Matcha, a vibrant green powdered tea, has gained significant popularity in recent years for its unique taste and potential health benefits. As a form of green tea, matcha contains caffeine, which is known to provide an energy boost. However, the effects of matcha on wakefulness and alertness are not solely attributed to caffeine, and matcha’s caffeine content is not as high as coffee and other popular caffeinated beverages. So, what’s the verdict on its energy boosting effects? Will matcha keep you awake?
In this article, we will explore the impact that matcha may have on energy levels and sleep to help you determine whether this hot morning cup is the pick me up you need, or whether it's safe to use as a bedtime brew. Here’s what we know:
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Matcha contains caffeine, so it does have stimulating effects that promote wakefulness.
Matcha also contains L-Theanine, which may promote a more relaxed, focus state of wakefulness.
Matcha has additional benefits, like potential antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
The Matcha Caffeine Factor
Caffeine is a natural stimulant found in many beverages, including tea, coffee, and energy drinks. Matcha, being derived from green tea leaves, naturally contains caffeine. However, the caffeine content in matcha can vary depending on factors such as the quality of the tea and the brewing method.
A cup of matcha can contain anywhere from 38–176 mg of caffeine. That means that on the low end you’ll get a mild energy boost that’s not very noticeable to those with any level of caffeine tolerance. On the high end, you’ll get a pretty significant energy buzz that may last for hours. These factors definitely play into whether you can sleep after drinking matcha.
It’s important to note that while matcha does contain caffeine, the effects of caffeine can vary from person to person. Some individuals may experience increased wakefulness and alertness after consuming matcha, while others may be less sensitive to its effects. In some cases, caffeine can also have side effects such as jitteriness, increased heart rate, and disrupted sleep if consumed in excessive amounts or close to bedtime. However, these effects are thought to be somewhat mediated by L-theanine, another component found in matcha tea.
One of the unique components of matcha is L-theanine, an amino acid that is found in tea leaves. L-theanine is known for its potential to promote relaxation and reduce stress. When consumed alongside caffeine, L-theanine can modulate the effects of caffeine and provide a more balanced state of alertness.
The combination of caffeine and L-theanine in matcha is believed to offer a smoother and more sustained energy boost compared to other caffeine sources. L-theanine may help mitigate the jitters and potential crashes associated with caffeine consumption, providing a focused and calm state of wakefulness.
Let’s take a look at the research:
L-Theanine + Caffeine Effects
Many people report feeling more calm and clear headed after drinking matcha and green tea, and it’s not a placebo effect. Research has found an interesting, symbiotic link between L-theanine and caffeine.
For instance, L-theanine may be able to reduce the impact that caffeine has on your blood pressure and anxiety levels, possibly by countering the vasoconstricting effects of caffeine. In other words, L-theanine helps to keep blood vessels dilated to prevent caffeine-induced blood pressure spikes.
L-theanine may also have a positive effect on your sleep schedule, despite coffee’s tendency to keep you awake. In fact, L-theanine supplementation may protect low-wave sleep cycles, a crucial portion of your sleep that’s associated with feeling more rested.
Plus, the combination of caffeine and L-theanine offers potentially increased cognitive benefits. According to various studies, the combination has been linked to improved reaction times, improved attention, and increased ability to switch between difficult tasks more easily. Subjects were also found to complete difficult tasks with more accuracy after taking the symbiotic combination.
Antioxidants and Matcha's Potential Benefits
Apart from caffeine and L-theanine, matcha is also rich in antioxidants known as catechins. These antioxidants have been associated with various health benefits, including improved brain function, enhanced metabolism, and reduced risk of chronic diseases.
The specific catechin found in matcha, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), has received particular attention for its potential neuroprotective effects. EGCG may support cognitive function and may contribute to the feeling of wakefulness and mental clarity that matcha can provide.
However, antioxidants are also important for managing inflammation levels. High inflammation can be a cause of stress, trouble sleeping, and restlessness.
Conclusion: Will Matcha Keep You Awake?
The answer is yes, matcha will promote wakefulness thanks to caffeine, but its effects are usually calmer and more balanced thanks to L-Theanine. Keep in mind that individual responses can vary, but many people experience substantial benefits when taking matcha tea daily.
A cup of matcha in the mornings is a great pick me up. A cup in the early afternoon can help fight that midday slump. Just remember that drinking matcha in excessive amounts or too close to bedtime may disrupt sleep patterns and hinder restful sleep. Moderation and mindful consumption are key to enjoying the potential benefits of matcha while avoiding unwanted side effects.
If you want to really kick your matcha’s superpowers up a notch, we recommend our Super Matcha formula. Our instant matcha blend includes an invigorating mix of nootropics + medicinal mushrooms designed to optimize cognitive and physical health. Lucid Super Matcha is all the energy and clarity you need, without the crash you get from regular energy drinks.
Our Lucid formulas include:
- Lion’s Mane (Cognition)
- Cordyceps (Endurance)
- Maitake (Immunity)
- Tremella (Anti-Aging)
- Alpha-GPC (Memory)
- Ginkgo (Cognition)
- BCAAs (Muscular Energy)
- L-Tyrosine (Mood)
- L-Theanine (Stress)
Check out one of our three flavor options: