Why Healthcare Workers Should Swap Out Coffee for Matcha

Junbi Daily Ceremonial Matcha in a matcha bowl (chawan) whisked with a traditional bamboo whisk

When we talk about healthy lifestyles and the importance of good habits like getting enough sleep, we often do so in the context of work and our daily productivity. The busier we are in our lives, the less sleep — much less quality sleep — we are bound to get. However, these discussions often overlook an important demographic of our society — doctors and healthcare workers. A study on physician burnout from the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine indicate that the intense work hours required from healthcare professionals often lead to sleep deprivation, thanks to night shifts, long hours, and high workload. In fact, one third of healthcare employees screened positive for at least one sleep disorder.

Working tirelessly also leaves healthcare professionals at a risk for burnout. According to notes from Maryville University on supporting healthcare workers, it's essential to keep our doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals healthy — given that the predicted shortage for registered nurses could reach more than a 500,000 nationwide by 2030, leaving a huge gap in patient care.

One of the things that healthcare workers rely on is enough coffee to help get them through the day. However, as with everything else, too much of anything can pose health risks. This is especially prone to happening with coffee, as constant doses of caffeine produces adrenaline, which leads to exhaustion and burnout. Today, we'll discuss why matcha drinks are the better source of caffeine for the body and the brain among healthcare workers:

Effects of caffeine

We mentioned that caffeine intake increases production of adrenaline, which many people — including healthcare workers — rely on to energize them through long hours of work. Unfortunately, high amounts of adrenaline can cause a steep decline associated with feelings of mental, physical, and emotional burnout.

On top of proven physical effects such as bowel stimulation and increased heart rate, caffeine may also impact the brain more than we think. Researchers from the University of Basel found that regular caffeine intake, while not negatively affecting sleep, can impact parts of the brain used for memory consolidation, affecting one's ability to access or process memories. Even now, more study on the relation between caffeine intake and changes in the brain remains to be done. As coffee is a popular beverage choice among working adults, it's important to stop and consider other sources of caffeine that are healthier and pose less risks.

Caffeine levels: matcha vs coffee

While they make look vastly different from each other, coffee and matcha drinks share one thing in common — both drinks contain caffeine. In a previous Junbi post on caffeine levels, we emphasized the universal love (and need) for caffeine, and proposed a healthier way of consuming it. While both coffee and matcha drinks contain caffeine, an ingredient called L-Theanine in matcha allows your body to absorb the caffeine gradually and in layers — across a 4-6 hours period — rather than all at once, as with coffee.

This means that the body won't produce adrenaline as fast, preventing the inevitable "crash" that usually comes later on. This makes matcha drinks the perfect option for healthcare workers who spend long hours working and may rely on caffeine to get through the night's shift.

Additional benefits of matcha

Matcha also contains high levels of antioxidants that help protect our liver by boosting natural cleansing functions in the organ. Remember the magic ingredient, L-Theanine? Apart from improving how our body takes in caffeine, it also induces relaxation while decreasing stress levels, making matcha drinks a perfect companion beverage for healthcare professionals in high-stress work environments.

On top of its health benefits, matcha is great because it mixes well with other ingredients, extending the menu beyond just matcha lattes. Don't believe us? Check out Junbi's collection of healthy and delicious matcha drinks today!

Written by Harper Michael for junbishop.com

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