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Matcha vs Maca Root Powder: Comparison

Published: July 20, 2018

Matcha or Maca

Matcha and maca powder may sound alike, but they are in fact quite different. Maca powder is made from the root of the maca plant, which is a member of the Brassica family of plants and is therefore related to broccoli, kale, cauliflower and cabbage. Matcha powder, by contrast, is a highly-prized green tea powder made from shade-grown tea leaves. Below, we provide a head-to-head comparison of matcha versus maca powder, so you can decide which one of these superfood powders is better for your purposes.

Appearance and Taste

Made from dried, chlorophyll-rich leaves of the tea plant, matcha powder has a vibrant green color, whereas maca powder, which is made from a root vegetable, is beige. As far as flavor goes, matcha powder has a vegetal, somewhat bitter taste, with a slightly sweet aftertaste. The flavor of maca powder, by contrast, can be described as earthy, with a nutty butterscotch undertone. Red maca powder, which is made from red-skinned maca roots, is the mildest and sweetest tasting type of maca powder.

Energy-Boosting Qualities

Like all other types of green tea, matcha contains caffeine which can contribute to its much-touted energy-boosting properties. Maca powder, on the other hand, is caffeine-free. That, however, does not mean it has no energy-boosting qualities. In fact, maca has a long history of use as a natural energy booster in some parts of South America, and a study published in the August 2016 issue of the journal Pharmaceuticals found that consumption of black or red maca for 12 weeks increased self-perception of energy in people living in Lima, the capital of Peru. So, if you are looking for a natural, caffeine-free energy booster, it might be worth incorporating some maca (or moringa) into your diet (moringa is another caffeine-free superfood powder that has been touted as a natural energy booster).

Health Benefits

Matcha powder is packed with nutrients and phytochemicals like chlorophyll, the amino acid l-theanine, and catechins. All of these compounds may contribute to the potential health benefits of matcha which include stress relief, protection of pre-mature aging, and a reduced risk of developing some types of cancer. Also maca is rich in nutrients and phytochemicals that have health-giving properties. For example, maca is packed with hair health promoting nutrients such as calcium, zinc, copper, iron and B vitamins, and there is some evidence suggesting that maca may help boost fertility.

Culinary Uses

Mixing it with hot water to create a beautiful green beverage may be the most common way to use matcha powder, but the uses for matcha do not end there. This green superfood powder can be whipped into lattes, mixed into breakfast porridge, or blended into smoothies and pureed soups. So, matcha powder is clearly a versatile ingredient – but so is maca! Popular ways to use maca powder include mixing it into smoothies, adding it to energy bar recipes, blending it into pureed soups, and using it to boost the nutritional profile of salad dressings and sauces.

Buying Matcha or Maca

Maca powder tends to come with a relatively high price tag. However, if you compare the price per ounce of maca against other superfood powders such as matcha or moringa powder, you will notice that maca powder is generally significantly cheaper, unless you go for black maca which is the most expensive type of maca. Now, whether you are looking to buy matcha or maca powder, it may be worth checking out the selection of superfood powders on Amazon. If you don't know which brands to go for, here are affiliate links to two products that have received great reviews from Amazon users: