The other morning while I was waiting for the alarm to go off and the fateful moment I’d have to drag myself out of bed and into the working world, a strange thing happened. The names and faces of girls I’d known in college started popping into my head. (I didn’t “know” them in a biblical sense, I hasten to add.)
I thought of women I hadn’t remembered in years. Even those I only casually knew. There was Donna and Debbie and Nancy and Vera and Marybeth — I didn’t want to remember her — along with Joyce and Jennifer. It was a miracle.
This was quite astonishing because I’m a guy who can walk into a room and not remember I went to get a Q-Tip … until I walk out again and in again, at which point I realize we’re out of Q-Tips.
Was this the beginning of a new stage in life? I was so excited by my rejuvenated mental capabilities that I tried to recite the Gettysburg Address, but only got out three sentences … although I could recite four couplets of Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If.” I even remembered the name of the girl group that sang “Da Doo Ron Ron” in the 1960s — along with the lyrics, which were pretty much “Da doo ron ron.”
What produced such turbocharged mind power? I hadn’t done any of the brain exercises you hear advertised on Pandora radio or played games on my office computer that are supposed to stave off dementia.
Then, I realized … it must be the matcha. For those of you whose beverage of choice is Red Bull or Black Bull or any other artificial drink like Diet Coke or Mountain Dew, let me explain.
Matcha is stone-ground green tea leaves, which Zen monks drink to get their meditative powers churning so they stay calm yet alert. Samurai warriors would chugalug matcha before going into battle, and Victoria’s Secret models sip it before stepping onto the runway in their underwear. The Kardashians, themselves, are known to have matcha keg parties.
Matcha has 140 times more antioxidants than brewed green tea, and one cup packs more nutritional value than 10 cups of tea. Enthusiasts say it boosts your metabolism, helps burn calories, detoxifies, calms your mind, aids concentration, prevents disease and lowers cholesterol. (It can also lower your mortgage rate.) They say it even prevents aging and chronic diseases. That’s almost as many promises as my broker makes when he has a new investment idea for me. I personally drink matcha because I want to live to be 100 along with Larry King.
Matcha is particularly popular in New York, where Victoria’s Secret models frequent a place called Cha Cha Matcha, and as I often tell my wife, “If it’s good enough for Victoria’s Secret models, it’s good enough for me!” My daughters, however, accuse me of being a poser and insist that next week I’ll be following some other nutritional fad like body building protein drinks or beet juice.In my quest to find the best matcha in the city, I walked down to 39th Street to a traditional Japanese tea bar and had a cup of supercharged matcha that almost made my body go into orbit. My mind was so focused I felt like Mr. Spock and thought I could make contact with alien life forms.
When I got back to work, I was wired yet calm and in control. I didn’t know whether I was a Zen monk, a samurai warrior or Mick Jagger. I asked the boss if I could work overtime for the next 48 hours.
I’ll bet President Trump drinks matcha, which is why he’s up all night tweeting, not to mention the entire cast, living and dead, of Game of Thrones. If you want a career in politics or Hollywood, matcha is for you.
It’s never too late to get your brain functioning at peak performance. Remembering the names of those girls is a sign of good things to come, even though I remembered the name of a cheerleader who wouldn’t go to a college mixer with me, which was something I wanted to forget. But as they say, you have to take the good with the bad. Bottoms up.