Are you looking to find a natural pick me up or an alternative to coffee? Yerba mate might just be the right answer. 

We have all been in the position of needing some extra energy to make it through our busy days, but caffeine is sometimes too strong or has the effect of making us too nervous.

Luckily, there are a few valid alternatives to your usual espresso that can help you just as well. While tea is arguably the most common provider of caffeine to anybody that is not a coffee lover, Yerba Mate is a natural, healthier, and tastier alternative. 

Let's have a look at where this drink comes from, what it tastes like, its benefits and effects, and the risks it might have.

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Let’s Discover Yerba Mate: An Overview

Where Does Yerba Mate Come From?

Yerba Mate is an herb typical of South America, in particular in Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Brazil. It is naturally rich in caffeine and, if prepared properly, it can be a valid alternative to coffee. 

This plant belongs to the holly genus and is characterized by evergreen leaves, small fruit berries, and green-white flowers. 

This herb has only recently become increasingly popular in our countries, but it has been used as a local drink for decades in South America, due to its unique properties. 

What Is Yerba Mate Nutritional Values?

Not only Yerba Mate is delicious, but it is also full of incredible nutrients that can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle! Each cup of this drink contains 85mg of caffeine, which is a similar quantity to the one that can be found in a cup of tea or coffee. 

However, unlike them, it is packed with essential minerals and compounds. A research conducted by experts at the School of Public Health of Sao Paulo shows that the herb contains many vitamins such as vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, C, and E. 

Alongside them, while enjoying your cup of Yerba Mate, you will be stocking up on iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, and selenium. 

If this sounds already incredible to you, wait to hear that Yerba Mate only has 2.4 calories per cup, and it is fat-free. It makes it an excellent drink for anybody on a healthy diet or the perfect introduction to a nutritional plan designed to lose weight. 

If you are following a hypocaloric diet, this is the ideal drink to pick up some energy without having to worry about consuming extra calories.

What Does It Taste Like?

Yerba mate has a unique flavor that has been described in many different ways. To give you an overview of what to expect from this drink, picture a combination of the strength of coffee, the health benefits produced by green tea, and the deliciousness of chocolate.

The leaves of Yerba Mate are, in fact, processed to produce a tea-like beverage. However, the ultimate product has a thicker consistency, which results in filling and satisfying. 

You will be able to recognize the slight eucalyptus smell and the bitter taste of this drink. While general instructions can be found on the internet, to prepare a Yerba Mate drink that fits your taste, the best thing to do is to try and make it yourself!

Benefits and Effects of Yerba Mate

The effects on your general health and benefits for your wellbeing of Yerba Mate has been proven by several studies, such as the ones conducted by Doctors Ahmad Alkhatib and Roisin Atcheson. Let’s have a look at what you should expect!

1. Improve Your Mental Functions with A Cup of Yerba Mate

Due to the caffeine levels in this drink and the number of compounds and vitamins contained in it, this drink is highly recommended if you are looking at finding a natural pick-me-up. Especially whether you might face a continuous mental effort, Yerba Mate can represent a natural help.

Yerba Mate is also unique for the way the energy is released into our bodies. Unlike coffee and black tea, the caffeine is slowly absorbed and provides a slower but steadier energy lift. 

It is great to avoid the peak and drops often caused by a cup of coffee. It happens due to the unique combination of caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline contained in the herb.

2. Introduce This Delicious Drink in Your Hypocaloric Diet to Lose Weight Faster

Yerba mate is filled with over 80mg of caffeine, but it only has 2.4 calories per cup, and it is fat-free. It makes it the perfect drink to be introduced in your diet if you are looking to lose weight. 

Moreover, if your low-calorie, low-fat diet requires constant physical exercise, it might be difficult for you to gather enough energy to lift a little extra weight. However, one of the superpowers we love the most of this herb is the one studied by Doctor Bertil B. Fredholm.

Similarly, to other caffeine-based drinks, Yerba Mate has been seen to be able to help to boost physical performance. So not only you will be drinking a totally healthy drink, but you will also be able to run further and burn those extra calories!

3.Drink Yerba Mate to Improve Your Digestive System

Yerba Mate has been seen by Doctor Monika Kujawskato to be extremely helpful in easing the process of digestion and improve the overall health of your digestive system. Essential compounds contained by this herb, such as xanthines, can, in fact, act as muscle relaxers and help you fight constipation and bloating.

Moreover, the unique action of this herb can be used as a detoxing system. Consuming Yerba mate regularly can help you clean your colon and digestive tract and noticeably reduce any belly fat in excess.

4. Use Yerba Mate to Maintain Your Bones’ Health

If you are a coffee or tea lover, you might have been advised against a large consumption of these drinks as the caffeine in them can reduce bone density and the number of minerals present in them.

However, the high amount of vitamins and essential minerals contained by the yerba mate can balance this, providing not only a physical boost but also protecting your bones against potential future diseases such as osteoporosis.

