Nutrition By Darren The Miracle of Matcha Green Tea: “800 Year Secret Stamina Elixir of Zen Buddhist Monks Revealed” For over 800 years, Japanese Zen Buddhist monks have kept this super stamina secret within their exclusive circles of ceremonial tea rituals and extreme meditation and fasting periods. If you needed 18+ hours of relaxed focused power, where would you turn? COFFEE? Coffee, or rather its jolt of caffeine might give you a couple hours of stimulated focus, energy, and intensity but it comes with a price, extra anxiety and a crash leaving you sapped of energy and craving more caffeine. Next! ESPRESSO? Espresso, a stronger version of coffee, will give you similar benefits to regular coffee, but a more intense jolt of stimulation and accompanying jitters followed later by a harsh crash. Next! ENERGY DRINKS? Maybe you’d turn to so called energy drinks, like Redbull or aptly named 5 Hour Energy. These drinks flood your body with even more intense stimulation, have a shorter peak energy period, and harsher crashes so they might not be the answer either. There is also concern that extended consumption of these energy beverages can cause dangerous heart complications. Next! TEA? Hmm, what about Tea. Well, while black or herbal tea can provide a calming feeling and even a slight stimulation (with caffeinated teas), these still only provide a few hours of your choice of a relaxed state or a stimulated focused state. Next! Hmm… What you really want is a magic potion, an ancient elixir that combines both of those benefits, lasts for an extended period of time, and comes to an end without a crash or an addictive craving for more soon after. Enter GREEN TEA—specifically MATCHA Green Tea. Matcha Green Tea is not your grandma’s green tea—unless you happen to be Japanese or a member of a royal family or distinguished group that gets frequent invitations to Japanese Zen Buddhist Monk Tea Ceremonies that is. Matcha differs from standard green tea in that it is a powder (not a tea bag) made from the careful grinding up of the entire tea leaf and since you consume the powder (whisked to a gentle froth with something called a “chasen” or miniature bamboo tea whisk) rather than merely drinking the contents of a steeped tea bag that filter through into the water, you receive the vast nutrients that come from the entire tea leaf rather than only a tiny fraction of those powerful nutrients. Now that’s more like it! Matcha is more than a relaxing or stimulating cup of tea. It is a life-enhancing, paradigm-changing cleansing and calming ritual that has to be experienced to be properly appreciated. It is packed full of vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants and provides an unMatcha-ed (I couldn’t resist) extended relaxed focused state without any jitters, anxiety, or sudden crash. But doesn’t green tea contain caffeine!? All caffeine is NOT created equal Yes, Matcha contains caffeine but it is of a type that is alkalizing to the blood and therefore not akin to the type of caffeine found in soft drinks, coffee, and energy drinks. Further, the caffeine content of Matcha is roughly 1/2 to 1/3 of the caffeine content found in soft drinks or coffee and less than 1/4 to 1/10 of that found in energy drinks. Another thing that sets Matcha apart is that its caffeine is slowly absorbed over a period of 6-8 hours, in stark contrast to the fast 30 minute intense caffeine spike inherent in regular coffee. Matcha boasts no blood sugar spikes, insulin increases, or releases of cortisol (commonly known as the stress hormone) and therefore is a smarter way to get all of the energy of caffeine without the negative side effects. Matcha can even help stabilize blood sugar and decrease stress on the adrenal glands. Amino acids are said to be the building blocks of life. To no surprise, Matcha also contains a large number of amino acids within it like L-Theanine, said to be the source of the amazing calm focused state commonly seen in Matcha Green Tea drinkers. L-Theanine works by stimulating the production of alpha wave activity in the brain. The amino acid has also been known to reduce anxiety and enhance mood. When combined in Matcha, L-Theanine and caffeine team up to generate a calm focused energy that is sustained for long periods of time (6-10 hrs of calm focused energy is not unusual for a normal “dose” of the natural medicine that is Matcha Green Tea). Finally, as Matcha is digested in the body, its caffeine molecules bind to more stable larger molecules, like catechins. This slows the breakdown of caffeine in the bloodstream and helps counteract the regular unwanted side effects of caffeine. It’s easy to see why Buddhist monks historically used Matcha before meditation and ancient warriors even used it before going to battle. “Better to be deprived of food for three days than tea for one” – Ancient Chinese Proverb Craving more about Matcha? Don’t fret, I got you covered—keep an eye on this blog www.35to65.com and in upcoming blog posts I’ll dig in deep and reveal to you the stunning truth of How Matcha helps you lose weight, Why Matcha has more Anti-Oxidant fighting power than all of the Anti-Oxidant-Rich Fruits and Vegetables (Yes Mom, even more than Broccoli) listed in the chart below and even How Matcha fights cancer! There is way MORE magic than that in Matcha though, so sit down, pick up your warm bowl and take a long relaxed sip. Make Matcha your Ritual For Life (like I did and will explain why and how in a future blog post) and watch the myriad miracles manifest…. mmm… Matcha.