Effects of Daily Matcha and Caffeine Intake on Mild Acute Psychological Stress-Related Cognitive Function in Middle-Aged and Older Adults: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Study

Nutrients. 2021 May 17;13(5):1700. doi: 10.3390/nu13051700.


Matcha, a type of green tea, has a higher amino acid content than other types of tea. We previously examined the ability of matcha to improve cognitive function in older adults and determined that continuous matcha intake improves attention and executive function. This study aimed to compare the effects of matcha and caffeine and clarify the differences between these effects. The study was registered at the University Hospital Medical Information Network (UMIN000036578). The effect of single and continuous intake was compared, and the usefulness of continuous intake was evaluated under the stress condition. The Uchida-Kraepelin test (UKT) was used to induce mild acute stress, and the Cognitrax was used to evaluate cognitive function. A single dose of caffeine improved attentional function during or after stress loading. The reduced reaction time in the Cognitrax, observed following a single dose of matcha, was likely due to caffeine. The matcha group showed an increase in the amount of work after continuous intake, whereas the caffeine group only showed an increase in the amount of work for the UKT after a single dose. Ingesting matcha with caffeine improves both attention and work performance when suffering from psychological stress compared with caffeine alone.

Keywords: attention; caffeine; cognitive function; executive function; green tea; matcha; middle-aged and older adults; mild acute psychological stress; performance; randomized placebo-controlled trial.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Attention / drug effects
  • Caffeine / administration & dosage*
  • Cognition / drug effects*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drinking
  • Eating / psychology*
  • Executive Function / drug effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*
  • Tea* / chemistry


  • Tea
  • Caffeine