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  MUD\WTR’s Founder Paints With Matcha for Creativity and Mental Health
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MUD\WTR’s Founder Paints With Matcha for Creativity and Mental Health

Shane Heath uses matcha in a creative way, to raise mental health awareness

April M. Short
“You’re probably addicted to coffee, and I was too,” says Shane Heath, founder of MUD\WTR, as he places a blank canvas as tall as he is against a white wall. He whips up a mason jar full of seaweed-meets-forest green solution (MUD\WTR’s :rise Matcha blend and water) using his frother. He takes a sip, then proceeds to dip a paintbrush into the very same mixture, and coat the canvas with it.

So begins a video Heath created, with help from his company’s film team, to discuss not just MUD\WTR’s new matcha product, but also his quintessential reason for providing alternatives to stress-and-jitter-inducing coffee in the first place: the mental health epidemic.

“This is a brain, and we are living in a mental health epidemic,” Heaths’ voice narrates, while onscreen he sketches a white pastel brain over the matcha-green backdrop. Beneath the brian, he writes the words mind, thought and feeling. He circles feeling. Then he draws a line graph showing how anxiety, stress and depression are all on the rise. One in two people, he points out, will experience mental illness in their lifetime.

Heath continues to sketch as he narrates the story of how in 2015 he was addicted to coffee, and drinking way too much (he writes “4+” below a series of coffee cups he’s drawn on the canvas, to illustrate this).

“Caffeine is a drug, and with all drugs, dose matters,” he explains in the video. “Caffeine stimulates adrenaline, cortisol and stress, and it also blocks adenosine, tricking your mind into not feeling tired. Too much of it leaves you anxious and sleep-deprived. And that’s why we made [:rise] Matcha, to give you a choice over how you find energy.”

Raghu Kiran Appasani, MUD\WTR’s mental health advisor, integrative and addiction psychiatrist, and founder of The MINDS Foundation recently spoke with Fortune about the benefits of matcha related to mental and physical health. He explained in the article that the energy boost from matcha “is more sustained and less likely to cause jitters or crashes compared to coffee.”

Heath explains in the video that MUD\WTR’s matcha “isn’t like the matcha that you’ve been sipping on.” The blend is 100% organic and in addition to matcha—which is made from the crushed-up leaves of green tea plants—it contains a series of mushrooms and other spices. (Note: You can read more about "The Legendary History of Matcha" here.)

“It has 55 milligrams of caffeine along with naturally occurring L-theanine,” Heath notes in the video. L-theanine, an amino acid found primarily in green and black tea (and some mushrooms), promotes relaxation—so it can naturally balance the effects of caffeine and reduce the chance of jitters or sleep issues.

Now, the canvas is full of charts, graphs, coffee cups and molecular structures. Over the top, he begins to paint more dimensional, realistic-looking hands—and between them a 3D-looking image of the green tin can, in which MUD\WTR’s :rise Matcha blend is packaged.

“It tastes great, and it gives you just the right kind of energy for creativity,” Heath says, as he’s shown stepping out of the frame.


April M. Short is a journalist, editor, yoga teacher and feminine rites practitioner. She's helped co-found multiple psychedelics-focused media outlets and her writing is published in the San Francisco Chronicle, LA Yoga, In These Times and many others. Follow her yoga and ritual work on Instagram: @AprilClarkYoga. 


Read More: The Legendary History of Matcha

Read More: Do You Know What Matcha Actually Tastes Like?

Read More: 8 Health Benefits that Drinking Matcha Tea Has on Your Body and Brain

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