Yerba Mate Tea, Yerba Mate, or simply Mate is considered one of the most effective natural hunger suppressors. The tea is therefore consumed for weight loss, satiety, and its other health-promoting benefits.
The cult drink from South America is made from the leaves of the mate bush, a species of the holly family. The is traditionally consumed in various South American regions including Paraná, Santa Catarina, Rio de Janeiro, and Curitiba.
Yerba Mate (Tea) Nutrients
The leaves of the herb contain various nutrients such as phytochemicals, minerals, and vitamins. The herb is also known for its invigorating caffeine content.
Here is a list of additional nutrients the herb contains in concentration:
- Essential oils.
- Vitamins A, B1, B2, and C.
- Ketones, aldehydes, carboxylic acids, terpene alcohols, and other less relevant ingredients
Health Benefits of Yerba Mate
Yerba mate is associated with a host of health benefits. Some weight loss enthusiasts even go as far as calling Mate tea a health miracle and superfood. And what do scientific studies say? Below are the scientifically proven health benefits yerba mat can offer:
1. Hunger Suppression, Weight Loss
A new study conducted by a duo of scientists at the University of Dasman, Kuwait city, and published in the US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health showed how Yerba mate can effectively suppress hunger.
The below table shows the Satiety results of the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) for Yerba Mate (YM) and placebo (PLC) treatment at different time points, at rest (0–120 min), exercise (120–150 min), and post-exercise (180 min). Results displayed as Mean ± SD.
2. Fat Oxidation and Sport Efficiency
Another study conducted at the Academy of Sport and Physical Activity, Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, Sheffield Hallam University showed how Yerba Mate ingestion affected fat oxidation during exercise. The results showed a staggering 24% more Fat Acid Oxidation (FAO) at submaximal exercise intensities.
3. Relieves Mental & Physical Fatigue
Mate tea has a strong stimulating effect due to its concentrated caffeine content. It speeds up the heartbeat, blood circulation and can alleviate mental and physical fatigue.
4. Diuretic Effect, Better Digestion
Mate tea also has a diuretic effect and is said to strengthen circulation and promote digestion.
5. May Prevent Colon Cancer
A study conducted by a group of researchers at the University of Illinois isolated human colon cancer cells and treated them with yerba mate extraction. They found that the extract was able to kill most of the cancer cells.
More on Yerba Mate For Weight Loss
Mate tea is really supposed to help people fight those extra pounds, at least that is what medical studies have shown. However, any illusions must be abandoned in advance. Regular consumption of mate alone does not make anyone slim. A change in diet and ideally an increased amount of physical activity are still the basic requirements to achieve effectively and, above all, sustainable weight reduction.
Nevertheless, the active ingredients of mate tea can aid weight loss in two ways. On the one hand, the metabolism-activating effect of mate helps the body’s internal combustion engine to run at full speed. And the faster the metabolism runs, the higher the calorie consumption.
Another reason why mate can optimally complement an already running diet is the satiating effect of the drink. If hunger is downright suppressed, the former hourly walk to the refrigerator in search of a snack becomes less frequent. In addition, the portions at the dining table become smaller.
Of course, this should by no means be exaggerated. The body needs a certain daily basic amount of nutrients so that all body functions are maintained. Otherwise dangerous blood sugar fluctuations and damage to the nerve cells may occur.
A study by the University of Friborg (Switzerland) in 2018 proved that drinking cold mate tea can aid weight loss. The scientists come to the conclusion that mate tea boosts metabolism and thus stimulates fat burning. Cold tea was more effective than hot tea and also puts less stress on the heart.
Yerba Mate Tea Side Effects, Precautions
While the natural drink can offer a host of health-boosting properties, inadequate and excessive consumption can do more harm than good. Besides other health problems, inadequate consumption of yerba mate can pose serious health risks such as esophageal cancer, larynx cancer, and cancer of the oral cavity.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a temperature of 65 degrees and above may result in these ailments. It is still unknown if these diseases are a direct result of smoking the dried leaves of Yerba Mate.
Consuming mate tea can cause the following side effects:
- Sleep disorders.
- Strong urge to urinate.
- The caffeinated mate tea is not suitable for pregnant women, breastfeeding moms, and children.
Avoid yerba mate if you have any of the following health issues:
- High blood pressure.
- Heart diseases such as irregular heartbeat.
- Caution is also advised when taking medication at the same time. Talk to your doctor if you are taking any medicines for heart disease or medicines that stimulate blood circulation.
- Do not drink mate tea before bed because the infusion contains a lot of caffeine which can impair sleep. If you take any sedatives or other medications, avoid taking the tea.
Dr. Katherin Zeratsky from Myoclonic sheds more light on the possible risks involved with inadequate consumption of yerba mate:
Yerba mate isn’t likely to pose a risk for healthy adults who occasionally drink it. However, some studies indicate that people who drink large amounts of yerba mate over long periods may be at increased risk of some types of cancer, such as cancer of the mouth, throat, and lungs. Drinking very hot yerba mate — 149 F (65 C) or hotter — is associated with a higher risk of cancer than is drinking yerba mate at cooler temperatures, explains Katherine.
Yerba Mate Tea: Preparation
Traditionally, South Americans consumed mate in a calabash, a vessel made from the hollowed-out and dried casing of a bottle gourd. It is consumed with a metal tube called bombilla. A sieve at the bottom of the tube prevents the leaves from being sucked in.
Do not use more than 3 teaspoons of mate leaves per liter of water. When brewing, the temperature of the water should not exceed 55 degrees. This is because you don’t want to cross the threshold temperature of 65 degrees as recommended by WHO. This also prevents the tea from becoming too bitter.
Let the tea steep for at least 5 to 10 minutes. Once ready, you can enjoy it either hot or cold. You can also customize the tea with milk or flavors or your liking. On hot summer days, you take a cup of iced mate tea to enjoy its refreshing effects.
You can repeat the infusions until individual leaves of the mate float on top. Then the tea is washed out.
Where Can You Buy Mate Tea?
You can order your yerba mate from any food health store. You can also order the herb from online herbal stores from local and international sellers.
Do you have any experience consuming mate? Were you able to shed some pounds with the tea? Your thoughts will help others reading this article.