Your skin will thank you later.
Matcha has been around a long time — since the late 12th century in Japan, where people have been preparing and sipping the frothy tea drink ever since. Among matcha’s earthy flavour, there have been many health benefits linked to it. Collagen, which is the main structural protein in various connective tissues in the body, also shows positive signs of increasing skin elasticity and hydration when it is externally added to drinks or food.
What is matcha?
Matcha is finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea leaves, traditionally consumed in East Asia. Like green tea, matcha comes from the Camellia sinensis plant. However, it’s grown differently and has a unique nutrient profile.
Farmers grow matcha by covering their tea plants 20–30 days before harvest to avoid direct sunlight. This increases chlorophyll production, boosts the amino acid content, and gives the plant a darker green hue.
Once the tea leaves are harvested, the stems and veins are removed and the leaves are ground up into a fine powder known as matcha.
What are the benefits?
- Antioxidants: Matcha, like other green teas, contains a class of antioxidants called catechins. Matcha is high in a catechin called EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), which is believed to have cancer-fighting effects on the body.
- Disease-fighting properties: Studies have linked green tea to a variety of health benefits, like helping to prevent heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer.
- Weight loss: Green tea is well known for its ability to enhance weight loss. In fact, studies show that it may help speed up metabolism to increase energy expenditure and boost fat burning.
What is collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body, accounting for about a third of its protein composition. It’s one of the major building blocks of bones, skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Collagen is also found in many other body parts, including blood vessels, corneas, and teeth. You can think of it as the “glue” that holds all these things together.
At the age of 21, our bodies slowly stop naturally producing collagen, which in turn induces some effects of aging. Consuming a collagen supplement has been linked to significantly reversing the aging process.
What are the benefits?
- Supports healthy brain function.
- Promotes heart health.
- Supports healthy gut function.
- Eases joint and knee pain.
- Supports your back.
- Promotes healthy skin.
- Helps repair broken, brittle nails.
One of the main reasons why I wanted to start taking a collagen supplement was due to the fact that I have dry skin and wanted to see if collagen would improve my skin hydration. Peer-reviewed studies have shown that to truly see the effects of collagen, you would need to consume the supplement daily for 12 weeks. I’ve been taking this supplement daily for 2 weeks now so it is too early to see the results, but I’ll be sure to post a follow-up review when week 12 arrives.
There are different types of collagen that come from different animals. I decided to go with Fish Hydrolyzed Collagen because it beats other collagens in both bioavailability and absorption thanks to it having the smallest particle size and lowest molecular weight out of all other collagen types. Fish hydrolyzed collagen consists of smaller peptides (pieces of protein) than other sources and is consequently 1.5 times more easily digested, absorbed and distributed throughout the body
The recipe below is quick and easy to incorporate into your daily routine:
- Woolworths Instant Vanilla Matcha Sachet
- The Real Thing Fish Hydrolyzed Collagen Powder
- Boil water.
- Empty a sachet of Woolworths Instant Vanilla Matcha into a cup.
- Add 1 tablespoon of The Real Thing Fish Hydrolyzed Collagen Powder.
- Add boiling water to fill the cup.
- Stir and enjoy.
Matcha: It’s important to note that much of this research isn’t from clinical trials that show green tea causes a benefit. Instead, it’s largely from population-based studies, where researchers look at groups of people who drink green tea and compare their health outcomes to groups that don’t drink it.
Collagen: A peer-reviewed study conducted in late 2019, showed promising results in improving skin hydration and skin elasticity when a collagen supplement was consumed for 12 weeks. The study was randomized, placebo-controlled, and single-blind designed. The results of the study showed that there was a 41% improvement in skin roughness and a significant increase in skin elasticity in the non-placebo group. These results look positive for the future of collagen supplements but more studies need to be conducted to truly understand the benefits. You can find the peer-reviewed collagen study here.