Matcha may ease stress-related cognitive decline, according to new study

A Japanese ceremonial-grade matcha from Ito En and distributed by Taiyo International may help ease mild stress-related cognitive decline and improves reaction time among young adults, which could position it as an e-gaming ingredient. 

According to a new human study published in Nutrition Research, Japanese ceremonial-grade matcha may help ease mild stress-related cognitive decline and improves reaction time among young adults, which could position it as an e-gaming ingredient. 

“Matcha powder is a wholesome nutritious ingredient. When treated with care, matcha is a rich source of polyphenols, vitamins, minerals, fibers, chlorophyll and L-theanine,” said Derek Timm, PhD, RDN, Taiyo International’s functional ingredient technology expert, said in a press release. 

In the placebo-controlled study, researchers administered 2g/d of matcha to 42 participants ages 25 to 34 years for two weeks. The results showed participants who consumed ceremonial-grade matcha daily had higher attentional function than the placebo group. Researchers concluded the interaction between caffeine and theanine naturally present in the matcha produces a positive effect on cognitive function in young adults during or after stress conditions. 

“They also experienced faster reaction times and were better able to identify positive emotions, which may indicate a happier perspective,” Timm said. “The ceremonial-grade matcha used in this study contains about 50 g of theanine per 2-g dose. In studies using Taiyo’s Suntheanine L-theanine, this is the lowest dose of L-theanine shown to increase calming alpha brain waves. 

“Formulators can easily supplement the L-theanine in ceremonial-grade matcha by adding 50 to 150 mg of Suntheanine to take further advantage of its scientifically proven mood, sleep and focus benefits,” he continued. “They might also consider adding prebiotic Sunfiber since Taiyo also has studies showing that the gut health benefits of Sunfiber are closely associated with better moods.”

Timm said Ito En’s ceremonial-grade matcha, available from Taiyo and partner NutriScience Innovations, is especially ideal for matcha-flavored nutritive protein powders and RTDs, smoothies, bars, and teas.

Reference

  1. Baba Y et al. “Matcha consumption maintains attentional function following a mild acute psychological stress without affecting a feeling of fatigue: A randomized placebo-controlled study in young adults.” Nutrition Research, vol. 88 (2021): 44-52