Yerba mate tea is a healthy and strong alternative to coffee. After I switched from drinking coffee to yerba mate tea, I’ve experienced lots of positive benefits, including better sleep and fewer energy crashes. But what are all other benefits that drinking yerba mate brings? Let’s check them out.
Yerba mate tea is a great alternative to coffee
Yerba mate delivers a long-lasting effect of wakefulness
Yerba mate tea is a healthier alternative to drinking coffee. It delivers a smooth energy boost that lasts for hours.
The taste can be a bit bitter, but once you get used to it, you will most likely love it.
It is absolutely one of my favorite natural energy drinks.
Yerba mate tea (yer-bah mah-tay) is made from the naturally caffeinated and nourishing leaves of the celebrated South American rainforest holly tree (Ilex paraguariensis).
For centuries, South America’s Aché Guayakí tribe have sipped yerba mate from a traditional mate gourd for its rejuvenating effect. 
People often confuse yerba mate for green tea – while it looks similar, the taste of yerba mate is definitely stronger and quite different from green tea.
While being marketed as a fat burner, it’s an energy-booster in the first place.
If, of course, you know how to prepare it well.
Yerba Mate Benefits
Everyone who has tried yerba mate, knows the effects and some of the benefits of drinking this herbal tea.
The immediate benefits of drinking it include increased energy, focus, and concentration.
Some types of yerba mate (for example Selecta Energy with Guarana) provide more short-term energy, while other kinds (for example Traditional Yerba Mate – from Canarias) drastically increase your focus and alertness.
But let’s have a more detailed look at all Yerba Mate benefits.
1. Yerba Mate Increases Our Focus and Mental Alertness
Yerba mate is known for increasing our focus, energy,andmental alertness.
Compared to coffee, it provides a much longer and milder effect of increased energy and wakefulness. 
While coffee usually kicks in immediately after drinking, the effects of drinking yerba mate come subtly and can last for hours.
Why is it so it’s still unknown, but keep in mind that mate contains a moderate amount of caffeine.
Caffeine is the most widely used psychoactive drug that provides several benefits including:
Enhanced memory & focus
An energy boost
It increases your productivity
After drinking several different types of yerba mate for months to understand the effects and benefits, I can definitely confirm yerba mate is one of my favorite natural energy boosters.
But I am not the only one who prefers drinking yerba mate compared to coffee – a lot of biohackers including Tim Ferriss are big fans of it.
It’s just effective, and it leaves no crash – something that everyone should be interested in.
2. Yerba Mate Improves Our Digestion & Can Help Us Lose Weight
One thing is sure – when you drink yerba mate, your digestion is much faster than usual.
Besides, speaking from my experience, it decreases your appetite (If I drink the tea in the morning before breakfast, I might as well skip my breakfast – how cool is that?)
While some say that yerba mate could potentially treat diarrhea, I experienced that if you put too much of it in the gourd (in which case the taste becomes bitter and stronger), it could actually be the main reason for diarrhea. 
Don’t ask why I know this! But don’t worry, that rarely happens.
In addition to the mentioned benefits, it is believed that drinking yerba mate improves digestion, and consequently repairs damaged gastrointestinal tissues.
3. Yerba Mate Limits Our Depression
Lots of people drink yerba mate to treat depression. 
I personally have never had any issues with depression, but I noticed a rather funny fact while drinking the tea for several months.
If I am under stress (which happens occasionally), drinking some types of yerba mate bring me into a very relaxed state of mind.
On the other hand, my focus usually increases so I can actually face a stressful situation.
Doesn’t that sound like a win-win situation?
4. Yerba Mate Provides A Moderate Energy Boost
Many people around the world consume coffee to increase their energy.
While caffeine is the world’s most widely used psychoactive drug , the effects of drinking yerba mate last longer, come subtly and provide a calmer boost of energy.
I know many people (including myself) who usually get an overly strong kick after drinking a cup of hot coffee.
While the effects of drinking coffee can be moderate, they only last for 30 minutes to a maximum of one hour.
Besides, if you really want to do creative work (for example, writing a blog), drinking coffee is an absolute no-go.
On the other hand, drinking yerba mate provides the benefits that most of us need – a long-lasting smooth effect of a relaxed and fully focused state.
If you want to do creative work, and not be overwhelmed or hyperactive, yerba mate is right for you.
Just don’t drink it too often.
*Just recently, I started drinking Bulletproof Coffee in the morning and combining it with Yerba mate tea, which I drink in the afternoon (around 1-3 PM). It’s something for you to try.
5. Yerba Mate Is The Source Of Several Vitamins, Mineral, And Antioxidants
Can you imagine drinking something that increases your energy and is actually healthy?
Yerba mate tea combines both.
vitamins B1, B2, B3, and B5
In addition, it also contains a lot of minerals (Calcium, Manganese, Iron, Selenium, Potassium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Zinc), and Theophylline, theobromine, and caffeine.
So, yerba mate is not only a great natural energy booster but also a healthy alternative to most other drinks.
