If you’re an avid health blog follower, it will be no secret to you that Matcha green tea is the next big thing in the nutrition world. But how true are all the claims regarding this magical Japanese ingredient? Is it really worth all the hype?

Matcha is a bright green powder extracted from dried green tea leaves. Think of it as concentrated green tea with all the goodness entering your body instead of going to waste. You simply whisk the powder with hot water and drink immediately. What does it taste like? The best way to describe it’s taste is ‘green’ – a very green earthy flavour. It is definitely an acquired taste but once you have it a few times you become oddly used to your shot every morning. Just a few sips of this drink daily have been associated with all sorts of health benefits.

The antioxidant levels in Matcha are unrivaled. One cup of matcha has 10 times the antioxidants in normal green tea, 20 times the antioxidants of blueberries, and 60 times the antioxidant levels of spinach.

Most regular Matcha drinkers will swear by the boost in energy levels they feel after their morning shot. Matcha contains one third of the caffeine levels in a cup of coffee, but it won’t leave you feeling dazed because of a unique amino acid called L-theanine, which will slow the release of caffeine to your body and give you more sustained energy throughout the day.

This L-theanine compound has also been reported to reduce physiological and physical stress levels, making Matcha a calming and stress-reducing drink.

Because of the antioxidant content in Matcha, it reduces free radical damage in our body, which means decreased cancer rates, anti ageing properties, and regulation of blood sugar levels. It can also help keep the pounds off by increasing the fat burned during exercise in several studies.

One point you need to be aware of is Matcha’s health benefits will really depend on how it is being prepared. For example, you can make Matcha brownies, but the sugar and butter content of the brownies will probably cancel out any positive health benefits of the Matcha.

The take home message? Drinking Matcha green tea as part of a healthy diet will do wonders for your body and mind. Keeping in its most natural state will ensure that you reap all of its incredible benefits.