Moderation is the key to healthy eating and living. As much as we wonder about benefits of drinking matcha, it is important to understand that excess of anything is bad. Matcha is a form of green tea, so we will be examining research on green tea for this article.
What do the experts say?
Well according to Web MD, "green tea is LIKELY SAFE for most adults when consumed as a drink in moderate amounts".
As with anything though, they mention green tea may be "possibly unsafe" when consumed in excessive amounts.This is due to the fact that it contains caffeine.
"Green tea is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth long-term or in high-doses. It can cause side effects because of the caffeine. These side effects can range from mild to serious and include headache, nervousness, sleep problems, vomiting, diarrhea, irritability, irregular heartbeat, tremor, heartburn, dizziness, ringing in the ears, convulsions, and confusion."
But what is considered a high dose of caffeine?
So we can see that excessive caffeine can cause issues and many side effects, but what exactly is considered high?
"The fatal dose of caffeine in green tea is estimated to be 10-14 grams (150-200 mg per kilogram). Serious toxicity can occur at lower doses. "
The average cup of matcha has around 68mg of caffeine. If we take the lower end of the fatal caffeine dosage of 10g and compare this to our intake from matcha, one cup of matcha equates to about 0.68% of the minimum fatal caffeine dose.
Considering you would have to drink 147 cups within a few days to reach this limit, my opinion is that a few cups of matcha a day should not cause any caffeine related issues in individuals who are not pregnant and have no existing medical conditions!
What are the exceptions?
According to Web MD, pregnant woman should limit their green tea intake to 2 cups per day to avoid any complications.
"If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, green tea in small amounts - about 2 cups per day - is POSSIBLY SAFE. This amount of green tea provides about 200 mg of caffeine. However, drinking more than 2 cups of green tea per day is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. Consuming more than 2 cups of green tea daily has been linked toan increased risk of miscarriage and other negative effects due to the caffeine content."
Also if you have anemia you should consider avoiding matcha green tea as EGCG has the potential to reduce iron intake, making anemia worse.
Aside from that, if you have one of the following conditions you may want to talk to your doctor before starting any regular coffee or green tea consumption (check here for more information).
- Anxiety disorders
- Bleeding disorders
- Heart conditions
- High blood pressure
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Liver disease
- Weak bones (osteoporosis)
So is matcha green tea safe?
In short, drinking a few cups of matcha a day is not only fine for most people (unless you suffer from one of the above medical conditions or are pregnant), but likely to be extremely beneficial to your health! We absolutely recommend incorporating matcha into your diet.
So let us raise our cups of matcha and make a toast to good health and a good life!
DISCLAIMER: THE ABOVE ARTICLE IS NOT INTENDED TO CONSTITUTE MEDICAL OR NUTRITIONAL ADVICE, AND IS MY OPINION ONLY. PLEASE CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS ABOUT THE HEALTH RISKS OF DRINKING GREEN TEA.