Can I drink matcha 3 times a day?

Drinking matcha tea has become increasingly popular due to its many health benefits. Matcha is a green tea made from specially grown and processed green tea leaves. It contains higher levels of antioxidants called catechins than regular brewed green tea. The most potent catechin in matcha is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Studies have shown EGCG can boost metabolism, improve cognitive function, and reduce inflammation.

With all of these benefits, some people wonder if it’s safe to drink matcha tea multiple times per day. This article provides a detailed look at the safety and health effects of drinking matcha tea frequently.

Quick answers

– Drinking matcha 3 times per day is generally safe for most healthy adults.

– Potential side effects of drinking too much matcha include headaches, nausea, diarrhea, irritability, and insomnia due to the caffeine content.

– Matcha contains antioxidant compounds called catechins that provide health benefits. More frequent consumption provides more antioxidants.

– Matcha has less caffeine than brewed coffee but more than brewed green tea. Drinking 3 cups (prepared traditionally) equates to about 1/3rd the amount of caffeine as a typical 8 oz coffee.

– High intake of matcha may be unsafe for people sensitive to caffeine or with certain medical conditions. As with any food or drink, moderation is key.

Caffeine content in matcha

Matcha contains more caffeine than regular brewed green tea. Exact caffeine levels vary depending on the quality of matcha, preparation method, and how much powder is used.

Here are the average caffeine levels (1):

Beverage Caffeine (mg)
Matcha (1 tsp) 34-68
Brewed green tea (8 oz) 25-29
Brewed coffee (8 oz) 95-200

As you can see, matcha contains less caffeine than coffee but more than regular green tea. The exact amount can vary greatly depending on the quality, preparation method, and amount of powder used.

Caffeine in a traditional preparation

When prepared in the traditional Japanese style, using 1 teaspoon (2 grams) of matcha powder whisked with 2 ounces (60 ml) of hot water, a cup of matcha contains about 70 mg of caffeine (2).

So drinking 3 traditionally prepared matcha drinks per day would provide about 210 mg of total caffeine.

For comparison, a typical 8-ounce (240-ml) cup of brewed coffee contains around 95–200 mg of caffeine (1).

This means that 3 daily cups of traditionally prepared matcha equates to about 1/3rd the amount of caffeine as a single 8 oz cup of coffee.

Is it safe to drink matcha 3 times a day?

For most healthy adults, drinking 3 cups of matcha tea per day is considered safe.

The average person can safely consume up to 400 mg of caffeine per day, according to health authorities. Below this level, caffeine intake is not associated with any long-term health risks (3).

Some sources suggest limiting caffeine intake to less than 200 mg per day during pregnancy. However, the risks are small and not well established for intakes under 300 mg (4).

Here are general daily caffeine recommendations (3, 5):

Group Maximum recommended caffeine
Healthy adults 400 mg
Pregnant women 200 mg
Children 100 mg

As 3 cups of traditionally prepared matcha falls well below 400 mg per day, it is considered safe for most healthy adults.

However, individuals sensitive to caffeine or with certain medical conditions like hypertension, diabetes, anxiety disorders, or heart conditions may need to limit caffeine or avoid matcha altogether.

Side effects of too much matcha

While small to moderate caffeine intakes are generally safe, consuming too much can increase the risk of side effects like (6):

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Irritability
  • Diarrhea
  • Insomnia
  • Nervousness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Anxiety

The amount of matcha that may cause side effects varies greatly between individuals. Those with sensitivity to caffeine may experience adverse effects with low intakes.

Health benefits of frequent matcha consumption

While too much matcha may be unsafe for some people, regular matcha consumption offers several science-backed health benefits for most adults.

Here are some of the top health benefits associated with drinking matcha green tea:

Rich in antioxidants

Drinking matcha may provide powerful antioxidant benefits. Antioxidants are compounds that help neutralize harmful free radicals and reduce oxidative stress in your body.

Matcha contains high levels of catechins, a type of antioxidant (7).

The most abundant catechin is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Studies link EGCG to health benefits like enhanced weight loss, blood sugar regulation, heart health, and cancer prevention (8, 9, 10).

By regularly consuming multiple cups per day, you can increase your total intake of these protective antioxidants.

May improve brain function

The caffeine and catechin antioxidants in matcha may benefit brain health and performance.

Studies demonstrate that caffeine can promote alertness, mood, reaction time, memory and cognitive function (11, 12).

These effects may be further amplified by catechins, as they prevent damage and degradation of neurons in your brain (13).

Animal studies also reveal promising results. Mice given matcha performed better on memory tests than mice given regular green tea. Matcha consumers showed improved attention, reaction time, and memory compared to non-matcha drinkers (14, 15).

May increase fat burning

Several studies demonstrate that the catechins in matcha can boost metabolism and increase fat burning, especially during exercise.

One study found that consuming matcha increased fat burning during exercise by 17% compared to a placebo. Catechin-rich matcha may prolong the effects of fat burning (16).

Another study gave men either a placebo or matcha green tea before cycling for 30 minutes. The matcha group burned 25% more fat than the placebo group (17).

By boosting metabolism and fat breakdown, the catechins in matcha can support weight management.

May lower heart disease risk

Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Lifestyle factors like diet play a key role in heart health.

Studies demonstrate that polyphenol-rich foods and beverages like matcha tea protect against heart disease (18).

Matcha may:

  • Reduce cholesterol levels (19)
  • Improve artery health (20)
  • Lower triglycerides and blood pressure (21)
  • Prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol (22)

By lowering heart disease risk factors, the antioxidants in matcha may help prevent heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular complications.

Contains beneficial plant compounds

In addition to antioxidants, matcha contains many other plant compounds that benefit health.

For example, matcha is rich in:

  • The amino acid L-theanine, which promotes relaxation and focus (23)
  • Fiber, which aids digestion and gut health (24)
  • Chlorophyll, which has anti-inflammatory effects (25)
  • Vitamins, minerals, and polyphenols that support overall health

By regularly consuming matcha, you can increase your intake of these beneficial compounds.

Safety precautions

For healthy adults, drinking 3 cups of matcha per day does not pose any serious health risks.

However, it’s important to be mindful of your total caffeine intake from all sources – like coffee, energy drinks, black tea, soda, chocolate, etc.

To be safe, limit your total caffeine intake to less than 400 mg per day. This equates to about 4 cups of traditionally prepared matcha.

Pregnant women may want to limit matcha intake to no more than 2 cups per day.

Those sensitive to caffeine or with medical conditions affected by caffeine should moderate intake or avoid matcha altogether.

It’s also wise not to consume caffeine too late in the day to prevent interference with sleep.

Side effects

Watch out for potential side effects associated with excessive caffeine or matcha consumption, including:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Nervousness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Anxiety

Discontinue matcha if you experience these or any other worrisome reactions.

The bottom line

Drinking matcha tea 3 times per day is generally safe for healthy adults. Matcha contains beneficial plant compounds that offer antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, fat-burning, and brain-boosting properties.

However, you may need to moderate your intake of matcha and other caffeinated foods and beverages based on your caffeine sensitivity, medical history, pregnancy status, or intake of other caffeinated products.

As with any food or drink, it’s wise not to overdo it. But for most people, 3 cups of matcha per day can be safely enjoyed as part of an overall healthy diet.

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