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Spirulina and Matcha have a lot to offer and I’m a big fan of them both. But since they’re similar in many ways, it might be hard for some people to choose between them.
If that’s you, you’ve come to the right place.
I started this Supplement Comparison Series for that exact reason. In each article, I take 2 types of supplement and put them head-to-head on benefits, prices, side effects, my recommendations, and more to help you work out which one to use.
In this piece, we’ll take a look at Spirulina vs Matcha.
Here’s whether you should take Spirulina or Matcha:
If you want to reduce blood pressure, improve muscular endurance or increase your nutrient intake, you should take Spirulina. Whereas if you want to lose weight, improve your focus or increase your antioxidant intake, you should take Matcha.
What is Spirulina?
Spirulina is among the oldest life forms on Earth.
It’s a blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) that helped produce oxygen in the atmosphere of the Earth billions of years ago, which allowed the first forms of life to develop.
Today, many people use Spirulina for its impressive nutrient profile and its health promoting properties.
What is Matcha?
Matcha is a type of tea that comes from the same plant as your regular green tea.
(Known as Camellia sinensis.)
But what separates Matcha from everyday green tea is the way it’s grown.
When making Matcha, the tea leaves are hidden from sunlight for many days before they’re harvested.
This process boosts the levels of chlorophyll in the tea leaves, which gives Matcha it’s bright green look.
Benefits of Spirulina
Spirulina may help improve muscular endurance
Although it’s fairly unheard of in the fitness industry, Spirulina is a promising supplement for athletes and for improving endurance.
In one study, 16 students supplemented with daily Spirulina for 3 weeks.
During the study, they exercised on a treadmill before and after taking Spirulina.
The results showed that they could run for longer after taking Spirulina.
Another study of 9 males had them take either 6g of daily Spirulina or a placebo for 4 weeks.
Interestingly, the Spirulina users took longer to fatigue than the placebo users when exercising on a treadmill.
Spirulina may help against Anemia
There are various forms of anemia, but the most common one is caused by a reduction in hemoglobin.
When hemoglobin levels drop, you’ll likely feel tired and fatigued.
According to a study of 40 adults, Spirulina supplementation can help increase hemoglobin levels in anemia sufferers.
Spirulina may help reduce blood pressure
High blood pressure is thought to play a role in many serious diseases like strokes, kidney disease and heart attacks.
If high blood pressure worries you, then Spirulina may be of use.
A study of 36 adults had them take 4.5g of daily Spirulina for 6 weeks.
The results showed that the Spirulina lowered their blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
(To make the study reliable, the adults lived the same lifestyle and ate the same diet as before the study.)
Spirulina is rich in nutrients
Despite the importance of vitamin and minerals, many people aren’t consuming enough.
An easy way to get your vital nutrients is to supplement with Spirulina, as a tablespoon of dried Spirulina powder contains:
- Iron: 11% of the RDA
- Copper: 21% of the RDA
- Vitamin B1: 11% of the RDA
- Vitamin B2: 15% of the RDA
- Vitamin B3: 4% of the RDA
It also contains respectable amounts of manganese, magnesium, potassium, and other crucial nutrients.
Benefits of Matcha
Matcha may boost cognitive function
Lots of people drink Matcha for its nootropic effects.
In one study, 23 subjects took either 4g of Matcha in a bar, Matcha tea, a placebo bar, or placebo tea.
They then took part in various tasks to measure their mental performance.
Those in the Matcha groups had significant improvement in memory, attention, and reaction time compared to the placebo groups.
In another study, 12 elderly people who took 2g of daily green tea powder for 3 months had improved mental function.
Matcha may help protect your liver
Research suggests that Matcha may help protect your liver.
A study of 80 NAFLD patients investigated the effects of green tea extract on liver enzymes.
(High levels of liver enzymes are an indicator of liver damage.)
During the study, the patients took either 0.5g of green tea extract or a placebo every day for 90 days.
According to the results, the green tea extract significantly reduced the levels of liver enzymes.
