As more and more users begin to look for natural supplements, sources like Yerba Mate have become popular. Yerba mate has become increasingly popular over the past recent years, as it naturally promotes wakefulness in its users. With its natural source of caffeine, it helps maintain stable energy levels.
Unlike coffee and other associated energy drinks, Yerba Mate doesn’t create a peak and then crash effect. It’s also known as a natural nootropic that helps boost alertness, while boosting one’s mood. For individuals that need to work or study for long hours, Yerba Mate can provide mental clarity for long durations.
What Is Yerba Mate?
Yerba Mate is a plant that’s generally consumed within South America, in areas such as Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay. Although it starts off as a shrub, it grows into a tree, which can reach up to 50 ft. The leaves themselves contain caffeine, as well as other related compounds.
First cultivated by the Guarani indigenous tribe, a Swiss botanist classified Yerba Mate in 1895 when he came to Paraguay. Before Yerba Mate was offered as a nutritional supplement, it was used to infuse drinks (similar to tea in Europe).
Since it contains various nutrients, such as selenium, fatty acids, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium, inositol, and other beneficial antioxidants it’s a great choice. When infused, Yerba Mate is said to taste like grass, vegetables, and herbs combined.
Due to the fact that Yerba Mate contains polyphenols, it’s believed to boost one’s immune system, reduce the severity of allergies, increase the amount of calories burnt, increase the level of oxygen and nutrients to the heart, enhance mood, and improve mental focus and energy.
Yerba Mate’s Method of Action
When focusing on Yerba Mate’s method of action, it can be compared to green tea. Due to the presence of caffeine, it acts as a mild stimulant on the user’s central nervous system. It’s an effective supplement, as some of its ingredients can cross the blood-brain barrier.
As mentioned, it’s a rich source of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and polyphenols. Due to its nutritional content, Yerba Mate provides whole body health, as well as a boost in cognitive functioning.
After taking Yerba Mate, it’s believed that energy metabolism and cellular function is influenced. This results in higher levels of ADP and ATP to improve energy. Since it helps open up blood vessels, smooth muscles are able to relax. This boosts cardiovascular and blood flow, potentially helping those with heart disease.
How Can I Benefit From Yerba Mate?
Yerba Mate has multiple benefits, which is why it’s growing in popularity. One of the most beneficial components is this supplement’s antioxidant effects. With a 90% antioxidant content, it yields more than the best variety of green tea. This helps boost the user’s immune system.
Due to Yerba Mate’s high antioxidant content, it helps remove free radicals and harmful toxins from the brain and body. Since it directly targets oxidation, it’s believed to help counteract the symptoms of aging. For instance, it’s believed that Alzheimer’s is linked to free radicals and high levels of oxidation. It’s also known to detox cells and potentially prevent certain cancers.
As a nootropic, it enhances one’s ability to focus and concentrate. All of the nutrients are thought to balance the caffeine content. This allows users to experience enhanced mental energy and clarity, without experiencing caffeine-related side-effects (nervousness, headaches). In fact, like green tea, it helps to reduce anxiety, stress, and insomnia.
When focusing on physical endurance, Yerba Mate helps the body metabolize carbohydrates more efficiently. By consuming this supplement, you essentially get more energy from your food, while burning more calories from your fat storage. When used regularly, it can reduce lactic acid which builds in the muscles after strenuous exercise. This makes Yerba Mate a great choice for athletes.
How Much Yerba Mate Should I Take?
Currently there isn’t a recommended dose of Yerba Mate. With that being said, it should be used in moderation. When used properly it can help protect you against some types of cancers, but when used in excess it may actually increase your risk of certain cancers.
The amount of Yerba Mate you take will depend on a number of factors. First, it will depend on why you’re taking this supplement in the first place. Second, the form of extract you’re using will affect your dose. If you’re drinking Yerba Mate as a tea, then you can safely consume 1-3 cups in one day.
If you’re taking a supplement, a dose of 500 mg, once a day is generally recommended. With that being said, the exact dose that you use will depend on the concentration of ingredients. For instance, your supplement may contain higher doses of caffeine and polyphenol, so a smaller dose would be required. Follow the directions provided by the manufacturers and speak with your doctor if you have any concerns.
Does Yerba Mate Have Side-Effects?
Considering individuals within South America have been using this substance for hundreds of years, its considered to be safe and fairly well-tolerated. Although it’s a natural substance, it can create numerous mild side-effects. These side-effects are generally seen when Yerba Mate is consumed in high doses.
Some possible side-effects include stomach pain, increased blood pressure, vomiting, insomnia, restlessness, ringing in the ears, increased heart rate, and nervousness. Like any supplement, it’s important that you speak with your healthcare professional if you have any questions or concerns. If you do begin experiencing side-effects, discontinue use.