Yerba Mate Taragüi - Yerba mate versus commercial energy drinks
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Yerba mate versus commercial energy drinks

Energy drinks can cause side effects like insomnia, agitation and tachycardia; meanwhile, the energizing effect from Yerba Mate is totally natural, and its many virtues come from nature itself.

Mate: the best drink in the world

Yerba Mate is regarded as one of the best beverages in the world, thanks to the several health benefits it offers, such as its strong energising effect which may even surpass coffee and tea. This is owing to the unique way it is prepared. The energy effect generated by Yerba Mate helps clear the mind as well as face any activity in a strong and vital way – including high-impact sports.

Nowadays, there are many energy and hypertonic drink brands on the market (the hypertonic ones have higher proportions of salt and sugar than the human body), popularly consumed worldwide in order to lower fatigue and tiredness. Moreover, there are the so-called sport drinks – these aim at replenishing electrolytes lost through perspiration during exercise. However, how are these beverages different from Yerba Mate, as regards their energy effect?

What are energy drinks?

Energy drinks came into existence in Europe and Asia around 1960. This type of drink contains a powerful stimulant element, generally caffeine and sugar. These beverages are typically consumed for an energy boost and physical performance enhancement. Energy drinks differ from sport drinks and from soft drinks – the former, used to replace water and electrolytes, and the latter only contains small quantities of caffeine, or none at all.

Apart from caffeine and sugar, energy drinks might contain additives like vitamins, taurine, carnitine or other amino acids, as well as other components such as ginseng and guarana. These represent other sources of caffeine. The so-called “energy shots” are a kind of energy beverage which contains up to 200 mg of concentrated caffeine in a tiny glass.

The principal reason people pick energy drinks is to do sports, boost mental alertness as well as physical performance. They have become really popular over the past decade, especially among the youth: alongside multivitamins, energy drinks are the most widespread dietary supplement consumed by teenagers and young adults in the U.S. (almost a third of teenagers aged 12 to 17 consume them regularly, as shown by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)

Health concerns connected with commercial energy drinks

  • Energy drinks usually contain five times the quantity of caffeine in soft drinks. This quantity of caffeine may cause agitation, anxiety, headache, stomachache, hyperactivity, difficulty sleeping, dehydration, increased heart rate and, in extreme cases, seizure and strokes. 
  • The majority of the energy drinks have a quantity of sugar which exceeds the advisable daily amount, and can potentially lead to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and obesity in sedentary people. 
  • Energy drinks are regularly mixed with alcohol. Combining energy drinks and alcohol is riskier than alcohol on its own, and may damage certain cognitive functions.

Yerba Mate gives energy

Is Yerba Mate considered an energy drink?

Yerba Mate is a natural beverage which boosts your energy levels, although it is far from being a commercial energy drink. This ancient, natural drink is made from the leaves of the Yerba Mate tree. Despite the fact that it also has caffeine and other elements which act on the central nervous system, this energising effect comes from the actual nature, not from artificial processing. Additionally, Yerba Mate is a great substitute for coffee and tea.

What is Yerba Mate made of?

The Yerba Mate infusion is prepared at home by adding hot water to the dried leaves from the Ilex Paraguariensis plant, which solely grows in South America. It contains no fat or sugar, and is very low in calories, carbs and sodium. Apart from that, Yerba is a marvelous source of vitamins (above all from the B group), minerals (potassium, magnesium, iron) as well as antioxidants (polyphenols, saponins, caffeoyl). Moreover, Yerba naturally  has stimulating agents such as caffeine, theobromine, theophylline – this is why it is a very good source of natural energy.

Yerba Mate vs. bottled energizing drinks

Can you drink Yerba Mate on a daily basis?

Totally. It has endless health benefits when you drink it on a daily basis. The consumption of Mate is unlikely to generate side effects in an average adult or to jeopardise their health. You can always speak to your doctor if you have any worries, but do not hesitate to find out more about the properties and health virtues of Yerba, its nutritional value, and why it may be regarded as a superfood.

The unique effect of Yerba Mate

Yerba Mate tea has just the optimal amount of natural caffeine to softly increase energy levels and lower fatigue, optimising brain functioning, attention and concentration. 

