Yerba mate is a plant found in South America and for centuries its leaves have been used to brew a refreshing and energizing tea. The caffeine content of yerba mate is comparable to that of coffee. However, yerba mate tea provides a more gentle stimulation than coffee. It does not affect the adrenal glands the same way and you don’t feel the jitteriness, anxiety, or sleeplessness that you might get from coffee. The reason for this is that it does not only contain caffeine, but is also rich in polyphenols, saponins, and xanthines.
There is a growing scientific interest on yerba mate because of its metabolic effects. It has been shown to increase fat utilization during exercise in untrained humans. Also, it is also well-known that many South American athletes drink yerba mate tea before and during exercise and competitions.
My Favorite Pre-Workout Drink
Some people like to take pre-workout supplements with different combinations of stimulants and some might just drink a cup of coffee before doing their exercise. My favorite drink before doing sports is yerba mate tea. I have been doing many different sports in my life, some even in a competitive level. Currently, my favorite is surfing, followed by body weight exercise, jogging, and weight lifting.
This morning was a quite typical good morning for me. I woke at sunrise (around 6 am) and walked to our roof terrace to see if there are any good waves. There were, and quite big ones! Time to get ready! I already felt good but also a little bit tired, and decided to prepare some yerba mate tea. This time I used a french press to prepare it and then had few big mugs of nice and tasty hot yerba mate tea.
I was surfing for about 2 hours and had a very nice session. I felt like drinking mate before surfing gave me that extra energy and mental focus which was just what I needed. Also, after surfing I didn’t feel really drained and didn’t experience a sudden crash and loss of energy. This has happened to me before when I have tried some pre-workout supplements before weight lifting.
Overall, I prefer drinking yerba mate before doing sports. It gives me the energy and feeling that I want, and seems to lack any negative side effects. Next, let’s look into experiences from other people and let’s see what research says about yerba mate and exercise.
Yerba Mate and Weight Lifting
Many people, including myself, can tell you that consuming yerba mate tea before weight lifting exercise can help in training harder and longer as well as having a better focus on your exercise. This topic has also been researched. A 2016 study published in the British Journal of Medicine indicates that consuming yerba mate tea improves the rate of recovery after strength exercise by nearly 9% for a period up to 24 hours after the exercise. Being able to recover faster means that you can train the same muscles more frequently and achieve better results.
Yerba Mate and Cycling
Cycling can be a nice hobby for leisure but it is also a competitive sport. Whichever way you like to do it, it feels better when you have more energy. In a study conducted in 2018, it was found consuming yerba mate increased fat utilization during submaximal exercise and improved time trial performance of well-trained cyclists. So if you want to improve your cycling performance, and maybe burn some fat also, drinking yerba mate tea is definitely a good choice!
Yerba Mate and Football
Football players from Uruguay, Paraguay, and Argentina drink mate regularly. Many of them are very open about this and even brag about it in social media. For example, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar (and many more) have admitted being big mate drinkers. Nowadays the habit has even spread to the English Premier League!
Boost Your Exercise with Yerba Mate Energy!
If you are looking to increase your energy levels and mental focus in a natural way, yerba mate tea is an excellent choice! It is a potent drink and many professional athletes use and promote it. It is also a healthy choice because it contains minerals, vitamins B and C, and has a higher antioxidant capacity than green tea. You can read more about yerba mate health benefits in this article.
I hope you enjoyed this article. If you have any questions or comments, or you want to share your personal experience related to yerba mate and exercise, please post them below in the comments section. Also, check out some of the yerba mate reviews on this site. For example, here is a review of yerba mate that is good for first-time mate drinkers.