Matcha may help with weight loss
Green tea extract is included in many fat burners and cutting supplements.
And for good reason too.
A study found that taking green tea extract during exercise can help boost fat oxidation by 17%.
Another study of 14 people showed that taking a Guarana and green tea mixture significantly increased calorie burning over 24 hours, compared to a placebo.
Matcha is rich in antioxidants
Free radical build-up can induce oxidative stress, which is thought to play a key role in aging and many serious diseases.
Antioxidants are powerful molecules which can help neutralise free radicals, resulting in less oxidative stress and a healthier you.
Matcha is loaded with natural plant compounds, known as catechins, which work as antioxidants.
The best thing about Matcha is that unlike regular green tea, you actually consume the leaf, meaning you consume more antioxidants.
In fact, one estimate suggests that Matcha contains 137x more catechins than other types of green tea!
Spirulina is normally sold as a powder or tablets.
Typical prices for these are:
- Tablets: $7 for 100
- Powder: $18 for 1 lb
Matcha is usually sold as a powder.
For 1 Oz of Matcha powder, you can expect to pay around 7 bucks.
Spirulina Side Effects
Although Spirulina is generally safe to supplement with, the following side effects have been reported in some instances:
- Muscle pain
- Allergic reactions
The following people SHOULD NOT supplement with Spirulina:
- Gout sufferers
- People with Kidney Stones
- Pregnant or nursing women
- People with a thyroid condition
- Those with Phenlyketonuria (PKU)
- People with an autoimmune disorder
- People allergic to seafood, seaweed or sea vegetables
Matcha Side Effects
Like Spirulina, Matcha is considered safe when taken in reasonable amounts.
But if you go a bit overboard, you may experience the following side effects due to the high caffeine content:
My Spirulina Recommendation: NOW Organic Spirulina Powder
A top-drawer organic Spirulina powder from a respected, world-renowned brand.
NOW Organic Spirulina Powder is the bee’s knees.
What I like about it
NOW are at the top of their game when it comes to creating epic supplements.
They’re GMP certified which means that their entire manufacturing process has been carefully watched for quality.
So with this in mind, you can easily see why they’re one of the most trusted supplements out there.
It’s good that the Spirulina is organic too, so you can take it without worrying about any nasty chemical pesticides.
As of writing, NOW only provide 4 lb tubs of Spirulina powder.
(Which is a heck of a lot, by the way.)
It would be cool if they sold it in smaller tubs for those wanting to just test the waters.
My Matcha Recommendation: Kiss Me Organics Matcha Powder
High-quality? You betcha.
Reasonably priced? Mhmm.
You’ll do well to find a better Matcha powder than Kiss Me Organics.
What I like about it
A quick peek at the reviews shows that this is an effective Matcha supplement that’s helped many people improve their health.
And as it’s organic, there are no dodgy chemicals to be wary of.
Just 100% pure Matcha goodness.
Thanks to its fairly cheap price, it’s perfect for those on a budget too.
Some people have mentioned that it tastes quite bitter.
But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. High-quality Matcha powder should taste bitter.
Spirulina vs Matcha: The Verdict
Well, thanks a bunch for staying to the end of this Spirulina vs Matcha breakdown with me.
Hopefully, you should have a solid idea of which of the 2 supplements you’re going to take, but if you’re still undecided, then here’s what I’d recommend:
You might prefer Spirulina if:
- You want lower blood pressure
- You want to boost your nutrient intake
- You want to increase your hemoglobin levels
- You want to increase your aerobic endurance
You might prefer Matcha if:
- You want to burn more fat
- You want to protect your liver
- You want to increase your antioxidant intake
- You want to enhance your mental performance
Hope this helped!
I’ve been in the fitness and strength training industry for nearly a decade. In that time, I’ve gained 30 pounds of muscle, written hundreds of articles, and reviewed dozens of fitness supplements. As for my educational background, I’m a currently studying for my Active IQ Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training.