Beautiful woman drinking tea

Everything You Need To Know About Yerba Mate Tea & Its Many Benefits


Beautiful woman drinking tea

Yerba Mate, or Paraguay tea, is a widely consumed tea infusion from South America. For centuries, it’s been used as both a social and medicinal beverage. Some indigenous people in South America even call it “The drink of the gods.” 

So, what makes it so special? Yerba Mate is a strongly caffeinated tea with an estimated 80 milligrams of caffeine per serving. This amount is slightly less than a cup of coffee, so keep this in mind when drinking it! 

Most people wouldn’t want to drink Yerba Mate at night or too late in the day as it may keep them up. But, depending on your caffeine sensitivity, it’s an excellent option for a coffee substitute or something to give you a mid-morning or mid-day boost. 

Plus, Yerba Mate tea is rich in antioxidants and has many other health benefits, which we’ll dive into in this article. 

Yerba Mate Health Benefits

A 2020 study analyzed the overall health benefits and concluded the following about Yerba Mate: 

  • Overall beneficial effect on human health
  • Demonstrated a protective effect on liver cells
  • Stimulated the central nervous system
  • Created an anti-inflammatory effect
  • Positively affected the cardiovascular system

It also added that its consumption is “recommended in the treatment of obesity and while practicing sports,” so it may be beneficial for many individuals! 

Another study suggested that it may help with obesity management and shared that Yerba Mate has been shown to benefit the cardiovascular system. 

It may even act as a hepatoprotective, meaning it may have helpful effects on the liver. 

A large study review notes that the possible health benefits of Yerba Mate include weight loss, anti-diabetic properties, anti-inflammatory effects, cardioprotective, and anti-cancer effects. It may be particularly helpful as part of a functional diet for those with chronic diseases with lipid metabolism disorders, elevated blood glucose levels, obesity, or inflammation. 

In addition, Yerba Mate is rich in antioxidants, which almost all of us could use more of! 

Mental Enhancement

As a caffeinated tea, Yerba Mate offers nootropic benefits (which boost cognitive function). Learn more about this in our article on the Top 6 Herbal Nootropics for Improving Mental Focus and Nerve Health.

Many studies have examined caffeine’s ability to boost energy levels and enhance mental focus. For example, one study looked at how caffeine impacts different molecules in the brain and found that it could help with mental focus and keep you more alert. 

Another study shares that caffeine blocks adenosine receptors in the brain (which tell your brain when it’s tired), improving alertness, reaction time, attention, and vigilance. 

Learn more about caffeine levels in different types of tea in our previous article breaking down caffeine levels in tea. 

Energy Enhancement & Weight Management

As noted by some of the previous studies, Yerba Mate may be helpful with weight loss or management and enhancing your energy. 

We found a 2014 study that supports this. Participants were given a 1-gram capsule of yerba mate leaves immediately before exercise. The participants given Yerba Mate burned 24% more fat during moderate-intensity exercise compared to the placebo group. 

In addition, caffeine is a known aid for improving muscle contractions, physical performance during exercise or sports, and energy levels.

Another study concluded that Yerba Mate supplementation reduced body fat mass, waist-hip ratio, and body fat percentage without creating significant adverse effects. Overall, researchers concluded that Yerba Mate may be helpful in treating obese individuals. 

Heart Health

Yerba Mate has many purported health benefits, and extensive research has shown promising results. We can’t possibly cover everything, but we wanted to end strong with heart health. 

Yerba Mate has many incredible antioxidant compounds, like caffeoyl derivatives and polyphenols, which may reduce cardiovascular risk and promote a healthier, longer life. 

Another potential benefit of Yerba Mate is that some research studies on humans have shown that it may lower cholesterol levels. 

For example, one study on 119 women found that consuming Yerba Mate daily reduced total cholesterol and LDL (“bad cholesterol”) over 12 weeks. Yerba Mate also significantly reduced triglyceride levels when paired with a low-calorie diet. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, high cholesterol levels can cause fatty deposits in your blood vessels. After some time, these deposits can be large enough that it’s challenging for blood to flow through your arteries, which sometimes leads to clot formation and stroke or heart attack. 

So, Yerba Mate’s researched ability to help with cholesterol is definitely no small find! 

Delicious Yerba Mate Tea Options

Ready to try this delightful, energizing tea out? Here are our favorite Yerba Mate teas: 

  • Yerba Mate Tea: The classic Yerba Mate, or Paraguay tea, itself. This tea has a strong, earthy, and bitter taste. If you’re a coffee drinker, the bitterness probably won’t turn you off, but if you don’t like bitter tastes, check out some of our flavored Yerba Mate tea options below.  
  • Juicy Mango Yerba Mate Tea: If you prefer a sweeter, fresher taste, you’ll love this much less bitter Yerba Mate tea. We combine Argentinian Yerba Mate with succulent mangoes for a delicious tea that is amazing, hot or cold. 
  • Mocha Hazelnut Yerba Mate Tea: Love a rich, indulgent flavor? Our Mocha Hazelnut Yerba Mate Tea will hit the spot with its chocolate, hazelnut, and chicory notes. 
  • Jump Start Tea: Looking for something to make you leap out of bed in the morning? Our Jump Start Tea contains toasted Yerba Mate, black tea, cacao nibs, cinnamon bark, kola nuts, and safflower to give you a kick in the pants. 
  • Chocolate Hazelnut Arabica Coffee Leaf Tea: This tea is the perfect choice for a chocolate lover looking to swap out their cup of coffee. It’s crafted from the leaves of arabica coffee, giving it about half the caffeine content of coffee beans. Taste-wise, you’ll love this tea’s hazelnut and chocolate flavor enhanced with toasted Yerba Mate, safflower petals, chicory root, and cocoa nibs. 

Yerba Mate is gaining in popularity, which we’re SO excited about because of its unique taste, energizing caffeine content, and other purported health benefits. 


Herbalist Natalie & Herbalist Leilah

Natalie Hajdu-Voakes is a consulting Herbalist with over 27 years of hands-on experience and the owner of The Herb Stop. 
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