Can you drink matcha at night?


Matcha has caffeine, caffeine is a stimulant, and well, stimulants keep you up and awake. It’s precisely because of matcha’s ‘calm alertness’ that’s made it so popular among coffee deserters, plus the fact that it lasts so much longer without leaving you when the caffeine high wears off.

 

That might lead you into concluding that you won’t sleep a wink after a bowl of matcha at night, but the truth is not that black and white. In fact, it lies in the murky in-between of yes and no. To better understand why there’s no definitive answer to that, a few points need to be discussed first:

 

Caffeine content.


How does caffeine affect sleep in the first place?


It does so by suppressing the increase of melatonin level, the main sleep hormone, which fluctuates due to factors that affect sleep like time, body clock, stress levels, etc.

 

Caffeine stays in your system for 4-5 hours but the it peaks 15-45 minutes after consumption when jittery, frequent urination and having sudden burst of energy are felt. These effects wear off as the caffeine is broken down. The amount of caffeine you consume can prolong, exacerbate or diminish these effects.


A typical cup of coffee (8 fl. oz., the most common serving in the US) has 70 mg of caffeine, while a bowl of matcha, usually prepared with 2 teaspoons of matcha powder (4 mg) has just half at 35 mg of caffeine.

 

On caffeine content alone, you can say that a cup of matcha won’t affect your body much unlike coffee or other caffeinated drinks like energy drinks that are loaded with caffeine.

 

L-theanine.


You can’t not talk about L-theanine when talking about matcha. It’s responsible for all the reasons why matcha is what it is. Matcha’s ‘calm alertness’ is due to the abundance of L-theanine that assists with mental health by assisting with stress, sleep, attention, and memory.


It helps better your sleep in two ways: First, by lowering levels of  stress, anxiety, and other “excitatory” brain chemicals and increasing those that promote feelings of calm, Second, it enhances alpha brain waves are associated with a state of “wakeful relaxation.” L-theanine appears to trigger the release of alpha-waves, which enhances relaxation, focus, and creativity.

 

Metabolism.

 

Ultimately, your metabolism is the deciding factor on how caffeine affects you. It’s all down to how your fast your body processes caffeine and it’s not the same for everyone. Some people can drink an espresso and go out like a light once hitting the bed, that matcha gave them a good night’s sleep, while for others, they’re run out of sheep to count.


What we recommend is to set aside two evenings where your energy and stress levels are the same and drink matcha for a nightcap. Don’t take matcha on the second night and it’ll tell you if drinking matcha in the evening is good for you. If you slept longer and wake up feeling refreshed, hooray! Your day now starts and ends with matcha, and that definitely is a good thing.