You may not have heard a lot about Yerba Mate (that’s pronounced “mah tay”). I heard about it a few years ago while researching ingredients of a popular protein drink. And yet I learned that Yerba Mate is not a new discovery. In fact, native South Americans have used it at least since the early 1500’s.
Besides being a popular drink throughout South America, it is also considered an herbal medicine that is most often used as a stimulant to increase endurance, reduce fatigue, suppress hunger and help with digestion. Here in America, Yerba Mate is often marketed as an energy-boosting diet/detox tea. It is also an ingredient that you will find in many diet pills or tonics that you see on the market today.
As a tea, it can be served cold as a refreshing iced tea drink or it can be brewed strong and sipped hot. You can even add cream or milk for what I like to call my “Mate Latte”. Either way, drinking it as a tea hot or cold provides your body with many healthy antioxidants and a safe energy boost.
When I drink it I usually find I have more of a sustained energy boost than from coffee, without the crash or any of the jitters or stomach problems that I get after drinking coffee. Many people report that drinking Yerba Mate produces a general feeling of alertness, yet still able to fall asleep normally.
Yerba Mate is far less studied than its close cousin Green Tea, but some scientific research has been done and even published in recent years. Throughout these studies, it shows that it seems to stand head and shoulders above the benefits of Green Tea. It appears to have 196 active compounds whereas the active compounds found in Green tea is only 144.
Yerba Mate contains xanthines. Xanthines are chemicals that can boost your metabolic rate by up to 10% and is rich in pantothenic acid, which prevents over-stimulation of the nervous system. It has been found to be a powerful antioxidant and even an oral cancer fighter.
Other research confirms the polyphenol activity found in this tea, and it comes highly recommended as a general cleansing beverage. Several small studies have found it aids weight loss. Most research concludes the use of 500 to 1,500 mg daily of Yerba Mate in supplement form effective for weight loss. But scientists also say more research is needed.
Yerba Mate is for those who live a fast-paced life and for those of us that just need a little extra healthy boost of energy from time to time. Everyone could benefit from the antioxidant activity found in it, as well as the thermogenic benefits. Yerba Mate is not very expensive and can be found online or in most health food stores.