Let's be honest -- it's pretty hard to get through the day without a little caffeine boost. But too much coffee could leave you feeling shaky and anxious, and chemical-laden energy drinks should be forever banished to a fraternity house basement.
Enter matcha: a traditional Japanese powdered green tea that's harvested from the tips of the plant while they're still young and packed with flavor, nutrients and caffeine -- but not the kind that makes you crash, fans of the drink say.
A two-gram serving of matcha contains just as much caffeine as an espresso, but the way it makes you feel can be very different from that of your afternoon latte. Proponents of matcha say that its caffeine releases more slowly throughout the day, preventing the quick burn and crash they experience from other sources of caffeine. Meaning, you stay on your grind (or "hustle," as Graham Fortgang, co-owner of New York City's MatchaBar likes to call it) for even longer.
Fans also say that not only does matcha keep you energized, but it also makes you feel more relaxed and less anxious than a shot of espresso or an energy drink. Matcha contains L-Theanine, a natural calming agent that works with the caffeine to provide what's described as a calm, focused and happy energy.
It's also said to have 10 times the antioxidants of a cup of regular green tea, which helps control blood sugar and cholesterol levels and can even boost your metabolism.
Can't argue with that.
This article has been updated with additional information regarding claims about matcha and its effects on the body.