If you’ve perused TikTok recently, there’s a good chance you’ve come across a video suggesting that matcha can lead to infertility. Take, for example, the trend of women recording themselves drinking matcha lattes alongside text saying that they heard matcha can cause infertility. These videos are all in good fun, a way for creators to tell their audiences they are actively avoiding pregnancy in a tongue-in-cheek way.

But, as always, we need to be careful of the kind of information we create and consume online. As we all know by now, social media can be a major vehicle for misinformation — and the effects of that can be dangerous. 

So let's get into the facts. Is the idea that matcha can affect fertility just another Internet myth…or is there some truth to this? We enlisted McKenzie Caldwell, MPH, RDN, a fertility & prenatal dietitian, to break down the facts.

woman drinking matcha with heart-shaped foam

Is there any truth to the idea that matcha can affect fertility?

In short? Matcha isn’t inherently harmful to fertility — but moderation is key.

“There is no evidence that matcha can cause infertility when consumed in moderation,” says Caldwell.

However, matcha does have caffeine, and that’s something worth considering.

“Hypothetically, excessive matcha, tea, or coffee consumption could pose an increased risk of miscarriage due to the caffeine content,” says Caldwell. “In addition, the tannins in coffee and tea can decrease iron absorption, which may affect fertility for those already prone to iron deficiency anemia. Again, this is only an issue for those drinking excessive amounts of matcha daily.”

So what’s behind this Internet rumor?

When you think about the nature of how misinformation spreads on social media, is it any wonder this rumor is taking off?

“Matcha is growing in popularity in the US, and unfortunately, fear mongering around health-related topics gets a lot of attention online,” says Caldwell. “It's easier for an influencer to get likes and clicks through a drastic and untrue hook than it is for them to share actually helpful and educational content.”

Matcha has some very real benefits

If you’re a matcha fan, don’t let this Internet myth sway you away from it. In reality, matcha packs some science-backed health benefits.

“Matcha is high in antioxidants, which can help fight inflammation for folks with conditions like endometriosis or PCOS,” says Caldwell. “Matcha is also lower in caffeine than coffee, which can make it a great alternative for those looking to moderate their caffeine intake.”

If coffee’s higher caffeine content makes you feel anxious or restless, matcha may be a great alternative, as it also contains a compound called l-theanine. This can have a calming effect, which may balance out the "jitters" coffee can cause, according to Caldwell.

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Ironically, matcha may even have benefits linked to conditions that can affect fertility

“Matcha could potentially improve fertility for folks with an inflammatory condition like endometriosis or PCOS,” says Caldwell. “This is because the antioxidants in green tea may help fight inflammation, which preliminary research shows could improve insulin resistance and reduce the growth of endometriomas.”

It’s important to note, of course, that matcha is not a treatment for PCOS or endometriosis. 

Matcha — like most things — should be enjoyed in moderation

“It is absolutely possible to drink too much matcha,” says Caldwell — this is especially true for people who are trying to conceive.

There’s no set “right” amount for someone to consume, and the answer really comes down to each person’s caffeine tolerance. 

But, for context: “One teaspoon of matcha powder (the amount needed for the average matcha drink) contains about 70 mg of caffeine,” says Caldwell, citing the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’s recommendation that pregnant people should consume less than 200 mg of caffeine a day.

Matcha is a lower-caffeine option when compared to coffee (which contains about 115-175 mg of caffeine per cup), but the caffeine content is still significant. 

“I recommend that my matcha-loving clients stick to a max of 2 matcha drinks per day while trying to conceive or pregnant,” adds Caldwell.

Are there any other risks associated with drinking excessive amounts of matcha?

Even if you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant, you’ll want to keep your matcha consumption to a moderate amount, as there are risks associated with drinking it in excess.

woman drinking matcha in a hand-thrown ceramic mug

“The risks of drinking too much matcha would include the side effects associated with excessive caffeine consumption like heart palpitations, difficulty sleeping, high blood pressure, and increased risk of miscarriage. In addition, too much matcha consumption may inhibit iron absorption, which could lead to iron-deficiency anemia,” says Caldwell.

The bottom line? If you like matcha, drink up!

On the other hand, if you're not a fan? That’s fine too! There’s nothing about matcha that’s inherently harmful to fertility, but there’s also nothing miraculous about the stuff either.

“I love matcha,” says Caldwell. “It can be a fabulous addition to a well-rounded eating pattern when consumed in moderation. Consumers may wish to be mindful of added sugar when consuming matcha, so I always recommend choosing a matcha that is not pre-sweetened and then adding your own flavoring or sweetener to the level you enjoy. I love my matcha with agave or a pump of vanilla syrup.”

Zara Hanawalt is a freelance journalist and mom of twins. She's written for outlets like Parents, MarieClaire, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Motherly, and many others. In her (admittedly limited!) free time, she enjoys cooking, reading, trying new restaurants, and traveling with her family.