Yerba mate is new to me. Yerba maté (also known simply as maté) is a tea made from the dried leaves of Ilex paraguariensis, an evergreen shrub in the holly family that grows in Central and South America. 1 It’s being touted as a super food for athletes and so I have become quite interested in it.
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Here’s some information for you to digest for you to decide which side of the Yyrba mate debate you’ll land.
It’s made from the leaves and stems of a South American rainforest tree. It’s touted to have “the strength of coffee, the benefits of tea, and the euphoria of chocolate all in one.”
Yerba mate boosts your energy with naturally occurring caffeine in it. If you feel anxiety when you drink coffee, you might not have a problem with the caffeine boost from yerba mate and other teas.
There is a concern with drinking too much yerba mate because it has been linked with a couple of different kinds of cancer. There is some evidence from South America connecting yerba maté use to cancers of the mouth, esophagus, prostate, bladder and lungs among people who drink it habitually. The few studies that have found links between cancer and yerba maté show the highest risk is among users who also smoke and are heavy drinkers of alcohol. 1
Yerba mate naturally contains 24 vitamins and minerals, 15 recovery-enhancing amino acids and an abundance of antioxidants. With less caffeine then coffee, it provide a jitter-free boost of energy for some athletes. With that said, yerba mate is not for everyone. It’s best to try it during a training run, rather than on race day, to see how your body responds.
Yerba mate has the unusual and very convenient property of infusing in cold water ~ unlike most other teas. Because of this yerba mate mixes well with other beverages and flavors to make very cool, cool drinks. Organic Mate has some yerba mate recipes.
To brew your yerba mate tea, try these directions from Guayaki Traditional Organic Yerba Mate
- Coffee maker/espresso maker: Place 1.5 tsp yerba mate per serving in the filter basket or portafilter, and brew normally. Adjust to desired strength.
- French press/tea pot/strainer: Add 1.5 tsp yerba mate per serving to press/pot, and add boiling water. Steep for 3-10 minutes.
- Mate latte: Add your favorite milk and sweetener to a cup of brewed yerba mate. Delicious hot or iced.
- Terere (cold mate): Brew a cup of hot mate, then add ice.
Storage: Store your mate in a dry, air tight container or in this package, away from direct heat and light.
I am quite intrigued by yerba mate’s properties. Have you tried it? What were your results?