Wellness

12 Science-Backed Yerba Mate Weight Loss Benefits

Yerba mate is a popular drink from South America. People in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Brazil widely consume it. 

It is made from the leaves and twigs of the yerba mate plant. They are dried and steeped in hot water to make tea. 

Yerba mate tea is traditionally served in gourds and drank through a metal straw with a filter at the end to strain the tea leaves. 

It contains caffeine, which makes it a stimulant. 

However, yerba mate does have many health benefits for weight loss. 

YERBA MATE WEIGHT LOSS BENEFITS

12 Science-Backed Yerba Mate Weight Loss Benefits

1. ANTI-OXIDANTS 

Yerba mate contains high amounts of antioxidants. Studies show that they’re even higher than those found in green tea. 

Furthermore, antioxidants are highly beneficial to weight loss.

 Studies show that polyphenols (the antioxidants found in teas) promote weight loss by reducing calorie intake, stimulating fat breakdown, and boosting friendly gut bacteria’s growth. 

The main antioxidant in yerba mate is caffeoyl derivatives. 

2. BOOST METABOLISM

Yerba mate contains certain nutrients that have weight loss benefits.

Xanthine is a chemical compound. It contains caffeine, which is found in coffee and black tea, and theobromine, found in chocolates. 

Caffeine is a popular weight loss ingredient in health drinks. Studies show that it increases energy and improves metabolic rate, which is beneficial to weight loss. 

Another study conducted in 2019, which observed 13 clinical trials of 606 participants, found that caffeine can promote body fat reduction.

3. BOOST PHYSICAL PERFORMANCE

Additionally, caffeine can improve muscle contractions, reduce fatigue, and improve sports performance by 5%.

Multiple studies show that if you drink yerba mate or take yerba mate infused supplements, you can experience these benefits. 

One study showed that taking a 1g capsule of ground yerba mate leaves before exercise burned 24% more fat during moderate-intensity exercise. 

Yerba mate increases your body’s reliance on fat for fuel during exercise, which boosts weight loss

Using fat for fuel during high-intensity exercises spares your carb reserves. This boosts your athletic performance. 

4. REDUCED APPETITE

Another yerba mate weight loss benefit is reduced appetite. 

Studies conducted on animals that consumed yerba mate showed that yerba mate could reduce appetite and boost metabolism. 

5. REDUCE BELLY FAT

More yerba mate weight loss benefits include reduced belly fat.

Research indicates that yerba mate decreases the total number of fat cells. It also reduces the amount of fat they hold. 

Additionally, studies show that it increases the amount of stored fat burnt for energy. 

In a 12-week study, one group of overweight people were given 3g of yerba mate powder per day. They lost an average of 700g after the study. They also reduced their waist to hip ratio by 2%.

The other group was given placebos. They gained about 2.8kg and increased their belly fat by 1%.

6. REDUCED BLOOD SUGAR

Another yerba mate weight loss benefit is reduced blood sugar. 

Decreased glucose levels lead to reduced fat mass and weight loss. 

study showed that yerba mate improves insulin signaling and blood sugar control.

Additionally, yerba mate can help reduce the complications of diabetes. But this is a potential benefit as the relevant studies have only been conducted on animals. 

7. BOOST MENTAL FOCUS

The caffeine in yerba mate is less than coffee but more than tea. 

It can boost your energy levels and make you feel less tired. 

Caffeine also affects the levels of signaling molecules in your brain. Studies show that yerba mate can help boost your mental focus. 

Multiple studies observed alertness, short term memory, and reaction time in participants who consumed a dose of 37-450g of caffeine. 

Yerba mate is a good bet for people who are about to work out. Drinking some yerba mate before doing exercise will help you focus on your workouts. 

You can experience the benefits of your exercises better if you are focused on them.

8. IMPROVES DIGESTION

Studies show that yerba mate is packed with compounds that protect against intestinal parasites.

Further research is needed to determine the extent of yerba mate’s effects on foreign biological agents in the gut. 

Another isolated study showed that yerba mate could stop symptoms like stomach cramps and diarrhea. However, it is unclear whether it can be used as an agent to soothe the symptoms or only work to deactivate E. Coli.

According to Eat This, yerba mate can also boost bile flow, which makes breaking down food more effective, ensuring that your body uses up the food you consume. 

9. REDUCES STRESS

As we mentioned earlier, yerba mate contains theobromine. Theobromine is also found in cocoa products such as chocolate. 

Studies show that it has a relaxing effect and can reduce stress levels. 

When stressed, your body releases the cortisol hormone. The stress hormone can boost cravings for unhealthy snacks rich in trans fats or processed sugars.

Taking yerba mate drink can help lower your anxiety and reduces the chances of cortisol being released. 

This is another yerba mate weight loss benefit you can achieve by drinking it. 

10. BOOSTS HEART HEALTH

Yerba mate has an anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effect.

In one study, scientists observed participants who consumed 330ml yerba mate each day for 40 days. The study found that the participants dropped their LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) levels by 8-13%.

In addition to lowering the risk of heart disease, drinking yerba mate reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Having lower bad cholesterol can increase the risk of obesity. 

According to John Hopkins Medicine, to remain healthy, you must have low LDL levels. 

11. BOOSTS IMMUNITY

While this isn’t a direct yerba mate weight loss benefit, it’s still necessary for your body to have optimal immunity to enjoy your weight loss experience. 

Having a strong immune system also means that you don’t experience adverse side effects when you start rigorous workouts or have a diet change, you’re not fully used to.

Studies show that elements in yerba mate help your immune system. Saponins, Vitamin C and E, selenium, and zinc all contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that boost your health. 

12. LOW IN CALORIES

Yerba mate tea is low in calories and fat-free. It is ideal for anyone who wants to lose weight. 

In addition to reduced appetite, it can help you feel fuller for longer on lower calories. This means that it reduces your chances of unhealthy snacking and keeps you focused on your weight loss goals. 

IS IT SAFE TO DRINK YERBA MATE EVERY DAY?

Like every other caffeinated drink, yerba is best consumed in moderation. 

Taking large amounts of yerba mate every day can have adverse side effects. 

Research shows that overuse of yerba mate over a prolonged time is linked to cancer of the lungs, mouth, stomach, esophagus, larynx, and bladder.

Yerba mate contains a carcinogen (cancer-causing agent) called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) found in roasted meat and tobacco.

A 2009 study found that taking yerba mate tea at high temperatures increases the risk of cancer. 

Additionally, yerba mate side effects include headaches, anxiety, nervousness, upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, tinnitus, and irregular heartbeat.

Note, however, that it may not be safe to drink yerba mate during pregnancy. High amounts of caffeine in pregnant people are linked to miscarriage, low birth weight, and premature birth.

Avoid yerba mate, if you regularly consume alcohol and tobacco because it increases cancer risk. 

IS YERBA MATE A LAXATIVE?

Yerba mate does have mild laxative effects as it can aid digestion. However, if taken in excessive amounts, it can worsen diarrhea. 

Avoid yerba mate if you have irritable bowel syndrome. 

TAKEAWAY 

Yerba mate is touted for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and energy-boosting. 

More research is needed to know the full scope of some of the effects on yerba mate on the human body. 

Big chain supermarkets, some cafes, and health and nutrition shops are where to buy yerba mate.

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