What The F*ck Is Matcha

You can thank Tara Bomba, one of the hairstylists at Karen Marie Salon (KMS) in Chicago, for this article and explanation on what the f*ck matcha is. While we were interviewing her for The People of Industrie: Karen Marie Salon Team article, she gleefully sipped this Ghostbuster-Slimer-esque sludge from a clear Mason jar. When we asked her, “What the hell are you drinking,” she laughed and said, “Oh this? This is my matcha. It’s my caffeine replacement.”

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Green Tea Matcha

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It was at that very moment that the curiosity could not be contained from within. Caffeine replacement? Is that even a thing? Is that even something you want to do? Replace…caffeine? But it’s caffeine. It’s what we here at Industrie, and like most salon pros out there, have coursing through their veins for a minimum of 14 hours a day. Why in the world would you want to replace the one thing that keeps all of us going full steam ahead?

“Matcha is a good substitute for coffee,” said Tara. “It doesn’t give you that ‘flight or flight’ like coffee does. It’s an all-day energy unlike the rise and fall and bursts that coffee gives you. And you don’t experience brain fog or headaches if you go a day or two without matcha.”

Okay. This is interesting. Keep going, Tara.

“It’s a ground up powder that you mix with hot water. I add a little cinnamon and honey to it,” she added. “I’ve been drinking matcha now for a year and I love the way I feel now. And if you didn’t know, coffee and caffeine dehydrate the skin. I noticed a huge difference in my skin once I got off coffee. Actually, it was an immediate notice.”

Okay. We’re picking up what you’re putting down Tara, so much that we conducted a little research on this matcha you speak of, and guess what everyone? She’s right. It’s actually pretty spectacular for your brain and body.

Why It’s Good For Your Brain

Coffee and caffeine are a vice for many people—an addiction if you will. In order for many of us to function first thing in the morning, a cup of coffee is required even before a word can be spoken. And for many of us, constant consumption of coffee is required throughout the day just to keep going. We down a cup, feel that second, third or even fourth wind, and rise and fall like a rollercoaster day in and day out. But with matcha, you feel an all-day “alert calm” thanks to a natural substance found in the ground leaves called L-Theanine. L-Theanine induces relaxation without any form of drowsiness. You’re not only alert, but you’re relaxed which means you’re not stressed. Matcha has also been proven to reduce cortisol, the stress hormone that sends your body and mind into a downward spiral once “fight or flight” sets in.

Why It’s Good For Your Body

Matcha means “powdered tea,” and it is derived from grounding up Japanese green tea leaves. Since you’re consuming the entire leaves, your body is absorbing more nutrient, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants like polyphenols than if you just sipped on some regular steeped green tea. Polyphenols aid in protecting you from heart disease and cancer, and more importantly, help regulate blood sugar, blood pressure, boost metabolism and have anti-aging properties. Fun fact, matcha has five times the amount of antioxidant properties than any other food.

If you’re that person who is consuming large quantities of coffee just to keep your energy level afloat, then matcha is a perfect match for you because it is a natural energy booster and it will increase your endurance. This is great for those of you who have to stand behind the chair from open to close with back-to-back clients.

Yes, matcha sounds like just another trendy food/drink fad like bacon-wrapped everything and craft beer whatnot, and we know that it was something models and tastemakers were doing shots of at New York Fashion Week, but it’s something to really consider trying. The positive brain and body outcome from incorporating it into your lifestyle is something you as salon pros should embrace. Not only will you get your body and mind in a healthier place, but also you’ll save yourself a lot of money thanks to a decrease in trips to Starbucks. You can take that newfound money and apply it to some continuing education, a little travel or a nice new wardrobe.

Consider it food for thought.

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