Matcha, used by Zen Buddhist monks for thousands of years to flow through meditation while remaining alert, needs little introduction. We all know that matcha can fuel us through the day more sustainably than coffee, but why? Besides being an antioxidant powerhouse, matcha contains L-theanine, an animo acid that modulates the effect of caffeine and has been shown to increase alpha wave activity in the brain, calming the mind and reducing stress levels in the body while still supporting concentration.
Matcha is rich in polyphenols with neuroprotective and nootropic effects. Chief among these is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a powerful catechin known to protect brain health. Catechins can easily cross the blood brain barrier, where they shield neurons from oxidative stress by increasing their expression of DNA repair. Studies show that catechins also inhibit the overactivation of microglia, the brain’s immune cells, thereby dampening inflammation in the brain. In addition, green tea catechins and phytochemicals help upregulate levels of glutathione, the body’s major metal detoxifier.
How is matcha different from regular green tea? Matcha contains amped up levels of EGCG and other antioxidants due to the way it’s grown (matcha is shaded the last four weeks of its growing cycle, which enhances its nutrients) and harvested (the whole tea leaf is ground into a very fine powder, so you’re essentially eating the entire plant and therefore getting more nutrients). Dharana Focus & Energy Brain Food combines matcha with a vitalizing blend of ginseng and other traditional nervine tonics to support calm concentration throughout your day.