Why You Should Think About Swapping Coffee For Yerba Mate
Yerba mate is on the rise. Yerba mate (pronounced: yer-bah mah-tay), also nicknamed Mate, is a long-time popular pick-me-up in South American places like Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. But, this brewed tea is a growing drink trend that is gaining popularity in the United States and is giving coffee’s morning energy staple crown a run for its money.
Yep, many coffee enthusiasts are skipping their daily cup of joe and turning to yerba mate for their morning pick-me-up instead.
Typically, mate is consumed as a loose-leaf tea, and drunk with water or milk either hot or cold - although the hot water shouldn’t be boiling; it should be simmered water at a temperature no higher than 70 to 80 degrees. You can also sometimes find mate in energy drinks and energy supplements due to its caffeine boost.
Yerba mate’s amazing health benefits and mood and energy-boosting perks make it one of the best alternatives to coffee you'll ever find. There are a plethora of vitamins, minerals, and polyphenols that are found in the beloved and well-known health power-house green tea that is also found in yerba mate. It even contains similar levels of caffeine as green tea and nearly as much as coffee.
Basically, yerba mate has the energy enhancement of coffee and the super food capabilities of green tea, it's no wonder that yerba mate is such a massive trend.
If you're not familiar with yerba mate, but these potential perks have peaked your interest, then you're in the right place.
Today, we're going to get into the big benefits of yerba mate, what exactly the yerba mate herb is and talk about what makes this herb's flavor so dang delicious. When you finish reading this, you should be able to make a choice on whether or not you should hop onto the yerba mate trend and swap your morning latte for a cup of yerba mate.
Disclaimer: after reading this article it's very likely that you'll become a mate super-fan like us!
What Is Yerba Mate?
Yerba mate is a herbal tea made from the leaves and twigs of the holly tree Ilex paraguariensis plant and even today, is still only a plant grown in South America. After being harvested, the leaves are typically dried over a fire to speed up the oxygenation process. However, you can find unsmoked green yerba mate.
As I mentioned earlier, the dried herb leaves are then usually steeped in hot water to make a powerful tea.
Yerba mate was first consumed by the Guaraní people, who lived largely in what are today Paraguay and Argentina. It was first consumed by chewing the green leaves and was thought to be able to do everything from boosting energy levels, to providing the nutrients needed for life, and was traditionally used as a cure-all remedy.
The old traditional way of consuming mate in South America is to serve the soaked brew with a metal straw in a container called a gourd. Sharing the gourd is said to be a sign of bonding.
What Does Yerba Mate Taste Like?
Due to the high levels of tannins content in yerba mate leaves, mate has a strong slightly bitter flavor, kind of like that strength of flavor you find in black teas and coffee. Yerba mate is usually described as earthy, mildly bitter, with grassy undertones that have been said to create a kind of chocolatey and nutty flavor.
5 Reasons Why You Should Ditch Coffee For Yerba Mate
1. Slowly Released Energy Boost
Yerba mate has around 85 mg of caffeine per cup, which means it contains less caffeine than coffee but more than tea, making for a more balanced caffeine option that still boasts a buzz.
Furthermore, the great thing about the caffeine energy and alertness boost from yerba mate is that it comes without those coffee crashes and jittery caffeine side effects you usually get from drinking coffee. Yerba mate has a unique skill of being able to stimulate and soothe at the same time.
It is believed that yerba mate is able to do this because its adaptogenic and vital properties help your body release the caffeine differently in your body or help absorb it slowly.
Essentially, yerba mate provides you with more energy than tea would, but doesn't come with the crashing side effects of coffee.
Lastly, mate also contains xanthines. Xanthines are a group of alkaloids commonly used for their effects as mild stimulants. So, they also help in providing an energy boost when you drink yerba mate.
2. Rich In Powerful Antioxidants
Green tea is one of the most popular sources of antioxidants because it's so incredibly high in them. Surprisingly, yerba mate contains even more antioxidants than green tea.
Yerba mate, which has been revered as the 'drink of the gods ', is packed with antioxidants and has been called the 'liquid vegetable' because it contains all the major nutrients and is packed with antioxidants and 15 different amino acids, 7 of which are from the nine essential amino acids.
