Two superfoods, both alike in name, in fair Toronto where we lay our scene . . . Maca and Matcha. No ancient grudge here, just similar-sounding products who have one thing in common – SO MANY HEALTH BENEFITS! Let’s look at the differences re: maca vs matcha.
Let’s start with Maca
Maca is referred to by our friends at Giddy Yoyo as an “Andean Super-Tuber”. Most commonly sold in powder form, this root is full of vitamins and minerals, and has many health benefits. Maca is an adaptogenic herb, which means it has incredible stress-fighting properties. It can help to energize you, if your energy is too low, without the crash associated with common stimulants. In addition, it can help with your hormonal health, and it’s often touted as a libido-booster.
You can add maca to smoothies, yogurt, power balls, and you can even find it in one of Giddy Yoyo’s chocolate bars! Just be sure to start small . . . it can pack quite a punch!
Now on to Matcha!
Like its similarly-named counterpart, matcha is also a source of vitamins and minerals. Made from powdered green tea leaves, matcha is also energizing, but mostly from its caffeine content. Matcha is different from other sources of caffeine, though, in that it contains the amino acid analogue L-Theanine. L-Theanine is known for its mind-calming properties, so it minimizes the “caffeine jitters”.
As it is a concentrated source of green tea, it maximizes the benefits of green tea: metabolism boosting, a great source of antioxidants, detoxification, blood sugar balance, and many more! In fact, you’d have to consume 10 cups of green tea to get the antioxidant benefits of one cup of matcha.
You can whisk matcha into a tea (or tea latte), add it to baking (a great-tasting natural green food coloring), or mix it in smoothies, oatmeal, etc.
Maca vs Matcha: Which do you prefer?
Do you use maca and/or matcha? What’s your favorite way to incorporate them into your daily life? Tell us in the comments!
About The Author:
Kelly Boaz, CNP
Kelly is a holistic nutritionist, specializing in eating disorder recovery and food freedom. She is also a public speaker (TEDx King St. West, TDSB) and a writer. Learn more about Kelly, and about booking private consultations at kellyboaz.com Twitter: @kelly_boaz Facebook: /KellyBoazDotCom
Hello! Great article!
I love Maca root powder and I’ve been taking it off/on for about 3 years now. I’m really interested in trying out Matcha tea, so Im wondering if it’s alright to mix these two since they both give energy?
I know that we all react differently, but ..
Other superfoods I’m taking are spirulina, wheatgrass and soon gojiberri powder.
Great question! I, myself, have both maca and matcha almost daily. In general, it’s best to start slowly and test small amounts. They work to give energy differently (maca via its adaptogenic properties, matcha via caffeine), so you won’t be overloading one system. If you give it a try, let us know how it goes!
I am interested in hearing how this went?
Am I able to put both Matcha and Maca into the same smoothie?
You are absolutely able to put both in the same smoothie. It’ll be a BIG kick of energy!
Every morning I have a peach matcha, and I also add half a teaspoon of maca as well. Leaves me feeling great all day! 🙂
That sounds amazing!
I deal with fatigue on a daily basis, AND am allergic to caffeine. I am leaning toward maca for that reason and was wondering if it is something you can just add to water, like you would matcha or is a smoothie the better way to consume it?
I find the consistency of maca to be more like a flour than anything – not the best on its own in water. I usually mix it in yogurt or a smoothie, but you can put it in baking, too. Start small – 1/2 tsp at a time, and work your way up.
Best of luck!
The other Kelly
I have a bottle of maca powder that shows an expiration date of 6/2015. Can I still use it? Will I still get benefits from it? Or should I discard it and look into getting a new one?
Also, if I were to get Matcha powder instead, is it going to cause me to lose sleep the same as coffee?
I might toss the expired maca. I usually push things by a few weeks, but seldom a few years. The matcha does have caffeine, so if you take it too late in the day, you will potentially have sleep disturbances. Usually the L-Theanine helps mitigate that effect, but I’d still avoid having it after 3-4 pm.
Hi! I was wondering if putting the matcha in hot water and drinking it as tea, vs just adding the powder to a cold smoothie..does either effect the bioavailability and/or absorption rate in the body more than the other? Same with the Maca. Thanks!
You can absolutely drink matcha either way and reap the benefits. Maca doesn’t work as well as a tea, but could absolutely be added to a hot beverage (with enough stirring). There is minimal difference between the two, in terms of bioavailability and absorption. Some vitamin content will be lost with heating, but some antinutrients will be broken down by heat, so there are drawbacks and benefits to both options. It will mainly depend on whether you’ve purchased a raw version or a gelatinized version of the maca, and/or how your matcha is ground.
How about putting either maca or matcha in either yogurt, or say a bowl of cereal. And adding it to say a cup of green tea seems to be okay for both, is that true?
Yogurt is one of my favourite ways to incorporate maca and matcha. Cereal is a little tougher – I’d say hot cereals yes, cold cereals might get a bit clumpy. In tea is good, too, particularly for the matcha. Maca is better blended into things. Hope that helps!
Are there any contraindications to either of these superfoods? Such as kidney disease or cardiovascular disease?
Neither has specific contraindications for occasional use, but you should always check with your doctor before adding anything as a regular supplement to your diet. Because matcha has caffeine, it will stimulate urination, which might have an affect on the kidneys, but if you’re allowed coffee in your diet, matcha shouldn’t be a problem. Maca works primarily on your adrenal glands, which are attached to the kidneys, so it would be advisable to talk with your doctor on that one.
I have heard to avoid maca if a person is avoiding things like soy because of breast cancer history. Is that true?
I hadn’t heard that, so thanks for asking! I looked into it and, because it can boost estrogen production, it’s not a good choice for people with estrogen-sensitive conditions: breast, uterine, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, uterine fibroids. Thanks for checking!