Yerba mate tea is a traditional South American drink that tastes great, gives you energy, and is good for your health. Mate can also be used for several medicinal purposes. In South America, it has been traditionally used as a bit of a cure-all remedy.
Now that yerba mate tea is becoming more popular all over the world, also the amount of research related to it is on the rise. This article focuses on information about yerba mate tea health benefits. And there truly are many evidence-based health benefits from weight loss to reducing bad cholesterol.
I have been drinking yerba mate for many years, and in addition to the research-based information, I will also share my own experiences related to its health benefits. These are my subjective experiences, and I can not promise the same effects for everyone. We are all individuals and the only way to know how yerba mate effects your body and mind, is to try it for yourself.
Yerba Mate is Rich in Antioxidants and Nutrients
Yerba mate plant has several beneficial plant nutrients that are dissolved in the tea during the brewing process. Mate tea has an even higher level of antioxidants compared to green tea, which is also considered very healthy. In addition, yerba mate contains small amounts of essential amino acids and almost every vitamin and mineral that your body needs.
The most important beneficial compounds found in yerba mate tea are the following:
- Saponins: Bitter compounds that can lower cholesterol and have anti-inflammatory properties.
- Polyphenols: A large group of antioxidants that can reduce the risk of many illnesses.
- Caffeoyl derivatives: Yerba mate has high levels of these healthy antioxidants.
- Xanthines: Yerba mate contains caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline, which are stimulants.
If you want to know more, read my article about yerba mate nutrient content.
Yerba Mate Helps with Burning Belly Fat and Losing Weight
One of the proven and most beneficial effects of drinking mate tea regularly is that it can help you with weight management and burning belly fat. I have certainly experienced this first hand.
I have noticed that if I feel hungry, drinking mate tea allows me to stay effective forget the feeling of hunger. I feel like it gives me energy and helps my system with using the existing fat in my body as an energy source.
After starting to drink yerba mate tea regularly I have slowly lost almost all fat on my belly area. However, I never had that much fat to begin with. Also, I have been doing a lot of physical exercise and eating quite healthy, so there is no way to know how big of an effect mate actually had.
Ok, so that was my experience. Next, let’s see what research has to say about this.
It seems like the saponins in yerba mate can help you with reducing body weight. A study conducted with rats is supporting this claim. It has been proven that yerba mate increases fat oxidation and energy consumption during exercise.
Not convinced yet?
Then let’s take a look at another study with human subjects. In a randomized, double-blind study with obese men and women, yerba mate supplementation was found to help in decreasing body fat mass and percentage as well as the waist-hip ratio. After 12 weeks of taking mate supplements, the decrease in body fat mass and body fat percentage in the yerba mate group compared to the placebo group was significant.
Quite impressive, huh? To summarize the results of these studies, we can say that yerba mate can be an effective aid in burning fat and losing bodyweight.
As this is one of the most important benefits of mate, I have written a whole article about yerba mate and weight loss.
If you want to experience the fat burning effect of yerba mate, but don’t want to drink mate tea, you can also get it as a supplement. Read my article about yerba mate leaf extracts to learn more.
It Gives Energy and Improves Mental Focus
In addition to caffeine yerba mate tea contains two other compounds that affect our central nervous system. Yerba mate contains theobromine (also found in chocolate) which has a relaxing and mild stimulating effect, and theophylline (also present in green and black tea), a stimulant capable of enhancing your mental energy levels.
Thus, yerba mate tea has a unique mix of the three neuro stimulants working together.
I use mate tea especially for improving my energy levels in order to work and exercise more efficiently. And I can say that for me it works! No need to buy expensive pre-workout supplements. Just drink your mate and you’re all set.
The caffeine content of yerba mate tea depends on the brewing method and can be anything between 20mg and 130mg per cup. In general, we can say that a cup of mate tea contains less caffeine than a cup of coffee but more than a cup of tea.
We all know that too much caffeine can make you feel jittery and uncomfortable. However, yerba mate seems to have a calming effect while working as a stimulant at the same time. It can also enhance our cognitive performance, which is useful when working with complex tasks that require brainpower.
Many South American athletes drink mate tea in order to feel more vibrant and energetic during exercise and competitions. The energizing and refreshing qualities of yerba mate tea can also help you with focusing and being more productive and creative!
Yerba Mate Tea Stimulates the Immune System
Saponins are phytochemicals that are naturally abundant in many plant species. The saponins in yerba mate are natural emulsifiers which are known to boost our immune system.
Saponins also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Thus, drinking yerba mate tea may help you in preventing bacterial infections as well as parasites and harmful fungi.
However, this area still needs more research as the direct effects of yerba mate on the human immune system have not been extensively investigated.
It’s also hard to give any input regarding my personal experience. I don’t get sick often, but this was the case already before I started to drink mate tea.
It May Improve Cholesterol Levels
Research indicates that by consuming yerba mate tea you can lower your cholesterol levels. Thus, mate tea could provide a natural way of improving serum lipid levels.
A 2009 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry shows that consuming yerba mate results in lower LDL cholesterol levels. The study was conducted on people with high cholesterol/triglyceride levels, but who were otherwise healthy. Reducing bad cholesterol (LDL) can help in preventing cardiovascular diseases.
Yerba Mate Tea Health Benefits
Yerba mate tea health benefits are numerous, but all of them have not yet been thoroughly researched.
In addition to the benefits mentioned earlier, mate tea is also a digestive tonic and can help in treating constipation, diarrhea, and indigestion.
One of the reasons I started drinking mate was that coffee was causing stomach problems, such as acid reflux, so I had to quit drinking it. Yerba mate tea provides me with more focus and energy than I used to get from coffee, and without the annoying stomach problems.
Mate tea is also good for heart-related conditions like irregular heartbeat, heart failure, and low blood pressure. In addition, it can also help in lowering blood sugar levels and killing cancer cells.
Here is a short video that gives a summary of yerba mate health benefits:
Worried about yerba mate side effects? Read my article: Yerba Mate Tea Side Effects – Are There Any?
I hope you found this article interesting and informative. It’s good to be able to share my positive experiences with this amazing and healthy beverage.
Haven’t tried yerba mate yet? If you need help with choosing the right kind of yerba mate tea, this review article with 5 different products will help you.
Please post a comment below and tell me about your experiences with mate tea. Questions are also welcome.
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