The powerful antioxidants that are known as polyphenols that yerba mate contains can help fight diseases such as cardiovascular diseases cancer, diabetes, and aging. Phytochemicals that are also found in yerba mate can reduce chronic inflammation and support disease prevention.
However, do note that, despite having cancer-preventing properties, drinking yerba mate tea has been associated with an increased risk of cancer, especially esophageal cancer. But, more research is needed to confirm or refute this.
Yerba mate is unlikely to pose a risk for healthy adults who don't drink it excessively and avoid drinking it when it's overly hot.
3. Good For Your Digestive Tract
When comparing coffee vs yerba mate, if you suffer from stomach issues or you just want to prioritize a healthy digestive, then yerba mate is the by-far the better option.
Coffee is highly acidic, so, it can stir up digestive struggles for some people. The acidity can adversely affect your stomach and intestine's lining. Coffee can worsen and exacerbate the symptoms of indigestion, gastritis, reflux, IBS, and even Crohn's disease.
On the other hand, yerba mate actually promotes good digestive health. Yerba mate has a high choleretic effect. Choleretics increase the volume secretion of bile from the liver and the number of solids secreted. Th choleretic effect yerba mate has means that regular consumption of it has the ability to soothe an upset stomach and digestion problems.
Yerba mate is also rich in soluble fiber inulin. Inulin can aid support your digestion and aid in promoting a healthy gut by assisting in the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.
The anti-inflammatory compounds found in yerba mate that we talked about earlier also aid in this herb's anti-colon cancer potential.
A study conducted in 2012 by the University of Illinois showed that, "human colon cancer cells die when they are exposed to the approximate number of bioactive compounds present in one cup of this brew, which has long been consumed in South America for its medicinal properties."
4. Physical Performance Enhancement
Yerba mate has the potential to enhance your workout and sports performance.
The compounds and nutrients in yerba mate tea affect your metabolism in a way that leads your body to use carbohydrates more effectively.
An efficient breakdown of carbohydrates means you’ll receive more productive energy from the food you consume, and you can also burn more of the calories from stored fat cells.
A 2014 study discovered that people burned 24% more fat during exercise when they were given a capsule of ground yerba mate leaves before they exercised. This can have a significant impact on enhancing performance.
With the moderate amounts of caffeine content in yerba mate, you may also be able to expect the physical performance benefits that come from caffeine consumption.
When you drink caffeine, it raises your levels of epinephrine or adrenaline (the hormone responsible for the “fight or flight” response) in your blood. Adrenaline releases a shot of energy, which causes a noticeable increase in quicker response times and heightened strength during physical activity.
5. Build Strong Bones Even If You Don't Workout
Although yerba mate contains caffeine, and caffeine consumption has been shown to cause a decrease in the production of osteocalcin (an abundant protein in the bone that aids mineralization), surprisingly yerba mate has the ability to instead promote bone strength.
While exercise is crucial for building strong bones, drinking yerba mate even increases bone density in people who don't engage in physical activity on a daily basis.
One study found that women who are postmenopausal and therefore at a higher risk for developing osteoporosis, who regularly drink yerba mate, have a greater bone density in their spines and about a 10% increase in bone density.
Are You Ready To Hop On The Yerba Mate Trend?
Yerba mate is a special drink that is rich in important chemical compounds and nutrients, unique super-food benefits like promoting digestion, heart health, and enhanced exercise performance and gives you an incredibly long-lasting energy boost without the coffee crash.
Oh, and by the way, people may even argue that the delicious flavor is just a special perk with this drink's rich benefits. The taste is warmly strong and slightly bitter and has even been described as chocolatey and nutty tasting.
Basically, yerba mate is the dreamy combo of energy from coffee, impressive capabilities of green tea, and the oh-so-sweet flavor of chocolate. With all this said, why wouldn’t you ditch your morning cup of coffee for yerba mate?
If you haven’t tried yerba mate yet and don't know where to start – don't worry!
Our herbal tea blend Chocolate Hustle is a powerful blend of roasted yerba mate tea with hints of chocolate and mint, combined with adaptogenic super-herbs to support focus, energy, and clarity.
This informative article is written, by Sophia Mckenzie. Sophia is head content creator and writer, for several premium websites, where her expertise lie in health, nutrition, and wellness. Her content is heavily focused on providing and sharing doable solutions to help people truly thrive, and live their happiest, healthiest, fulfilled life.