Coffee vs. Matcha: Which is Best For You?


There is no doubt that many of us wake up every morning looking forward to fulfilling our drug addiction of caffeine. Many, if not most of us have quite a strong relationship with this stimulant and tend to consume it on a daily basis. However, can this relationship become co-dependent at some point? Today, coffee and matcha seem to be the most preferred form of caffeine individuals enjoy to consume. Coffee is made from roasted coffee beans whilst matcha is based on powdered green tea. The tea leaves are ground into a fine powder, and unlike coffee which is steeped, matcha powder is whisked into hot water.

Regarding energy, coffee is known for its high caffeine content which can lead to spikes in adrenaline, glucose, and insulin levels. This can result in jitteriness and nervousness. On the contrary, matcha contains L-theanine, an amino acid that eases anxiety, stress and reduces insomnia. The amino acid slows down the body’s absorption of caffeine, allowing one to feel the effects for longer whilst avoiding the crash. Therefore, due to the presence of L-theanine in matcha, the green tea provides a more balanced and sustained energy boost with the avoidance of jitters that often comes with the consumption of coffee. Moreover, L-theanine has been thought to reduce cortisol levels when coffee does the opposite.

Both coffee and matcha hold health benefits, however matcha acquires a better profile in regards to nutritional value. Green tea is high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals which can enhance one’s metabolism and concentration. Additionally, matcha does not cause tooth stains like coffee does. Generally, green tea rids bacteria that causes plaque due to its high content in catechin which holds the qualities of a sterilizing agent. Catechin can also be found in cocoa and berries and are considered potent in regulating blood pressure and in promoting weight loss. When taken in moderation, coffee can also provide certain health benefits such as improving cognitive functions and reducing risk for certain diseases including Parkinson’s disease and type 2 diabetes.

Recently, green tea has been appearing in an ample amount of skincare products indicating certain skin benefits, however the best way to achieve these benefits of matcha is to drink it. Matcha’s low caffeine content grants sublime beneficial components for your skin. Contrarily, as coffee holds a higher caffeine content, it may result in physical stress and acne. A study conducted on women between the ages of 40 and 65 found that “green tea drinkers had skin with 25% less redness in reaction to a dose of UV radiation.” Therefore, it is believed that the consumption provided some sort of barrier against sun damage.

Ultimately, the choice of drinking matcha or coffee is simply based on individual preferences and needs. Coffee can grant you a quick energy boost when needed. However, if you seek a more balanced and sustained source of energy, along with the added health benefits, matcha may be a more suitable option. Nevertheless, all things are fine in moderation. It is crucial to listen to your body’s needs and put cravings aside at times. As such, one should be mindful of their consumption. If you generally operate on anxiety and sleepless nights, then coffee may not be the most fitting option as it may only magnify those sensations. On the contrary, if you are able to balance caffeine consumption to an extent in which you do not depend on it for daily performance, then coffee should not add any sort of negative consequences to your current lifestyle. Nonetheless, both beverages can be associated with a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

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Hana Abulkheir
Hana Abulkheir
Second year behaviour and social science student from Egypt but primarily lived abroad. Interested in mental health in well-being.

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