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  • Writer's pictureElen Turner

What's the Best Time to Drink Matcha Tea for Health and Weight Loss?

Updated: Apr 4

A woman drinking a matcha latte in one hand, holding her phone in another, demonstrating the best time to drink matcha

Wondering what time of day you should be drinking your matcha?

Though matcha tea can be a refreshing drink and tasty treat any time of day, there's a little more to it. For instance, if you’re adding it to your diet or daily routine mainly for its proven health benefits, then it's important to note there certain times of the day that are more ideal than others. This is even more true if you’re looking to matcha tea as an aid to weight loss.

So, without further ado, here’s what you need to know about when to drink matcha tea for weight loss and your overall health and wellbeing.

A Brief Introduction to Matcha Tea

You might have seen all kinds of matcha drinks and products in cafes and grocery stores: matcha tea, matcha ice cream, matcha lemonades, matcha bubble tea...the list goes on! So, what exactly is matcha tea?

Matcha is a traditional Japanese green tea that comes in powdered form. (It's usually green, but you can also find white, blue, and other varieties). It’s what’s used in Japanese tea ceremonies. Unlike traditional green teas — in which you steep leaves in hot water and discard them after — with matcha, you consume the whole tea leaf in powdered form. This means you're reaping all of those potent antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals present in the leaf. On top of this beverage being just plain delicious, it's one of the reasons matcha has become so popular.

Matcha on its own can give you a little more direct access to those green tea benefits already. But, timing when you drink it can enhance those benefits even more.

When is the Best Time to Drink Matcha Tea?

Two women sitting outside in a garden drinking matcha tea together mid-day

While matcha can be enjoyed at any time of day, drinking it at certain times might enhance the benefits you can get from your cup.

These benefits include immune support and anti-inflammatory properties, which come from its catechins, a type of antioxidant. Additionally, its unique combination of caffeine and L-theanine promotes sustained energy and mental clarity can help strike the right balance to get you through your day, while matcha's potential to boost your metabolism make this beverage it a valuable addition to any balanced diet or weight loss goals.

The best time to drink matcha tea of course depends largely on your health goals and how the drink can be best incorporated into your lifestyle. But, here are some recommendations:

In the Morning: For a Gentle Energy Boost

Starting your day with a cup of matcha can provide a gentle energy boost without the jitters associated with coffee. The combination of caffeine — which is, however, much less than a regular cup of coffee — and L-theanine — an amino acid abundant in matcha — promotes alertness and concentration, helping to get your day off to the right start.

In fact, matcha contains several times more L-theanine than other forms of green tea. This amino acid can help relieve stress, improve your mood, and regulate your sleep (especially if you have a hard time sleeping because of that stress!)

In the Afternoon: For a Pick-Me-Up

Feeling sluggish after lunch? Swap out your afternoon coffee for a cup of matcha. Its sustained release of caffeine provides a gentle pick-me-up, preventing that annoying afternoon crash and keeping productivity levels high.

Before Exercise: A Pre-Workout Power-Up

Sipping on matcha before hitting the gym or going for a run can amplify your workout performance. The caffeine content in matcha acts as a natural stimulant, enhancing endurance and aiding in fat oxidation, while L-theanine fosters a calm focus, helping you stay motivated and focused during your exercise.

Just try not to drink too much right before a workout, as nobody likes that feeling of liquid sloshing around in their belly while on the treadmill!

When is the Best Time to Drink Matcha Tea for Weight Loss?

A hand pouring syrup over matcha ice cream. Dessert is one of the best times to have matcha for weight loss

While embrace body positivity on this blog, the fact of the matter is many people are wondering this exact question. So, though we're here to tell you that you're beautiful just the way you are, we also want you to know that matcha alone won't magically melt away pounds. That being said, it can certainly complement a healthy diet and active lifestyle and can help speed up your metabolism. Here's when — and how — to drink matcha tea for weight loss:

  • Around exercise time: While matcha can provide a gentle energy boost (which is sometimes all we need!), it's important to pair it with regular physical activity if you have weight loss goals. Sip on some matcha water while working out or rejuvenate with a cup after your session.

  • Whenever you feel like eating a snack: Having smaller meals throughout the day is definitely one way to boost your metabolism. Though matcha should never replace a meal, if you're feeling the urge to snack often throughout the day, try seeing if a cup of matcha can help curb that urge a bit.

