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The 36 Hour Matcha Fast

By Eric Gower Oct 17, 2017

The 36 Hour Matcha Fast

We do strange things in our youth. I used to do lots of experiments with fasting, just to experience how the mind and body reacted to extended periods without food. Not even coffee or tea, just water. It wasn't fun.

Today, my personal experiments tend to go in the opposite direction: I try to pack my days with the most nutrient-dense foods available (cooked veggies made with lots of fresh ginger and fresh turmeric), tumblers of matcha throughout the day, salmon, kombu and nori, shellfish, sardines, blueberries ... all of the good stuff. The results are not only healthful, but maximally enjoyable, too.

And yet: I occasionally still get the urge to stop eating for a while. One fun thing I've been doing, once a month or so, is experimenting with matcha fasts. I've found that 36 hours is both ideal and pretty easy. I'll eat a full meal for dinner on Sunday eve, and then nothing but matcha until breakfast on Tuesday morning.

It's easier than it sounds: two eight-hour nights of sleep plus a full day of consuming nothing but matcha. That's it.

I can have as much as I want. I'll typically have a few tumblers of thick hyperpremium matcha (rotate through our entire lineup) upon waking, along with water, and three or four 16-ounce servings of coldbrew matcha throughout the day.

Don't you get hungry, you might ask? It's weird, but not really: matcha has a certain trigger with satiety: the more you consume, the less hungry you feel. Automatic behaviors of course kick in, and you auto-reach for the fridge door purely out of habit. It takes some mindfulness to notice auto-behaviors, but I figure it's only for a day. If nothing else, it jolts me out of my routine and I wind up feeling fantastic at the end.

It frees up HUGE amounts of time. Imagine no shopping, no meal prep, no eating, and no cleanup. You can gain at least three or even four hours of extra productivity on your fast day, and feel amazing while doing it.

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Of course, you should only attempt to fast if you are in excellent health. Even then, you might want to consult with your doctor before trying it.

Eric is the founder and chief matcha evangelist at Breakaway Matcha. He's also an author, ghostwriter, editor, cooking instructor, and private chef. For 16 years, he lived and worked in Japan, where he took deep dives into all things matcha, food, literature, arts, and culture. Eric is the author of three cookbooks: The Breakaway Cook, The breakaway Japanese Kitchen, and Eric's Kitchen. He lives and works in Marin County, CA.