What is Yerba Mate
Yerba Mate tea is a widely consumed herbal tea beverage in southern Latin American countries like south Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay.
This tea is gaining popularity in the world markets, including the USA.
It is made from an infusion of the dried leaves of Ilex paraguariensis.
In Latin America, Mate is often drunk out of a dried gourd using a metal straw called "bombilla."
In the USA, however, Mate is packed in tea bags.
Yerba Mate is rich in vitamins, amino acids, and polyphenols.
It has many health benefits, including its ability to improve cardiovascular health and counter the health effects of obesity.
Yerba Mate Benefits
Yerba Mate naturally provides lasting physical and mental energy.
It raises metabolism, elevates mood, and reduces fatigue.
Here are some of its benefits.
1 - It Boosts Mental Functions
The brain-enhancing benefits of caffeine are commonly known, and Yerba Mate contains a moderate amount of it.
Caffeine enhances memory, alertness, and mood. It also stimulates the production of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which contributes to a higher level of motivation and productivity. (1)
But Yerba Mate contains two related compounds besides caffeine. They're theobromine and theophylline. These three alkaloids work together to provide stimulant effects as they do in coffee and chocolate. (2)
The catch is that while Yerba Mate has caffeine, it is non-addictive and doesn't cause a crash, which makes it a better choice than other caffeinated beverages.
2 - It Boosts Overall Energy
Yerba Mate delivers the most balanced energy boost compared to other commonly used stimulants in the world like coffee and tea.
It provides a state of alert wakefulness similar to coffee, but without coffee's side effects.
Yerba Mate is useful for those who suffer from mental or physical fatigue, or chronic fatigue syndrome.
Athletes use it to enhance physical performance. (3)
3 – It Enhances Physical Performance
Yerba Mate increases the body's reliance on fat for fuel during exercise.
Early research shows that one dose of Yerba Mate before exercise might improve mood after exercising, and reduce hunger before it. (4)
Those who were given a one-gram capsule of ground Yerba Mate right before exercise burned 24% more fat during the training. (5)
All this proves that Yerba Mate improves muscle contractions and reduce fatigue, the thing that contributes to better physical performance.
4 – Antioxidant Capacity
Yerba Mate is an antioxidant powerhouse that contains many beneficial nutrients.
It has been found that the consumption of Mate tea significantly contributes to overall antioxidant intake and provides high amounts of caffeoylquinic acid derivatives, with biological effects potentially beneficial for human health. (6)
Recent studies have shown that nitrosative stress causes protein nitration, DNA damage, and cell death. Mate tea was able to prevent 95% of protein nitration, which is higher than both green tea and wine. (7)
5 – Weight Management and Obesity
Yerba Mate raises metabolism as it is a thermogenic herb. Thermogenic means that it actually induces your body to burn calories stored as body fat. (8)
In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, Mate was given in a supplement form. This study's results showed that those taking the supplement had reduced body fat and change in body composition indexes. (9)
Yerba Mate also suppresses appetite, which makes it a natural way to cut your cravings for sugar.
6 – Higher Bone Density
Drinking Yerba Mate tea every day might reduce the rate of bone loss in postmenopausal women.
A study compared women who drank one liter of Yerba Mate daily for four years to those who did not. Researchers found that women who drank Yerba Mate had less bone loss in their spine and neck. (10)
These results contribute to a lower risk of osteoporosis and fractures.
Safety and Side Effects
Yerba Mate is safe as long as you drink it occasionally.
Pregnant women should limit Mate intake to three cups daily because it might increase the risk of miscarriage and low birth weight.
Yerba Mate has been consumed for centuries, but it has only been scientifically studied in the last two decades.
The research has shown extraordinary possibilities as a consumer beverage with numerous promising benefits.
And on top of that, it's also delicious!