Artificially made energy drinks show caffeine and vitamins as their principal ingredients, but they also have supplements to boost the effects of caffeine, like taurine, guarana, ginseng or herbs with stimulating virtues to raise physical endurance. These aggregates are not damaging on their own; however, when combined with caffeine, the stimulant effect is so high that they may bring side effects such as tachycardia, agitation, nausea and, in certain cases, severe health problems such as addiction and withdrawal, high blood pressure, seizures and heart problems. Actually, most of the issues related with energy drinks are generally caused by their high caffeine content.

The effect of Yerba Mate is also regarded as differing from that of energy drinks: those who drink Mate say they feel a double effect; stimulating and relaxing at the same time. The energy boost caused by Mate is subtler and more long lasting than that produced by energy drinks. This might be connected with the fact that caffeine is in general more diluted in Yerba Mate.

Actually, Yerba Mate has many advantages when compared with every other caffeinated drink. For instance, as opposed to coffee, Yerba Mate energising effect is softer, it does not cause anxiety or insomnia, and is much more nutritious. It contains 90% more antioxidants than green tea.

Yerba Mate: sports mate

The added value of Yerba Mate

Consuming Mate infusion has many physical and mental properties. Many say there is no other beverage with such an amount of virtues. Yerba Mate betters the body’s natural defenses and helps prevent diseases and cellular aging. Moreover, it is a source of vitamins and minerals like iron, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium.

Even though energy drinks are not toxic and do not put your health at risk when drunk moderately, they do not add much value either. On the other hand, a large quantity of sugar is stored as body fat. Also, the excessive consumption of hypertonic beverages can even lead to gastrointestinal problems, when the body needs to make more and more water to dilute the great concentration of sugar and electrolytes.

Can you replace energy drinks with Mate for doing sports?

Energy drinks are said to be designed for extended physical activity, but replacing commercial energy drinks with Yerba is absolutely doable, as:

  • Yerba stimulates the central nervous system while improving concentration – it is also ideal for working or studying.
  • It helps the body make better use of the energy reserves and enlarge its physical performance (read full study).
  • Yerba has the ability to improve muscle recovery by up to 8.6% on the day following a workout, as shown in the study published by the Cambridge University Press.
  • It makes motor function and muscle recovery better. Actually, the anti-inflammatory effects of Yerba Mate may aid in the recovery from muscular injury, as seen in this study.
  • Yerba prevents cellular degeneration.
  • Yerba is beneficial for the cardiovascular system, which leads to an improved physical condition.
  • While energy drinks may prompt gaining weight because of its sugar content, Yerba contributes to a healthy weight as it boosts your metabolism and helps your body get rid of toxins. Moreover, Yerba Mate is low in calories and fat-free. Read our article on Yerba and weight loss

As if this was not enough, Yerba Mate has a unique advantage: a positive effect on your emotional health. Its mild energy dose can represent a natural way to cheer you up and lift your spirits. Also, without a doubt, the habit of sharing Mate with your family or friends favours moments of happiness.

How to drink Yerba Mate for energy:

  • Drink it prior to any activity, be it studying or a high-impact sport, to expand your concentration and energy level. Also, the antioxidant virtues, its power to lower stress and the benefits on cardiovascular health allow a better physical condition and performance.
  • During workout, take Yerba Mate to help the body process carbs in an efficient way, boost endurance and train for longer. Yerba also prevents lactic acid from building up in our body.
  • Post working out: the recovery rate after training increases by 8.6% up to 24 hours after training, as shown in this study.

Champions drink Yerba Mate

Thanks to all the mentioned health properties, Yerba Mate is highly appreciated by renown athletes all around the world, including football players from South America such as the Argentinian Leo Messi, the Uruguayan Luis Suárez and the Brazilian Neymar Jr.

But it surpasses the borders of South America: Antoine Griezmann (French footballer) takes Yerba Mate every day, and says he consumes it the same way as people would drink tea or coffee, since it provides him with the energy needed for the field. Wu Lei, a Chinese footballer, posted a photo on social media sharing Yerba Mate with his teammates. Alice Beretta, an Italian hockey player, is known to be a Yerba Mate fan and states she could not live without it: “It’s my strength”, said in this interview.

Yerba Mate is regarded as one of the best and healthiest beverages all around in the world. It improves your overall life quality without undesirable side effects. If you are all set to begin exploring the world of Yerba Mate, you can start by selecting a top quality Yerba Mate and follow our step-by-step guide to make this ancient energy beverage at home.


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