Matcha Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Matcha annotated

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman 

Matcha tea has become extremely popular, with teas, lattes, and even matcha-flavored desserts popping up in coffee shops. Matcha's benefits include its high antioxidant content, which could help boost brain function and prevent cancer.

Matcha tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant. It is similar to green tea, but grown differently to yield a unique nutrition profile.

Before the tea plant is harvested, farmers cover the crop for 20 to 30 days to protect it from direct sunlight. This technique increases amino acid production and gives the plant a darker green color. After harvesting, the stems and leaves are ground up into a powder that becomes matcha. It is higher in caffeine and antioxidants than green tea.

Nutrition Facts

The nutrition information for 1 teaspoon of powdered matcha green tea is provided by the USDA.

  • Calories: 10
  • Fat: 0g
  • Sodium: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 1g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sugar: 0g
  • Protein: 0g

Carbs

A single 1-teaspoon serving of matcha contains 1 carbohydrate. The single gram of carbohydrate comes from fiber.

Fats

Matcha prepared with water contains zero fat. If you prepare or order a matcha latte with milk, the fat makeup of the drink will change.

Protein

There is zero protein in a serving of matcha (but again, you will get a bit of protein from milk or a milk alternative if you add it to your matcha).

Vitamins and Minerals

Matcha is not a significant source of micronutrients.

Calories

One teaspoon of matcha contains approximately 10 calories, all of which one from the carbohydrate makeup of the drink. Note that calories, carbs, and fats may be added depending on how matcha is prepared—for instance, matcha lattes will often contain fat and carbohydrates from added milk and sugars.

Health Benefits

Since it has only trace amounts of vitamins and minerals. matcha's benefits come from its high antioxidant content.

Boosts Brain Function

Several studies point to matcha's potential benefits in enhancing brain function. In one study, 23 participants were asked to do a series of tasks designed to measure brain performance. The individuals were divided into a group that consumed matcha tea and a group that consumed a placebo tea.

The results showed greater attention, reaction time, and memory in the matcha group compared to the placebo group.

May Help Prevent Cancer

Matcha is rich in catechins, compounds found naturally in the tea that act as powerful antioxidants. Matcha has 137 times more catechins than green tea.

Matcha is especially high in a type of catechin called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which has anti-cancer properties. Several test tube studies show EGCG's effectiveness in preventing skin, liver, and lung cancers. Since these were test tube studies, more studies need to be conducted in humans to have conclusive evidence for the effects of EGCG.

Promotes Heart Health

Studies show that drinking matcha may be cardioprotective and prevent heart disease. One review found that drinking matcha has a positive effect on cholesterol levels, reducing total, LDL or "bad" cholesterol, and triglycerides. In combination with a healthy diet and exercise, matcha may help keep your heart healthy.

Protects Liver Function

Matcha may play a role in maintaining the health of the liver. The liver is an essential organ responsible for flushing out toxins, metabolizing drugs, and processing nutrients. Elevated liver enzymes are a marker of liver damage.

In one study, 80 people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease were given either a placebo or 500mg of green tea extract for 90 days. The results showed that after 12 weeks, liver enzymes in the individuals who took the green tea extract were significantly reduced.

Improves Skin

You may have heard of green tea face masks for glowing skin. It turns out drinking matcha can have a beneficial effect on your skin as well. Matcha brings an anti-inflammatory effect to irritated skin and research shows that the tannins in matcha help reduce sebum production in oily skin. One study showed the effectiveness of green tea in treating acne.

Allergies

It is possible to be allergic to matcha, particularly if you have sensitive skin. Symptoms of a matcha contact allergy include rash, swelling, redness, and itchy skin. Severity can vary. If you are concerned about an allergy to matcha, check with your doctor.

Adverse Effects

Use caution when drinking matcha if you are on a stimulant medication (such as for ADHD). Since matcha contains caffeine and stimulants speed up the nervous system, combining the two may result in heart problems. Additionally, taking matcha with atorvastatin, a cholesterol-lowering drug, may decrease the effects of the atorvastatin.

Varieties

There are two main types of matcha, ceremonial grade and culinary grade matcha. They differ based on their intended use.

Ceremonial grade matcha is intended to be consumed on its own. Matcha tea is traditionally prepared using a whisk and sifter and dissolving the powder into 175-degree water.

Culinary grade matcha is best for lattes, smoothies, desserts, and more. Matcha tea lattes combine match with steamed milk (dairy or plant-based) and a sweetener and are usually topped with creamy foam.

Matcha is available at health foods stores and many grocery stores year-round.

Storage and Food Safety

Once opened, keep matcha powder in an airtight container in the fridge. It can keep fresh for months.

How to Prepare

Prepare matcha at home with this simple process. You will need a whisk, scoop, sifter, and matcha bowl.

  1. First, scoop 1 teaspoon of matcha and sift it into the bowl to remove any lumps.
  2. Add a small amount of hot water and whisk until smooth.
  3. Add 6 ounces of 175-degree water and whisk until frothy.
  4. Pour into a cup and enjoy.
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11 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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