Soothing the Mind with Matcha: How Drinking Matcha Can Help Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Woman using matcha with mindfulness

Stress and anxiety have become increasingly prevalent in today's fast-paced society. Many individuals are seeking natural remedies to help alleviate these feelings and improve overall mental health. One such remedy is matcha green tea, known for its calming properties and ability to reduce stress and anxiety. In this article, we'll explore the science behind how matcha works to promote relaxation and a sense of well-being, as well as practical tips for incorporating matcha into your daily routine.

What is Matcha Green Tea?

Matcha is a powdered form of green tea made from the finely ground leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. It has been consumed for centuries in Japan and has gained popularity in recent years due to its numerous health benefits, including its potential to reduce stress and anxiety (Dietz & Dekker, 2017). Matcha is unique because it contains the entire leaf, providing a more concentrated source of nutrients compared to traditional green tea.

The Role of L-theanine in Matcha

One of the key components in matcha responsible for its calming effects is L-theanine, an amino acid found almost exclusively in tea leaves (Dietz & Dekker, 2017). L-theanine has been shown to have a significant impact on reducing stress and anxiety by promoting relaxation without causing drowsiness, making it an ideal natural remedy for those seeking to improve mental well-being (Hidese et al., 2019).

L-theanine works by increasing the production of alpha waves in the brain, which is associated with a state of relaxation and alertness (Nobre, Rao & Owen, 2008). This helps to balance the stimulating effects of caffeine, also present in matcha, leading to a calm, focused state of mind. L-theanine has also been shown to increase the levels of several neurotransmitters in the brain, including serotonin, dopamine, and GABA, which are known to have calming and mood-enhancing effects (Hidese et al., 2019).

Reducing Stress and Anxiety with Matcha

Several studies have explored the effects of L-theanine on stress and anxiety, with promising results. One study found that L-theanine supplementation led to a significant reduction in subjective stress and anxiety levels in participants exposed to a stressful situations (Hidese et al., 2019). Another study revealed that L-theanine could help reduce anxiety in individuals with high-trait anxiety by promoting relaxation and reducing the heart rate during periods of acute stress (Kimura, Ozeki, Juneja, & Ohira, 2007).

In addition to L-theanine, matcha tea also contains an abundance of antioxidants, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which has been shown to have neuroprotective effects and may contribute to the reduction of stress and anxiety (Singh et al., 2011). EGCG has been demonstrated to increase the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein responsible for maintaining the health and function of neurons in the brain. This can lead to improved mental well-being and reduced feelings of stress and anxiety (Singh et al., 2011).

Incorporating Matcha into Your Daily Routine

To reap the stress-reducing benefits of matcha, consider incorporating it into your daily routine in the following ways:

Drink matcha as tea:

Take time out of your day to mindfully prepare a cup of matcha tea. Using matcha tea accessories such as the sieve, bamboo whisk, and bowl, are all part of the meditative experience. Whisk one to two teaspoons of matcha powder with hot water. Enjoy a cup in the morning or throughout the day to help reduce stress and promote mental clarity.

Add matcha to your breakfast:

Mix matcha powder into your morning smoothie or yoghurt for a nutrient-dense and calming breakfast option. This can help set the tone for a more relaxed and focused day.

Morning Matcha

Incorporate matcha into your meditation or mindfulness practice:

Consuming matcha before engaging in mindfulness practices, such as meditation or yoga, can enhance the calming effects of these activities. The L-theanine in matcha helps to promote a state of relaxed alertness, allowing you to be more present and focused during your practice. Having your matcha after your practice can also be a way to extend your calm state.

Replace your afternoon coffee with matcha

If you're looking for a midday pick-me-up, consider swapping your regular coffee for a cup of matcha. The combination of L-theanine and caffeine in matcha provides a more balanced and sustained energy boost without the jitters or energy crashes often associated with coffee.

Woman with matcha vs coffee

Try matcha-based snacks or desserts:

There are many delicious ways to incorporate matcha into your diet beyond just drinking it as tea. Experiment with matcha-infused snacks and desserts, such as energy balls, cookies, or even ice cream. These can satisfy your sweet tooth while providing the calming benefits of matcha.


Matcha green tea has been revered for centuries for its numerous health benefits, including its ability to reduce stress and anxiety. The presence of L-theanine, caffeine, and antioxidants like EGCG work together to promote relaxation, improve mood, and support overall mental well-being. By incorporating matcha into your daily routine, you can enjoy its calming effects and cultivate a more balanced, stress-free lifestyle.

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  • Dietz, C., & Dekker, M. (2017). Effect of Green Tea Phytochemicals on Mood and Cognition. Current Pharmaceutical Design, 23(19), 2876–2905.
  • Hidese, S., Ogawa, S., Ota, M., Ishida, I., Yasukawa, Z., Ozeki, M., & Kunugi, H. (2019). Effects of L-Theanine Administration on Stress-Related Symptoms and Cognitive Functions in Healthy Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients, 11(10), 2362.
  • Kimura, K., Ozeki, M., Juneja, L. R., & Ohira, H. (2007). L-Theanine reduces psychological and physiological stress responses. Biological Psychology, 74(1), 39–45.
  • Nobre, A. C., Rao, A., & Owen, G. N. (2008). L-theanine, a natural constituent in tea, and its effect on mental state. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 17(S1), 167–168.
  • Singh, B. N., Shankar, S., & Srivastava, R. K. (2011). Green tea catechin, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG): Mechanisms, perspectives and clinical applications. Biochemical Pharmacology, 82(12), 1807–1821.

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