Moreover, the improved physical strength and energy offered to you by this drink will allow you to strengthen your muscles, providing extra support to your bones and skeleton.

5. Reduce the Effects of Fatigue with A Cup of Yerba Mate in The Morning

Feeling tired after having not slept well or halfway through a particularly hard week is completely normal, especially given the fast-paced lifestyle, most of us are living. 

However, the caffeine rush produced by a cup of coffee does not necessarily have to be the only solution for you to fight mental fatigue and make the best of your day. 

Doctor Mark Moyad, in fact, recommends taking yerba mate regularly as a natural supplement that can help you regain the mental strength you need throughout the day. 

Unlike coffee, you won’t experience the frustrating rush and drop of caffeine, but you will be energized for longer.

6. Yerba Mate Can Help You Against Infections

While antibiotics are today the most popular response against common infections, it is also important to remember that prevention is better than cure. 

Yerba Mate, with many compounds contained in each cup, can offer you effective protection against infection, bacteria, and fungi.  

As proven by a study conducted by the doctors of the Department of Food Science and Technology at the University of Tennessee, regular consumption of yerba mate can help fight diarrhea, dandruff, and some skin rashes. 

The antimicrobial action of the yerba mate can represent a natural solution to many everyday problems otherwise treated with more chemical products.

7. Try This Drink to Reduce Inflammation

As research conducted by experts at the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Illinois proves, the compounds present in the yerba mate have great anti-inflammatory properties. 

In fact, this powerful herb is rich in essential antioxidants such as vitamin C and polyphenols, which reduce inflammation by fighting the responsible for this condition in our bodies, free radicals.

Yerba mate's properties have made it today one of the principal competitors to green tea, and the B vitamins, zinc, potassium, vitamin C, and manganese make it one of the most powerful antioxidant ingredients on the market.

8. Yerba Mate Is Helpful to Lower Blood Sugar Levels

Yerba Mate has been studied for many years for its anti-obesity and anti-diabetic actions. In fact, due to its ability to lower blood sugar levels, this drink can today be consumed safely by diabetics. 

It can help people affected by obesity to treat this condition, as a study by the Animal Laboratory research has proven.

A recent study conducted on animals has confirmed that Yerba mate can help insulin signaling and reduce the complications caused by diabetes. In fact, this herb can help to control the sugar levels in the blood, control hunger, and improve physical performance.

9. Let Yerba Mate Improves Your Mood and Increases Energy Levels!

Aside from being able to boost your energy and make you feel strong, yerba mate provides one action that many other drinks containing caffeine don't. 

In fact, this drink can positively lift your mood, which, combined with improved mental functions and ability to focus, can help you make it through the most stressful days!

Yerba mate is also the favorite energizer among yogis as it provides the energy needed to practice but more calmly and gradually than coffee. 

10. Drink Up Your Yerba Mate Beverage to Improve Your Cardiovascular System

As we have seen, Yerba Mate presents unique anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These can help you fight free radicals, which are responsible for damaging your cells. 

Regular consumption of yerba mate can, in fact, repair the cell damage created by the free radicals and improve the look of your skin and the wellbeing of your cardiovascular health.

Moreover, this herb can help in lowering cholesterol levels in our blood and improving circulation, which can assist you in preventing serious cardiovascular diseases that can develop from following an unhealthy diet.

Risks of Yerba Mate

While yerba mate presents excellent health benefits and it is one of the only natural energizers and stimulant on the market that can also improve your general wellbeing, regular consumption of this drink has been associated with some risk factors.

Side Effects

Some side effects have been seen in Yerba Mate users that consume a high number of this hot beverage per day. In fact, consumption of over 1-2 liters per day of Yerba Mate has been associated with increased anxiety, irregular heartbeat, agitation, and ringing ears. 

Moreover, some consumers that were drinking such doses of Yerba mate have reported intense headaches. 

A consumption of Yerba Mate of over 1 L per day has been seen to be associated with a higher risk of esophageal, kidney, stomach, bladder, cervical, prostate, lung cancer, and possibly laryngeal or mouth cancer. 

Who Can Drink Yerba Mate?

Yerba mate, when consumed in moderation, can be drunk by anybody. However, prolonged and consumed is not recommended. 

In users that are also alcohol drinkers or smokers, this risk is even higher. The consumption of Yerba Mate by pregnant or breastfeeding women is not suggested, as stimulants should not be consumed during pregnancy.

Conclusion

Once you have decided how you like to drink yerba mate, you will fall in love with this drink. We find it great to be served cold during summer or as a winter warmer during the cold season. 

Moreover, if you prefer to buy a ready-to-drink beverage, Yerba mate can be found in energy drinks and iced tea in markets. What is your favorite way to savor this beverage? 

Have you noticed any of the improvements and benefits of Yerba Mate that have been studied by researchers? Let us know what you think about this herb by leaving a comment below!

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