Coffee vs. Matcha: Which Buzzy Beverage Is *Actually* Better For You?

At times, it feels as though the nine-to-five grind would be nearly impossible to endure without caffeine. For many people, their morning coffee (or matcha) is the only thing that helps the hours fly by, providing a natural boost of energy that also tastes delicious. However, have you ever wondered whether one type of caffeine is actually better for your body than another?

Matcha is a wildly popular green tea powder that is made by grinding the leaves into the signature bright shade we all know and love.

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“Matcha is more alkaline than coffee and contains nearly the same amount of caffeine,” Ella Davar, R.D., CDN, explains to mbg. Matcha’s lower acidity may also make it a better choice for those with sensitive stomachs. “Matcha has virtually no disadvantages, except that it is expensive (when made properly) and time and energy consuming to make.”

Additionally, this variety of green tea is high in L-theanine, which has a variety of health benefits. According to research, this amino acid may have an anti-stress effect on the body, and when combined with the caffeine found in matcha, may provide a natural boost of energy and alertness.

Not to mention that matcha contains nearly three times the antioxidant EGCG found in other green teas, providing the body with a slew of beneficial properties. According to one review, matcha’s antioxidant content can help neutralise free radical damage and even aid in natural detoxification.

Matcha contains 70 milligrammes of caffeine, providing a significant boost of energy in the morning if you’re frequently groggy or didn’t get enough sleep.

While coffee is undeniably a popular energy booster around the world, it is not the only health benefit this bitter beverage provides. “Coffee contains a high concentration of polyphenols, antioxidants, and the stimulant caffeine,” Davar explains. Why is this beneficial? Over the course of ten years, a large study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition followed 676 healthy elderly men in Europe. The findings indicated that participants who drank coffee had a lower rate of cognitive decline than those who did not. While coffee consumption was not strictly regulated, researchers discovered that men who consumed three cups per day experienced the least cognitive decline.

Your cup of joe may also help you live longer, according to new research, with one large study finding that “increased coffee consumption was associated with a lower risk of death, particularly death from digestive and circulatory diseases,” as reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Additionally, coffee has been known to stimulate digestion: Wendie Trubow, M.D., MBA, a functional medicine physician, previously stated to mbg that “it is clear that coffee increases the activity in your gut, called peristalsis.”

Having said that, experts remain perplexed as to why this occurs. “The warm liquid may stimulate motility,” integrative gastroenterologist Marvin Singh, M.D., adds—implying that this benefit is not unique to coffee.

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