Matcha - Your new running partner
If the sunshine isn't enough to encourage you to dust off those running shoes, the positive and physical effects of drinking Matcha green tea may just be the extra motivation you were looking for. Tried and tested, this super-powered green tea is known to boost endurance, increase metabolism and improve your focus and concentration - all essential for sustaining lasting energy and keeping you going for longer.
What is Matcha?
Matcha is a fine Japanese green tea powder made from whole, ground leaves, distinctive for it's rich flavour and vibrant green colour. The young leaves of the first harvest of the year are shaded for 3-4 weeks before they're picked to bring out sweetness in the resulting cup. Once harvested, the leaves are then dried and gently sifted to separate out the stems from the leaf. The remaining leaf is then ground into a fine powder using a stone or ball mill. Get the full lowdown on this superpowered green tea in our Everything You Need to Know about Matcha guide here.
How will it help my running?
We're not here to get (too) scientific, but rather to share what we have found to be an essential addition to our health and fitness regime. After all just one shot of Matcha can increase your endurance by up to 25%, and its distinctive, earthy flavour can be worked into your daily diet without too much effort.
Matcha is known and loved for its wondrous health benefits - from fighting disease, anti-ageing and weight loss, to improving memory, cognitive function and our overall mood. This is partly thanks to the high levels of catechins and powerful antioxidants found in all green teas, only with Matcha concentrations are much higher as you’re consuming the entire ground leaf vs just the liquor. But when it comes to boosting endurance, the key is in the magical combination of both high levels of caffeine and a natural amino acid called L-theanine. Not only does L-theanine promote a sense of calm itself, it also slows down the release of that caffeine into the bloodstream. The result? A feeling of 'calm alertness', and one that will last a lot longer than a coffee high.
Simply put, the natural caffeine in Matcha is released slowly by the body, providing a sustainable and longer lasting energy boost (in contrast to the short-lived spike and then crash pattern you get from coffee). This makes Matcha, however you enjoy it, the perfect partner to support your personal best.
- Quality over quantity - a little goes a long way with Matcha, and it’s not cheap so no need to heap it in.
- You get what you pay for - the higher the quality, the smoother and creamier the flavour. Fresh Matcha should also have a luminous green colour, so if your Matcha is a greeny brown it ain’t going to taste good. Our Matcha Green Tea powder is ceremonial grade, which means all of the unique umami matcha flavour, without the harsh bitterness.
How to get your fix
This powerful powder is by no means a passing trend celebrated for its numerous health benefits, it is also steeped in tradition. Traditional Matcha preparation, made using just Matcha and hot water, is ritualistic and meditative by nature, often requiring customary tools and a careful step-by-step process. For something more familiar, try swapping your morning coffee for a Matcha Latte or adding 1/2 teaspoon to your favourite smoothies, juices or morning oats - it's packed full of anti-oxidants too and won't give you the jitters like a coffee would!
For some of our favourite ways to enjoy Matcha, click the images below for recipes for Matcha Lattes, hot and iced, Straight Up Matcha and a Matcha Lime Cooler iced tea. Delicious.