Have you ever wondered how a warm beverage could alter cognitive performance?
The answer lies in a vibrant green powder known as matcha. Originally from Japan, matcha has been lauded for its health benefits. Many of which contribute to mental clarity and focus.
Matcha's increasing popularity in the Western world is not simply because of its rich, full-bodied flavor but also its numerous health advantages.
A particular area of interest for many is the potential for matcha to enhance cognitive function when consumed as a supplement.
Let's explore how Matcha supplements may bolster your mental clarity and focus.
Matcha is a high-quality green tea ground into a fine powder. Unlike traditional green tea, where the leaves are steeped and discarded, matcha powder is whisked into hot water and consumed entirely.
Consuming matcha entirely means you get a more concentrated dose of its beneficial compounds.
Matcha contains various compounds beneficial for cognitive function, including L-theanine, caffeine, and a range of antioxidants. Drinking matcha on its own will deliver mental clarity and focus. However, matcha supplements may have a little more to offer in a more convenient package.
In the sections below, we look closer at matcha supplements and how they improve mental clarity and focus. Later in the post, there's even a list of popular matcha supplement brands.
But first, let's see what L-theanine (one of matcha's most popular ingredients) does for mental focus and alertness.
L-Theanine: The Secret Weapon for Relaxation and Alertness
One of the key components in matcha is the amino acid L-theanine. Interestingly, this compound has been found to promote relaxation without causing drowsiness. This unique property can be credited to its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and influence brain chemistry.
L-theanine enhances alpha brain wave activity, associated with a state of "relaxed alertness." These are the brain waves we experience when we are relaxed, composed, and mindful. By promoting alpha brain waves, L-theanine can help reduce stress and anxiety while enhancing mental clarity, alertness, and focus.
Moreover, L-theanine works synergistically with caffeine, another component of matcha. While caffeine is known to increase focus and energy, it can also cause jitteriness and a subsequent energy crash.
L-theanine helps to modulate caffeine's effects, allowing for a slow and steady release of energy, preventing the crash, and reducing any potential caffeine-induced anxiety.
The Antioxidant Powerhouse
In addition to L-theanine and caffeine, matcha is rich in antioxidants. Specifically, a group known as catechins, of which epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is the most powerful.
Antioxidants are important for cognitive health as they neutralize harmful free radicals in the brain. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause oxidative stress, a factor linked with neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's.
By neutralizing these harmful molecules, the antioxidants in Matcha help protect the brain, possibly preventing cognitive decline and enhancing mental performance. This means improved mental clarity and focus.
Modern Day Matcha Supplements
While traditional matcha is still a great way to consume these beneficial compounds, matcha supplements are gaining popularity due to their convenience and concentrated benefits. These supplements include capsules, tablets, or powders, offering the same cognitive advantages as a cup of matcha.
Matcha supplements provide a potent dose of L-theanine, caffeine, and antioxidants similar to regular/traditional matcha. Traditional matcha may require a whisk to prepare. With matcha supplements, you can simply ingest a pill or add water to gain those sweet matcha benefits!
Another massive advantage matcha supplements have over regular matcha is the additional content included for added benefits. For example, traditional matcha may not contain ginseng, an herb that increases blood flow. However, matcha supplements (like Be More Performance Matcha) include ginseng as an added ingredient.
Including ginseng in the supplement means that Be More Matcha will work well as a pre-workout drink that promotes nitric oxide production and better blood circulation.
Consuming a matcha supplement with ginseng late afternoon is a great idea if you plan on working out in the evening.
Source: Wisconsin Grown Ginseng LLC on YouTube
Some matcha supplements contain whey protein for those wanting to build muscle. Other matcha supplements contain ingredients like L-citrulline that provide increased energy levels.
Remember, like any other supplement, matcha should be used as part of a balanced diet and not as a substitute for a varied and healthy diet.
So, drinking matcha before a yoga workout is an excellent idea as it will provide you with energy and focus for your workout.
Some Popular Matcha Supplements for Mental Clarity and Focus
Here are a few popular Matcha supplements that can help promote mental clarity and focus.
However, it's important to remember that the effectiveness of any supplement can vary from person to person, and these products should be used as part of a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. Always consult a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.
- Be More Performance Matcha: Delivers the benefits of pure matcha with added ingredients like L-citrulline and ginseng. The enhanced energy and blood levels supplied make it an ideal pre-workout drink.
- PureChimp Matcha: This supplement is 100% natural, vegan, and packed with high-quality matcha. It contains L-theanine and caffeine that help enhance mental clarity and focus.
- The Republic of Tea Brain Boost: This supplement combines matcha with ginkgo biloba and elderflower for a cognitive boost. It comes in tea bags for easy consumption.
- Sunfood Superfoods Matcha Capsules: An excellent choice for those who prefer capsules over powder or tea. Each capsule is loaded with antioxidants, amino acids, and EGCG.
- Teami Blends Matcha: This all-natural, vegan-friendly matcha powder is sourced directly from Japan. It offers an easy way to incorporate matcha into your daily routine.
- Kiss Me Organics Matcha: This organic, culinary-grade matcha powder provides the combined benefits of caffeine and L-theanine, promoting calm, focused energy.
Remember to check the labels for specific dosing instructions, and consider speaking with a healthcare provider to understand what dosage might be most beneficial for your individual needs.
TL;DR: Matcha Supplements for Mental Clarity and Focus
Matcha stands out as a potential natural supplement for improving mental clarity and focus through the synergy of its unique components.
Matcha supplements aid in improving mental clarity and focus because of the following:
- The L-theanine content can provide a relaxed, alert state, reduce stress, and improve focus.
- Rich in antioxidants that help protect the brain, possibly preventing cognitive decline and enhancing mental performance.
- The power of matcha with additional ingredients that increase focus and mental clarity.
Whether you're a student preparing for a critical exam, a professional facing a challenging project, or someone simply looking to improve your mental well-being, incorporating matcha supplements into your routine might be worth considering.
As always, if you're considering a new supplement, consult your GP first to find out if it's okay for you to try it out.