6. Yerba Mate And It’s Medicinal Use
When I was recently talking to an Argentian friend of mine (with whom we, of course, drank traditional Argentinian Yerba Mate tea), he mentioned several anecdotes of the healing power of drinking this amazing tea.
Besides the anecdotes, here are a couple of uses of yerba mate tea in medicine :
as an overall tonic and digestive aid
for allergies and sinusitis
as part of a weight-loss regime
as a general nerve tonic for pain, fatigue, and depression
7. Yerba Mate And Your Heart
Apparently, yerba mate is useful for heart-related conditions, including heart failure, irregular heartbeat, and low blood pressure.
Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties can protect your heart and cardiovascular system. 
So, yes, this is another big benefit of drinking yerba mate tea.
8. Yerba Mate And Your Bones
This should be more researched, but preliminary research shows that drinking yerba mate increases your bones density.
There is a study that found that postmenopausal women, a group particularly at risk for osteoporosis, who regularly drank mate, had almost 10% greater bone density in their spines than women who didn’t drink it. 
And the cool thing is that those women didn’t even exercise.
What do you say about that?
So, those are the main Yerba mate benefits.
Now let’s learn how you can prepare it at home.
Yerba Mate Preparation
There are many ways to make yerba mate. While many people prepare it differently, I’ll share with you my favorite way (which a local Argentinian guy showed it to me).
I drink the tea from a yerba mate gourd (a traditional cup for drinking yerba mate) through a bombilla (a traditional silver straw). While it is not necessary to drink it from a gourd, I find it very exciting and not too time-consuming.
Also, since yerba mate stays longer in the same “cup,” it’s much stronger in my opinion, so it delivers longer-lasting effects.
My favorite way to make yerba mate is as follows:
Fill the mate gourd with a serving of yerba mate tea (fill up to 50% if you don’t want the bitter taste)
Fill the gap in the gourd with one hand and shake the gourd so that the yerba mate is on one side
Place the filtered end of the bombilla into the gourd
Pour a little cold water into the gourd
Add hot water in the Gourd (150 degrees F. / 65 degrees C) to the top. Then you can sip the tea through the bombilla until all the liquid is gone. I usually refill it once to twice.
Once you see that the water stays on top after you refill yerba mate (so you can’t notice any yerba mate leaves), then you should probably stop refilling it with water and change it.
Yerba Mate Cancer
If you ever heard that yerba mate could increase the risk of cancer, you shouldn’t worry too much.
Yes, many people and bloggers indeed write about a potential risk of drinking yerba mate.
However, there is no scientific study proving that drinking yerba mate could actually increase the risk of cancer.
Actually, there is one study that rejects any doubts of yerba mate being potentially unsafe. 
According to the study, Although associations exist between mate consumption and esophageal cancer risk, this appears to apply to any (scalding) hot beverage and is not associated with a cooled mate. The increased risk is associated with the heat rather than the drink constituents.
Since many people don’t know how to prepare yerba mate tea, they pure hot water in the gourd. Now, drinking any kind of hot beverage is potentially risky.
To be on the safe side, stick to the 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
A short hint – if you can leave your finger for around 2 seconds in your tea before it gets too much to manage, the temperature should be all right.
Yerba Mate Gourd And Bombilla
Let me just ask you one question – do you want to get all yerba mate benefits?
Well, then I suggest drinking yerba mate in the traditional way. This means you’re going to need yerba mate gourd and yerba mate bombilla.
Even though both terms might sound weird, don’t worry.
A gourd is a plant of the family Cucurbitaceae, particularly Cucurbita and Lagenria or the fruit of the two genera of Bignoniaceae “calabash tree”, Crescentia and Amphitecna. 
So, yerba mate gourd is made out of these exotic plants, and it looks like this:
Yerba mate bombilla is the silver straw that you see inside the gourd.
Those are the essential “tools” for the traditional preparation and drinking of Yerba Mate.
Trust me; you’ll get in love with that.
Types Of Yerba Mate
There are several brands and types of mate available on the market. Some are stronger and bitter, others have special supplements (like guarana) and provide shorter effects.
Which yerba mate is the best for you? Which type should you try first?
So far, I’ve tried probably more than 10 or 15 yerba mate types & brands. Based on my experience, I’ve made my top 5 list.
Before I show you the list, I’d urge you to try different teas before you decide which one you prefer.
Since people differ drastically, I can imagine that different types of yerba mate tea have a range of various effects on us.
Please check out the iconographic below to find the most appropriate, the strongest and the tastiest yerba mate for you.
While 4/5 of the mentioned types are available online, one of them – Local (Argentinian) Yerba Mate Tea is something you can try only in Argentina (or in other countries of South America).
Yerba mate tea
Buy Yerba Mate Tea
Now you know which yerba mate is the strongest and which one is the tastiest.
But do you know where you can buy high-quality yerba mate?
Usually, you can buy mate tea in all specialized tea stores in your city. But as far as I know, local stores offer only one or two brands.
Sometimes they don’t know which brand, so this sucks.
Greg Gostincar is the founder of Your Inception. He has been researching, testing and experimenting with nootropics since 2015. Greg is one of the most recognized researchers in the field of nootropics.