Those of you familiar with the word “teetotaling” might see images of angry Victorian women marching around with signs that say, “ Lips That Touch Liquor Shall Not Touch Ours.” This term emerged from the Temperance movement in the early 19th century and refers to folks who completely abstain from all alcoholic beverages.
I like to entertain the idea that “teetotaling” may suggest the replacement of alcohol with tea. Or at least I'm going to pretend that it does, because good matcha -- with its health-optimizing and energy-uplifting effects -- can make such a delightful alternative to alcohol for modern day abstainers.
I am no teetotaler, but I do prefer to not drink alcohol most of the time. It took many years to come to the realization that booze just doesn’t make me feel good. I struggled with headaches after drinking alcohol and often felt pathetically hung over after only one drink the night before. I took these as signs that my body just doesn’t really want or like alcohol very much.
In this liquor-less life stage, I have searched high and low for suitable sipping alternatives. My findings: alcohol-free beer is almost always terrible, soda or any “virgin” drink with corn syrup is out of the question for a health-nut like myself, and water works -- and bubbly water works even better --but water is, well, pretty boring, and it doesn't really enhance the taste of food, either.
I usually ended up going home earlier than I would have liked from bar gatherings or alcohol-centered events. I lost socializing steam and hit a wall of fatigue, while everyone else was liquored up and continuing to party. This was until I combined my love for tea with my desire to connect with people, which revolutionized my nightlife. Drinking matcha at parties has given me more than a needed energy uplift for special occasions. The powdered green tea also totes an attractive list of other health benefits that enliven my evening and improve my people skills.
You don’t have to swear off alcohol forever to need a break from booze once in a while. Here is a list of some ways matcha can serve your social life:
- Matcha can enhance your brain function by reducing excessive antioxidant stress, and even boost your blood vessel health. It will help you be "on" to spice-up a conversation with a perfectly timed witty response, or maybe help you pull out one of those Jeopardy answers you didn’t think was still floating around your brain.
- Drinking matcha can help improve your memory. Avoid embarrassment from not being able to remember your co-worker’s name with a little green tea boost. No more black-out booze filled nights; heighten your ability to recall every special detail of your evening’s festivities.
- Reduce your social anxiety and party stress with a frothy mug of green. Matcha contains l-theanine, an amino acid known for its calming effects. Enjoy a coldbrewed matcha and a few deep breaths to face your ex at a friend’s dinner party.
- Increase your energy -- without the jitters or crash of an energy drink -- at a concert or other social event. Matcha has about 25mg of caffeine per cup (compared to a cup of brewed Starbucks coffee, which has about 150mg), which works synergistically with the l-theanine, resulting in a state of calm alertness. It is perfect for feeling embodied and dancing the night away. Increase your bliss with a warm or cold cup of matcha at a mellow jazz club or classical concert.
- Upgrade your mood with l-theanine, which can activate your brain’s alpha waves. Alpha waves are usually engaged when you are practicing mindfulness or meditating. Sensory information is softened and your mind is clear. Wonderful for working on cognitive-heavy tasks like writing, studying, or brain-storming.
- Matcha is a potent anti-inflammatory beverage with its phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. While alcohol exacerbates inflammation and oxidative stress in the body, matcha gives your body the building blocks it needs to be healthy and perform at your best. Since you are consuming the green tea leaves themselves you are getting roughly 20 times more antioxidants and nutrient profile of regular green tea, and more antioxidants than blueberries, pomegranates, broccoli, dark chocolate, and goji berries COMBINED. Who said you can’t have fun while fighting chronic inflammation?
- Drinking matcha can help your body burn more calories.This green tea can increase your daily energy expenditure from the normal 8%-10% to between 35% and 43. Skip alcohol’s empty calorie load and start burning more calories while you socialize.
Make warm frothy cups of hyperpremium matcha to share at your dinner party, either with appetizers or during the dessert course after dinner. You can show off your master skills making matcha for your friends.
Going out to socialize? Bring a few to-go packets of coldbrew matcha shake up a beautiful and tasty drink just about anywhere. For convenience and style bring a coldbrew bottle exhibiting your healthful green beverage to have fun at any function.
While 19th century teetotaling women would likely not touch my lips (or those of most of my imbibing friends), modern day abstainers may give folks sporting a frothy matcha mustache a come-hither look, knowing they are healthfully enjoying themselves.
By Lila Volkas