“it is difficult to find a plant in any area of the world equal to mate in nutritional value. It has almost all the vitamins necessary to sustain life.”Pasteur institute in the 1960s
Alright, you won’t survive by drinking Mate alone, but there is strong evidence to support its use as a health drink – It is packed with antioxidants and nutrients, aids mental focus and gives you loads of energy. The benefits of Mate were well-known to the indigenous Guaraní people who first consumed it. They used Mate to regain health after illness and to energise their bodies and souls.
The compounds in Yerba Mate which are thought to have beneficial properties include:
Vitamins: Mate contains a variety of vitamins, including A, B1, B2, C and E.
Minerals: Mate is a source of many minerals, such as Iron, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium and Manganese.
Antioxidants: Evidence suggests that Mate has a significantly higher antioxidant capacity than green tea. Antioxidants are a large group of compounds which have been linked to many different health benefits.
Xanthines: These act as stimulants. They include caffeine and theobromine, which are also found in tea, coffee and chocolate.
Amino Acids: It is thought that Mate contains 15 amino acids, which have a huge variety of roles in the human body.
Mental Focus and Energy
Mate tea contains around 85mg of caffeine per cup. That’s significantly less than coffee, but more than tea.
Many people report that Mate provides the energy boost of coffee but without the crash that often follows. It is unknown exactly why this may be, although it has been suggested that theobromine and theophylline may play a role.
Whatever the reason, most people find that drinking Mate keeps their mind alert, while allowing them to relax at the same time.
Fitness and Weight Loss
Mate may reduce your appetite and boost your metabolism. Both of these can lead to weight loss.
In a recent study on healthy men and women, one 1-gram tablet of Yerba Mate ingested right before exercise resulted in 24% more fat burned during moderate-intensity exercise.
For more information on the chemistry and health implication of Yerba Mate, we would encourage you to read this publication in the Journal of Food Science by Heck and De Mejia.