Triathlete and teapigs fan Neal has recently took on the matcha challenge and has been taking it for three weeks to see if it would help his training and general wellbeing. After whizzing up his matcha shots every morning and even sharing some with his team mates (very generous!) here’s his final thoughts:

“I have been taking my early morning Matcha shots for three weeks and I do feel that I have a lot more energy in the mornings.  I feel more alert prior my running and cycling sessions.  I have forgotten once or twice to have the Matcha shot and only noticed afterwards when I seemed more sluggish than normal.  Realising that I had forgot to drink the shot made me appreciate that the drink has been making a difference to my mornings.  Now that the mornings are brighter and a bit warmer I will be ramping up the training.  I am now down to my last two or three shots and will definitely be stocking up on more.

My personal Matcha experience:

•             I definitely have more energy in the mornings (this may explain why Zen Buddhist monks drank it to remain alert and calm during long hours of meditation).

•             Great taste (the taste has a definitive ‘tea’ aftertaste and mixed with cold apple juice is a great breakfast appetiser pre workout).

•             Cannot comment too much on Matcha as a slimming aid as my weight tends to be at a constant regardless of how much I train or eat.

•             A cup of matcha green tea in the afternoon is a wonderful "pick-me-up" if you feel you need an energy boost and extra focus. It is also an ideal substitute for coffee because it provides an energy boost without the headaches you might get from a coffee crash.

Finally, here is a little information on the health benefits of Matcha:

•             Cancer Preventative benefits.  Matcha Green Tea has phenomenal antioxidant properties (15 times that of regular Green Tea).  Green tea contains potent antioxidants called catechins, the most powerful catechin found in green tea is EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), which is believed to be a powerful anti-carcinogenic.

•             Mental benefits.  Matcha green tea contains up to 5 times more L-theanine than conventional green tea (L-theanine is an amino acid with psychoactive properties, capable of inducing alpha wave activity in the brain).  Stress is known to induce the brain's beta wave activity, leading to a more agitated state. Alpha wave activity can relieve stress, promote relaxation and even lower blood pressure. 

•             Anti-Aging properties.  The Okinawan people of Japan are known to be one of the longest living people in the world.  Their longevity has been partly attributed to regular consumption of Matcha Green Tea.

•             Lowers bad cholesterol (LDL). It has been mentioned that daily consumption of green tea beverages or extracts significantly lowered serum total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol concentrations.

•             Weight loss.  Studies suggest matcha green tea can enhance both resting metabolic rate and fat burning.

•             Dietary Fiber.  Matcha green tea leaves contain a high level of dietary fiber that is easily-absorbable.  The benefits include its ability to ease constipation and stabilize blood sugar levels.

I hope you have found this short blog of interest and I would recommend drinking Matcha Green Tea as a daily ritual.  If it’s good enough for Buddhist Monks its good enough for me."

Hooray! Big thanks to Neal for taking on the matcha challenge and for writing on the teapigs blog, thank you Neal!

 If you’re training for an upcoming sporting event and are looking for an extra boost or perhaps you are just wanting to get rid of that bleary eyed feeling in the morning, why not give our matcha a go? It’s 100% natural organic green tea leaves that have been ground down to a fine powder, so no nasties or scary additives and it’s so versatile – matcha shots, matcha lattes, matcha hot teas and loads more, you’ll be full of beans in no time.