An intervention study on the effect of matcha tea, in drink and snack bar formats, on mood and cognitive performance

Christina Dietz, Matthijs Dekker, Betina Piqueras-Fiszman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Matcha tea is gaining popularity throughout the world in recent years and is frequently referred to as a mood-and-brain food. Previous research has demonstrated that three constituents present in matcha tea, l-theanine, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), and caffeine, affect mood and cognitive performance. However, to date there are no studies assessing the effect of matcha tea itself. The present study investigates these effects by means of a human intervention study administering matcha tea and a matcha containing product. Using a randomized, placebo-controlled, single-blind study, 23 consumers participated in four test sessions. In each session, participants consumed one of the four test products: matcha tea, matcha tea bar (each containing 4. g matcha tea powder), placebo tea, or placebo bar. The assessment was performed at baseline and 60. min post-treatment. The participants performed the Cognitive Drug Research (CDR) test battery. The mood state was measured by means of a Profile of Mood States (POMS). After consuming the matcha products compared to placebo versions, there were mainly significant improvements in tasks measuring basic attention abilities and psychomotor speed in response to stimuli over a defined period of time. In contrast to expectations, the effect was barely present in other tasks of the CDR test battery. The POMS results revealed no significant changes in mood. The influence of the food matrix was demonstrated by the fact that on most cognitive performance measures the drink format outperformed the bar format, particularly in tasks measuring speed of spatial working memory and delayed picture recognition. This study suggests that matcha tea consumed in a realistic dose can induce slight effects on speed of attention and episodic secondary memory to a low degree. Further studies are required to elucidate the influences of the food matrix.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-83
JournalFood Research International
Volume99
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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Keywords

  • Attention
  • Caffeine
  • EGCG
  • l-theanine
  • Matcha tea
  • Memory

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