The Water Soluble Components of Matcha Green Tea and Their Benefits

During the brewing or steeping process of tea, hot water unlocks water soluble components stored in the tea leaves. In the preparation of matcha, this happens when the matcha powder is mixed with the hot water and then whisked. 


Catechin

10-18% of water soluble components are catechins and it responsible for a lot of the benefits attributed to matcha green tea. It has been shown in research that its antioxidant properties are astounding in terms of fighting free radicals, which has resulted into countless research on the effect of green tea in battling against diseases and these studies have found catechins to have the following properties:


Cancer suppressing action, antitumor action, antioxidative effect, antimicrobial activity, antiviral action, lowering cholesterol level in blood, blood pressure elevation inhibitory activity, inhibitory action on postprandial elevation of blood pressure, dental prophylaxis, preventing bad breath.

 

Caffeine and Theanine

When talking about green tea, these two work to complement each other. Comprising 2-4% and .6-2% of tea respectively, caffeine gives your body the alertness and focus, increases stamina, hangover prevention, relieves headaches, and improves blood circulation. 


On the other hand, theanine alters the way caffeine is absorbed by the body in such a way that a caffeine crash is prevented. It also promotes the alpha wave production, the brain wave that brings relaxation. The state of “relaxed alertness” is a defining characteristic in matcha green tea because it contains the most theanine out of all green teas. 


Vitamins

A wide assortment of vitamins is found in a cup of matcha green tea. Around .15-.25% of water soluble components of tea are vitamins. 


Vitamin C

  • Maintenance of healthy skin and mucus
  • membrane (collagen formation)
  • Antioxidant

Vitamin B2

  • Maintenance of healthy skin and mucous membrane

Folic acid

  • Prevention of fetal neural tube defects (NTD)
  • Prevention of arterial sclerosis

β-carotene

  • Maintenance of nighttime vision

Vitamin E

  • Antioxidant

γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)


GABA is a neurotransmitter blocks impulses between nerve cells in the brain. Some teas are specially grown, picked and process to increase the GABA content, and while these contain 150mg of GABA per 100g of tea leaves, orally ingested GABA cannot cross the blood-brain barrier. 


Saponins


The saponins found in tea are in minute quantities, but they are a good addition to the overall benefits of tea. It binds cholesterol and bile acids in the intestine to lower the absorption of cholesterol, thus lowering blood pressure.