  • A dessert if you must: As well as the plain powdered tea, you can find matcha ice-cream, bubble tea, cake, and other sweet treats. Tasty, yes. Good for weight loss...well, not quite. That being said, Rome wasn't built in a day. If you've got a sweet tooth, swapping some other types of dessert for a low-calorie matcha dessert could be a good substitute.

Be sure to also drink your matcha tea alongside ample water intake. Drinking lots of water and keeping yourself hydrated is key to any health goal! And, remember, because matcha is gluten-free and vegan-friendly, it's a lot more versatile in terms of your health and/or weight loss goals if you're on a specific diet.

What's the best milk for my matcha to aid in weight loss?

Although you can drink matcha without milk, let's be real matcha lattes are delicious and it's often the milk that makes the drink! In this context, though, the best milk for a matcha latte depends on your preferences and your goals. Essentially, focusing on when to drink your cup of matcha won't have the same impact as what you put in it if you're looking for specific benefits.

So, while good ol' whole milk does the job for flavor, whole milk also has a lot of fat. Therefore, consider swapping it for plant-based milk or skim milk.

Add Matcha to Your Morning, Mid-Day, or Muscle Routine

A woman sitting in a chair sipping on a matcha latte

Matcha offers great benefits no matter when you decide to drink it. But, if you're looking to get the most potential out of those benefits, it's recommended to drink your matcha in the morning, before exercise, or when you need a boost in the middle of the day.

Have you tried incorporating matcha into your morning routine, exercise regimen, or overall health and/or weight loss goals? Let us know in the comments below!

Additional FAQ About Drinking Matcha Tea

If you still have some questions about when to drink matcha tea, we've compiled a list of frequently asked questions surrounding this topic. Hopefully, we've answered all of them!

Q: When should you NOT drink matcha?

Now that you know the best time to drink matcha, what about...the worst time to drink it? When to avoid drinking matcha?

To start, it's not a good idea to drink matcha has a meal replacement, even if you have weight loss goals. This can make your stomach upset. Additionally, drinking matcha tea during meals can prevent the absorption of key vitamins. Therefore, it's best to drink matcha tea between meals, rather than with them.

Additionally, although matcha tea contains less caffeine than coffee (more on that in a bit), and L-theanine can promote a restful night’s sleep, it’s best to avoid drinking matcha tea too close to bedtime. Of course, you know your body best, but if you enjoy it at night, give yourself a few hours to digest it before bedtime.

Of course, when it comes to any health questions or concerns, it's best to talk to your doctor and/or a registered dietitian.

Q: How much matcha tea per day should you drink?

It's not just about when to drink matcha to get the most benefits, it's also important to know how much (or, how little) of it that you should be drinking. Like any beverage especially those with caffeine it's best to drink matcha in moderation. So, limit yourself to 1-2 cups a day, or 1-2 teaspoons max (as you can do a 1/2 1 teaspoon per cup).

Q; How much caffeine is in a cup of matcha?

Speaking of caffeine, good question! Matcha has about 70mg of caffeine. Compared to a cup of coffee which has about 200mg of caffeine, a cup of matcha has far less. Still, you'll want to keep this in mind when it comes to deciding for yourself the best time of day to drink matcha.

Q; Should I drink matcha hot or cold?

Whether or not to drink matcha hot or cold is really up to you! There is some debate regarding whether or not the heat or cold can bring out more of or minimize the tea's properties, but there's nothing conclusive out there. Hot or cold, you'll get more or less the same benefits. If we're drinking it in the morning, though, we generally prefer it hot, and if around work-out times, then we prefer it cold.

Q: Any other considerations?

  • Start slow: If you're new to matcha, ease into it gradually to gauge your tolerance. Begin with smaller servings, such as half a teaspoon per cup, and gradually increase the amount as your body adjusts. You might also need some time to get used to its bitter taste.

  • Consider your own sensitivity: Keep in mind that individual tolerance to caffeine varies from one person to the next. If you're sensitive to caffeine or have certain health conditions, consult a healthcare professional before incorporating matcha into your daily routine.

  • Listen to your body: Pay attention to how your body responds to matcha consumption. If you experience any adverse effects — like being jittery or getting a stomachache — consider scaling back.

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