T Nation

Anyone Have Experience with Yerba Mate?


#1

Hello,

I’ve recently discovered Yebra Mate, which seems to be a promising, inexpensive stimulant which does seem to work well for me.

I’ve been drinking a cup or three of this tea daily for about a week and have noticed that overall throughout the day I do feel more engaged, focused, and generally energetic in a way that coffee or caffeine consumption doesn’t cause. This may be in part due to weak MAOI-b activity. I notice the effects long after the caffeine would’ve been processed fully, sometimes 10 hours later I am still feeling more engaged as a whole.

My shortwinded research has shown mixed things about this. Some things are good, caused by the caffeine and antioxidants in the herbs, some things are bad, like compromised liver health and throat cancers after long term consumption.

The cancer risk seems to stem from the preparation, whether herb has been smoked or not, and how hot the liquid is when it is consumed.

After reading the recent article here about over consuming antioxidants it got me wondering whether or not I should be drinking this stuff. It reportedly has a very high concentration of antioxidants, significantly more than green tea.

I’m wondering if anyone has any input on the compromised liver health aspect, or the antioxidant part. I do like the stuff, but don’t want to be drinking something for a temporary gain that sacrifices my long term health.

This post was kind of jumbled but did touch on most of the points. Please do respond with your experiences using this, or any research showing the risks/benefits of the plant.


#2

Literally all research I’ve found seems to show that in moderation it can be okay, but the cancer risks are linked to overconsumption, not preparation. Don’t drink “a cup or three” per day.


#3

I’ve only heard good things about it and try to drink a cup a day. The fact is, I really enjoy the taste in comparison to green tea and would drink more if it was less expensive.


#4

I actually know quite a bit about yerba mate. There’s an outstanding company, Guayaki, that was founded by a group of people at my college back in the 90’s, one of whom is among my best friends.

A couple of things: it’s not a tea. Tea is from china, while yerba mate is from a tree that grows in the south American rainforest. It is traditionally drank from a gourd with a slitted metal straw, and you can buy it loose and “pack a gourd” this way. This is the most potent way to drink it, and takes a bit of practice to get it right so the straw doesn’t clog:

It will give you a nice jolt of energy, but lack the jitteriness of coffee. The thought is that there are naturally occurring compounds that counteract the negative components of caffeine, similar to what threanine will do.

People from Uruguay and other spots where it is common will literally drank it all day long. They carry around a thermos of water and a gourd, and you can get 10-20 cups from a gourd. You can also make it iced, and add honey or mint.

Nowadays, there are lots of canned versions. The Guayaki versions are quite good, but still these are much weaker and lower in yerbe mate content than drinking the real stuff.

The cancer stuff? That was supposedly from drinking it boiling hot through a metal straw. Also, there are all types of warnings about coffee to the point the in CA there will be labels saying it will cause cancer.

I don’t actually believe this to be the case with either beverage. I love yerba mate, but also drink coffee regularly. Personally, give me a cup of either over any “pre-workout formula” full of artificial everything and isolated “highly functional, nutrient partitioning carbohydrates”.