Yerba Mate Benefits
Hi, and welcome back to our blog! Today we are going to talk all about brewed tea leaves that have many benefits and even can be a fantastic substitute to our beloved coffee. So you may have guessed that today we're going to talk about Yerba Mate.
Yerba Mate is made from the leaves and the twigs of the Yerba Monte plant. And you can even consume this in kind of a fun way.
Typically, it's consumed in a little container called a gourd. And inside of this gourd, you will put your tea leaves in there, brew them, and you leave them in there because you'll sip it, sip it through a metal straw with a little filter at the end that keeps those leaves away.
And if you don't have time to steep and drink your yerba latte from a gourd every day, you can find easier ways to consume it. You can find it at your local co-op, or maybe a Whole Foods of some sort.
My name is Marcie Vaske and I'm a functional medicine nutritionist specializing in gut health. So I see a lot of people who struggle with bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, acid reflux, and that's just to name a few.
And so if that sounds like you or maybe someone you love, and you would like to get more information and heal up your gut, you can make an initial appointment and meet with us.
Also, if you're the kind of person who likes to do things on their own and get more knowledge just to learn and to maybe understand your gut better, you can also download our free guide on five ways to improve your gut health.
Let's get started on the benefits of Yerba Mate.
For centuries, humans have loved stimulants, and depending on where you are on the globe and where your ancestors came from, they would've found themselves consuming coffee or coca beans, maybe guarana berries, kola nuts, tea, or even the Yerba Mate.
What's cool about it is that they each contain some slightly different active chemicals and they all contain caffeine or a closely related molecule with similar stimulant properties.
Five Benefits of Yerba Mate
The first benefit of Yerba Mate is that it contains wonderful amounts of antioxidants and nutrients. And one of these antioxidants and nutrients is something called xanthines. And xanthines are compounds that act as that stimulants.
They include coffee and they are found in Yerba Mate or other teas. They'll be found in coffee of course, and also chocolate. So lots of yummy ways to get this fantastic nutrient in.
What's really interesting is that the antioxidant power of Yerba Mate seems to be slightly higher than even green tea. And, Yerba Mate actually contains seven out of the nine essential amino acids as well as almost every vitamin and mineral in your body that it needs.
Now, those are glowing things about Yerba Mate, but to keep it in perspective, it contains all of those things, but in very little amounts. So we can't count on drinking a few cups of Yerba Mate a day and getting all those minerals and vitamins, but it's sure fun to know.
Number two on our list is that Yerba Mate boosts energy and can improve mental focus. So with each cup of Yerba Mate, you get roughly about 85 milligrams of caffeine, and that caffeine will help boost up that energy level. I mean, isn't that why we kind of drink it in the morning or in the early afternoon if you need an extra boost?
Also, what Yerba Mate can do is increase your mental focus. So if you're struggling in the afternoon and you need a little boost, grab a cup of Yerba Mate and you just might be able to focus better on work.
Actually, several human studies observed that it improved alertness, short-term recall, and reaction time in participants who actually only consumed a single dose containing about 37.5 to 450 milligrams of caffeine, which 450 is going to be a little more than the traditional 85 that's in a cup of Yerba Mate.
But, what else is cool is that Yerba Mate seems to not give you those caffeine jitters. So if you experience those when you're drinking coffee, I would highly suggest trying a little Yerba Mate and see if that helps with those aftereffects.
Now, benefit number three is that it can improve physical performance. Just like you may have heard how coffee and caffeine and coffee can help improve your physical performance.
Yerba Mate seems to show the same effect, and what it does is it helps to improve muscle contractions, reduce fatigue, and also improve sports performance up to about 5%.
And in fact, in one study where participants were given a gram capsule of ground Yerba Mate leaves right before exercise, they burned 24% more fat during just moderate-intensity exercise.
So that's pretty cool, maybe have a cup on your way to the gym and increase the burning effect of your workout, then that's fun to think about it.
This time of year when we're going into the holidays and eating all the fun food that's around, we need any little biohack that we can get.
Now, benefit number four that we're going to chat about is that Yerba Mate can actually protect against infections. We're hearing all about viruses and infections this time of year, so maybe it's picking up a cup of Yerba Mate that's going to help keep you healthy this season.
But what it does is it can help prevent infections like bacteria infections, parasite infections, and fungi infections. So in fact, one test study was done and they found that through high-dosed, Yerba Mate extract actually deactivated a bacteria called e coli.
You've maybe heard of e coli because it causes food poisoning symptoms like diarrhea and stomach cramps. And so just a simple cup of Yerba Mate may keep you from experiencing that.
Also, compounds in Yerba Mate prevent the growth of a particular fungus that is responsible for like scaly skin or if you struggle with dandruff, or even other certain skin rashes. So, so far, I'm thinking that Yerba Mate might not be a bad thing to put in, how about you?
Now, one of the last benefits we're going to talk about today is that Yerba Mate can actually help you lose weight and belly fat. There have been animal studies that show that Yerba Mate may reduce appetite and boost metabolism, which can help with weight loss.
It seems that it helps to decrease the total number of fat cells and and reduce the fat that they hold. In human studies, they have also found that it can increase the amount of stored fat that's burned for energy.
So when you are having your cup of Yerba Mate before you hit the gym in the morning, know that you're burning stored fat instead of the fats maybe that you had just consumed.
In another study, it was actually a 12-week long study of people who were overweight. They were given three grams of Yerba Mate powder per day, and they lost an average of 1.5 pounds and reduce their waist-to-hip ratio by 2%. So that's indicating that they're losing belly fat. Now, if you're thinking that you wanna use Yerba Mate for weight loss, these are high amounts of Yerba Mate.
I would really recommend working with a practitioner and making sure you're taking the Yerba Mate in a safe way and so that you stay healthy while you're losing your weight.
So, just to wrap this up, Yerba Mate sounds pretty beneficial to me and I think I'm gonna run out and try some actually.
It may not be for everyone though, I really recommend that you talk to your health practitioner before drinking Yerba Mate.
But if you're healthy and you're feeling good and you want to give it a shot, I don't see any reason why you shouldn't. And what all I'd say is try it, start slow, see if you like it, and watch the benefits emerge.
If you'd like to explore any of this information further or obtain an individualized nutrition plan, you can schedule an initial appointment at our clinic. We also take insurance and some of our clients get full coverage, which is great.
Or you can just start by downloading our FREE GUIDE: 5 WAYS TO IMPROVE GUT HEALTH