We’re all looking for ways to reduce stress, and now more than ever, it’s important to keep a handle on our stress levels so we can live our best, healthiest lives. But when it comes to the many different ways to reduce stress, one of the options you’ll certainly want to learn more about is drinking green tea. 

Can Green Tea Reduce Stress?

Asian countries have used green tea for centuries to treat emotional issues such as depression. But recent studies in 2017 and 2018 have revealed that consuming green tea and matcha may also remedy symptoms of stress and anxiety. So, the answer to that common question is yes: green tea can help reduce stress. Let’s explore some of the research that proves it. 

What Makes Green Tea Effective Against Stress?

Green tea is a great source of vitamins and antioxidants. But green tea is also rich in essential amino acids. Studies have found that the amino acid L-theanine, and to a lesser extent arginine, can help to diminish stress and anxiety. It appears that the main factor is L-theanine’s ability to reduce blood pressure and relax muscle tension.
Green tea appears to be one of the highest sources of L-theanine compared to any other food or beverage tested by science. Drinking green tea can thus provide incredible anti-stress and anti-anxiety effects when consumed daily.
One clinical study on humans in 2017 found a significant and consistent reduction in stress after consuming 15mg/d of L-theanine in green tea for ten days. 
(If you’re interested in whether green tea can reduce stress, you’ll also enjoy this article next: Does Green Tea Make You Dehydrated?)

Does matcha have the same effect on stress?

Matcha, as we know, has a concentrated amount of all green tea chemical compounds. That’s because it contains not just the green tea leaves but the stems and veins as well. It follows that green tea matcha does contain higher levels of the amino acid L-theanine than found in sencha green tea. 
So, you would expect that matcha would be even more capable of controlling symptoms of L-theanine. Right? Not so fast.
However, another study published October 10, 2018, suggests that caffeine blocks the body’s absorption of L-theanine. At least, that is what research confirms. So, matcha having a much higher level of caffeine than sencha (about 72 mg versus 30 mg) can block much of the stress-reducing absorption of L-theanine. 
The best technique to gain the benefits of L-theanine in matcha is to reduce its caffeine. In the same 2018 study, stress and anxiety reduction were shown from drinking L-theanine rich matcha when caffeine and ECGC were reduced.

Can I reduce the caffine levels in my Japanese green tea?

You may remember the article I posted entitled, “Is Using the Microwave Bad for Green Tea.” If you missed it or want to read it again, here’s a link. In that piece, I did some in-depth research on recent studies addressing the effects of using a microwave to brew green tea. What I found in the studies is that using the microwave to brew your Japanese green tea extracts about 92% of the caffeine level found in Japanese green tea. 
By removing the high levels of caffeine by heating the tea in the microwave, your body will be able to absorb higher levels of L-theanine, as well as other beneficial compounds you want from green tea.
(Are you also curious about the role green tea could play in cancer prevention? Read more about it here)

Quiz answer confirmed

So, if you answered “Yes” to our Quiz Question, you were absolutely correct! By drinking Japanese green tea and matcha—especially if you prepare it by reducing its caffeine content—you can positively affect symptoms of stress and anxiety in your life.
If you need help managing your stress and anxiety, a therapist from BetterHelp may help.
Although you know what an advocate I am for the daily consumption of Japanese green tea, it never ceases to amaze and thrill me when science confirms my promotion of green tea’s healthful benefits.
Let me know how Japanese green tea affects you in positive ways. Until next time, I hope Japanese green tea is part of your healthy daily lifestyle.

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This post was first published in 2019, but it was updated in 2021 just for you.