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One Major Side Effect of Drinking Matcha, Says Science

It may look like green tea, but you shouldn't drink as many cups per serving.
FACT CHECKED BY Kiersten Hickman

Matcha is an excellent drink to have on a regular basis, however, that doesn't mean it's the best drink to sip on all throughout the day.

When you think of caffeinated drinks, green tea likely doesn't come to mind first. That's because one, 8-ounce cup of traditional green tea only contains about 28 milligrams of caffeine. Matcha on the other hand contains an average of about 64 milligrams of caffeine per 8-ounce cup.

In case you need a refresher, matcha is a powder made from finely ground green tea leaves and is prepared in two different grades: ceremonial (for drinking) and culinary (cooking/baking). The creamy tea also packs a host of health benefits, with research suggesting that it supports both brain and heart health. (Related: The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now)

holding a cup of green tea
Monika Grabkowska/Unsplash

As Anna Kavaliunas, holistic coach and co-author of "Matcha, A Lifestyle Guide" told us in an article about the best matcha powders to buy on Amazon, matcha contains 140 times more of a specific antioxidant known as EGCG than typical green tea. A recent study revealed that this specific compound may inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors and even repair damaged DNA. Still, 1 to 2 cups of matcha goes a long way—there's no need to overdo it, otherwise, you could become restless or get a headache—especially if you've already had a cup of coffee that day.

For context, one cup of coffee contains anywhere from 95 to 200 milligrams of caffeine, so if you usually find yourself becoming jittery after just one cup of coffee, know that two cups of matcha may be your max. However, matcha does contain the amino acid L-theanine, which can help create a calming effect by enabling the body to absorb the caffeine slower than it would after drinking espresso, for example.

Bottom line, one cup of matcha doesn't contain quite as much caffeine as a cup of coffee, but it's wise to ease yourself into the beverage before you whisk the powder into several cups of water.

For more, be sure to check out The #1 Best Tea to Drink, According to Dietitians.

Cheyenne Buckingham
Cheyenne Buckingham is the former news editor of Eat This, Not That! Read more about Cheyenne
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