By Tom, on May 18th, 2012
I love coffee. Without my dark smoky friend, I wouldn’t even be writing this post. It fuels my life. I love the taste and aroma, but it’s how it makes me feel that makes coffee an every morning necessity. Now, I’ve discovered a lovely alternative that may be healthier, and seems to provide a different kind of energy. Of course, I am late to the party, Yerba Mate has been a source of energy for the people of South America for several hundred years.
Yerba Mate is “tea” that is made from the leaves and stems of a holly tree native to South America. Traditionally it tastes like strong green tea, but there are different varieties that cater to different taste buds. Other varieties can be chocolate flavored, or roasted dark and smoky like coffee. There’s even bottled flavored Matesold in natural food stores.
The reason Mate is considered healthier is that it contains more minerals and antioxidants than any of the top three energy sources (coffee and tea are the other two). It contains vitamins A, B1, B2, C and E and minerals phosphorus, iron and calcium. It also has very high levels of polyphenols, higher than even Green Tea. Some studies even show that it can prevent oral cancer.
All of that promotes a better future, but what can Mate do for you now? Well, the energy provided by Mate feels a little different than tea or coffee. The reason is that it contains three different Xanthines. Coffee contains caffeine, tea contains caffeine and theophylline, chocolate contains theobromine. Yerba Mate contains all three. Studies show that Mate’s “xanthine cocktail” relaxes muscles while increasing alertness. I feel like it relaxes me while increasing my focus.
So, while I still maintain a coffee habit, when I need a bit more focus than I expect from it, I drink Mate.
Main Source: Wikipedia