you want to step up your weight loss game, matcha's clearly the way to go.
Well, there you have it. For once, those annoying food Instagrams were trying to tell you something useful: It's time to put down the coffee latte and make the switch to matcha.
And if you're worried about how to use matcha without breaking the bank, the book also has affordable ways to get your daily dose, and some boozy recipes too.