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Matcha vs Coffee: Which is Healthier?

Matcha and coffee are both popular beverages that have been consumed by humans for hundreds of years. However, they offer slightly different health benefits depending on which one you decide to drink. While both of these drinks are caffeinated, they also have different effects.

Coffee has more caffeine than matcha, but matcha offers more health benefits. The caffeine in matcha is also absorbed more slowly into the body, making for a smoother effect and experience while drinking it.  

Coffee has been the prevalent drink of choice worldwide for centuries, but matcha has been around just as long and enjoys immense popularity in its countries of origin. Read on to learn more about coffee and matcha, and how to choose between them. 

Which Has More Caffeine, Matcha or Coffee? 

Coffee contains around 96 milligrams of caffeine per eight-ounce serving, while matcha only has approximately 38-88 milligrams of caffeine for the same serving. However, the real benefit of caffeine between the two is that matcha’s caffeine is slightly less bioavailable than coffee’s due to the other chemicals in matcha. 

So how does this affect the way matcha makes you feel compared to coffee? Matcha’s caffeine high comes on more slowly and gently than the caffeine in coffee, which means you’re less likely to have a caffeine crash later on. Here are a few other benefits: 

  • Less negative impact on sleep: Drinking coffee before bed can disrupt your sleep patterns. While the caffeine in matcha can still cause insomnia in large enough doses, the gentler caffeine dosage than coffee or black tea makes it more suitable as an evening beverage.
  • Less negative impact on digestion: The high acidity of coffee and the high bioavailability of caffeine can lead to a jittery feeling and digestive issues like upset stomach or diarrhea. Green tea has a softer caffeine effect and isn’t associated with the same side effects as the large doses in coffee.
  • Less associated cravings: Coffee is known as an appetite suppressant, but it can also cause a craving for sweets like donuts and pastries if a person has routinely drunk coffee along with these snack items. Matcha provides the same appetite-suppressing qualities as coffee, but without any associated cravings. 

Coffee might have more caffeine, but there are other health benefits associated with matcha than just the gentle energy high that it can give. 

Health Benefits of Matcha vs. Coffee

There are several health benefits that both matcha and coffee share. Here are just a few of them: 

  • Weight loss aid: Both matcha and coffee are renowned weight loss aids because of their dual action as an appetite suppressant and metabolic stimulant. Drinking matcha or coffee regularly can help you burn more calories. It can also help you eat fewer empty calories over time by suppressing your appetite between meals.
  • Cancer-fighting antioxidants: Both matcha and coffee contain polyphenols, botanical chemicals that have been studied for their ability to fight free radicals in the body and prevent a wide variety of different metabolic diseases such as cancer, stroke, diabetes, and heart disease.
  • Improved brain function and elevated mood: Both matcha and coffee are famous mood lifters, with both beverages also well known for their ability to help increase a person’s focus and ability to stay awake, even when tired. This calming energy makes coffee and matcha preferable to commercial stimulants in many cases.   
  • Heart health: Both matcha and coffee contain botanical compounds studied for their benefit to cardiovascular health. Regularly drinking either drink can help prevent a wide range of different heart-related illnesses, from stroke to heart attack. 
matcha and coffee benefits swirled together

The Health Benefits of Matcha

Even though both matcha and coffee are health beverages, there are some health benefits that matcha tea has that coffee doesn’t. Consider these health benefits: 

  • Added chlorophyll: Because they haven’t undergone an oxidation process and they’re grown in the shade, matcha teas have more green chlorophyll than other types of green tea or coffee. The chlorophyll in matcha is associated with higher levels of antioxidants and other beneficial nutrients.
  • Skin benefits: Matcha has antibacterial properties that make it popular for preventing acne and other types of skin irritation. It can be drunk and can also work as an active ingredient in cosmetic skin care products.
  • Good breath: Unlike coffee, which can cause bad breath and stain tooth enamel, matcha’s antibacterial properties mean that it can help freshen breath instead by killing excess bacteria in the mouth.  

As you can see, there are many reasons why you might choose matcha over coffee when it comes to unique medicinal properties. 

The Health Benefits of Coffee

Like matcha, coffee is a healthy beverage choice if you don’t lace it too heavily with sweeteners and other additives. There are several health advantages you can enjoy by drinking coffee that you won’t necessarily get with matcha. Here are just a couple of them: 

  • Strength and performance enhancement: Coffee has been shown to improve muscle contraction, making it the beverage of choice for athletes looking to improve their endurance and overall performance in sports or strenuous activities.
  • Resistance to depression: Studies have shown that people who drank coffee were less likely to succumb to depressive episodes and were far less likely to kill themselves than people who don’t drink coffee.
  • Protection of the liver: Regular consumption of coffee has been shown in clinical studies to reduce the incidence of a variety of different liver-related illnesses including cirrhosis of the liver, fatty liver disease, and liver cancer. Coffee is also believed to help counteract the negative effects alcohol has on the liver.  

Coffee may have a higher caffeine dosage, but it also has many other health benefits that make it worth the jolt. If the high caffeine content of coffee is a health concern for you, try switching over to decaffeinated coffee to enjoy its other health benefits without the buzz of caffeine. 

Choosing Between Coffee and Matcha

At the end of the day, it’s a matter of personal preference whether you drink coffee or matcha, and there’s no rule saying you can’t drink a little of both. Each of these caffeinated drinks has its own chemical properties to offer when it comes to drinking tea medicinally or to prevent poor health.  

And if you’re not a coffee drinker but only stick to tea, find out if black tea is healthier than green tea.

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