Yerba Mate Taragüi - 5 undisputed advantages of mate over coffee
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5 undisputed advantages of mate over coffee

Both Mate and coffee contain caffeine, and they are two of the most drunk beverages around the world. Nonetheless, in places like Argentina, Mate consumption still exceeds that of coffee, acas shown in a survey carried out by the The National Institute of Yerba Mate (INY. ). Yerba is also very popular in Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil.

Advantages of Yerba Mate

YYerba has outstanding nutritional benefits, it strengthens physical and mental health while detoxifying the body, as proved by several scientific studies which also endorse its restorative virtues. But how does it compare to coffee and other caffeinated drinks?

Advantages of mate over coffee

1. An enerAn energising effect like no other.

The effects of caffeine from Yerba Mate are prone to be less aggressive than those from coffee, which sometimes can cause nervousness and even tachycardia.

The restorative properties of Mate, which have a dual stimulating-calming effect on body and mind, differs from coffee and other caffeinated drinks. This is possibly due to the fact that Yerba Mate has other xanthines (stimulating substances) like theobromine, whose effect is smoother, long-lasting and betters your mood. Moreover, the caffeine held in Yerba Mate is normally diluted in a greater amount of water and is drunk little by little, so it is better assimilated by the body.

Consuming Yerba Mate during the day is energising and stimulating, but also relaxing at the same time. It increases physical stamina and enhances your good mood, with no impact on the quality of your sleep and rest. The drink made with Yerba Mate softly “awakens” you at any time of day. Because of this, it is perfect for studying or working. Sportspeople also benefit from taking Yerba Mate prior to training or even after a workout.

Yerba Mate could even function as the ideal substitute for commercial energy drinks, supplying you with many more virtues without the negative effects brought about by these artificial products, which are full of stimulants and sugar.

Yerba Mate’s stimulating virtues have been known for centuries. As time went by, this energising power which comes from the leaves of the Ilex Paraguariensis tree has been named “mateine”, a stimulating substance regarded as unique to Yerba Mate.

Nevertheless, in spite of the widespread belief, mateine is in fact a popular name for the caffeine contained in Yerba – the same caffeine which is found in coffee and tea as shown by scientists from the Unicen University.

Having Yerba Mate while reading

2. Yerba is a superfood

The Yerba Mate infusion is one the most nutritious hot beverages around the globe, as shown by several scientific studies which also endorse its optimal effects on body and mind. It naturally possesses nearly all the micronutrients the body needs, and could be regarded a superfood, with the ability to improve the overall immune system, detox the body, regulate cholesterol and prevent diseases and certain types of cancer – as shown by numerous studies.

It is a source of antioxidants and polyphenols, minerals, amino acids and key vitamins, principally from the B group with 8 of the 13 vitamins which are essential for our health. Also, it has major minerals like potassium and magnesium that promote proper heart functioning. Furthermore, Yerba Mate is full of several other nutrients and enzymes which have favourable effects on health. Read the full list of the advantages of drinking yerba mate.

3. Purifying and detoxifying

Yerba purifies the body. Its leaves contain diuretic virtues which aid in the elimination of toxins while purifying the body in a totally natural way. The drink is also made with more water than coffee, which prevents liquids from accumulating in the body’s tissues, optimising kidney functioning and minimising the risk of high blood pressure.

Mate also has a delicate laxative effect and promotes bowel movement, thus aiding the body in its natural process of waste elimination. It is advised for people that suffer from constipation. In short, it is a great benefit for those trying to lose weight or detoxify the body – of course, combined with a healthy diet.

4. A better companion

Consuming Yerba Mate has an optimal effect on your emotional health. It is believed to be the “best companion” at any part of the day. Taking Mate ensures the needed energy to fulfil your daily tasks owing to its caffeine content, which is digested slowly and is gentle to the body and mind, with no discomforting side effects.

Furthermore, as it is drunk little by little, sip by sip, this “energy boost” is better dosed. It lasts longer and, apart from that, thanks to the “ritual” of brewing and consuming Yerba Mate, sharing the gourd and bombilla (above all in countries such as Argentina), it is perfect for groups of friends and to liven up social events.

Having Yerba Mate while playing the guitar

5. The countless properties of yerba mate

Yerba Mate provides so many virtues and properties that in the long run its consumption on a regular basis brings more benefits than that of other caffeinated drinks like coffee.

  • Yerba Mate has polyphenols which supply exceptional health benefits and counteract free radicals – agents which harm and oxidise the body’s cells.
  • This natural drink has effective curing and therapeutic qualities for the control of diseases like diabetes, hypertension and arteriosclerosis, Parkinson’s, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s and colon cancer.
  • It has a mild hypotensive and vasodilator effect which betters blood pressure levels and prevents bad cholesterol from building up in the arteries, thanks to its cardioprotective enzymes which increase HDL cholesterol – “good cholesterol”, preventing cardiovascular diseases.
  • It favours good digestion. Yerba Mate fosters the production of bile and gastric acids and bowel movement, thus relieving constipation.
  • Yerba Mate raises physical endurance and enhances motor skills, since it helps the metabolism to make better use of carbs. It also aids the body in reducing fatigue, by lowering the levels of lactic acid produced by intense physical activity. Moreover, it has anti-inflammatory effects post training, above all in high-impact sports.

What yerba mate and coffee do have in common

  1. Yerba Mate and coffee are two of the most consumed drinks round the world.
  2. Both drinks have caffeine and should be drunk in the suggested amounts.
  3. They both have a delightful stimulating and energising effect.
  4. They are preferred as hot beverages and are the best excuse to meet up with other people.
  5. Both Mate and coffee contain antioxidants, even though Mate has much higher amounts than coffee.
  6. They have health benefits.

Tips to enjoy yerba mate:

  • Making Yerba Mate can be an appealing experience. Keep in mind you need a special gourd (called Mate, too), a bombilla (metal straw), and high quality Yerba Mate to ensure its flavour, texture and aroma.
  • To better obtain the antioxidant properties of Yerba Mate (Mate has up to 90% more antioxidants than green tea or coffee), it is desirable to consume the hot, traditional version of the Mate infusion.
  • It is not advisable to use mineral water because it has many salts and alters the taste of yerba mate. The temperature of the water should be between 70 and 80ºC, not boiling, because it can burn the yerba and cause the infusion to acquire a strong flavor.
  • It is not recommended to use mineral water as it has several salts and modifies the taste of Yerba Mate. The temperature of the water needs to be between 70 and 80ºC, not boiling, since it can burn the Yerba, therefore becoming too strong.
  • To avoid burns, it is advisable to drink Yerba Mate at no more than 65°C (104°F).
  • Although the healthiest way to take Yerba Mate is pure, there is a sweet as well as a cold version of the infusion called “tereré”. This comes from Paraguay and is popular in the summer in Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil.

We suggest reading our article about how to brew a good Mate tea or how to determine the quality of yerba mate.

Information sources