What is Yerba Mate? Why do the best footballers in the world drink it?

Article by Athletic Tea Co. Founder Tom Whittle

The Drink of the Gods

Yerba mate (yer-bah mah-tay), a key ingredient of Athletic Tea Co.’s performance range, is a traditional drink made from the dried leaves of an evergreen holly, Ilex paraguariensis, a native plant of South America. It is often referred to there as ‘Bebida de los Dioses’ or ‘Drink of the Gods’. During Athletic Tea Co.’s research time in Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil, they saw first hand the nations’ obsession with this super-brew. It is by far the most popular drink on the continent and Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr., plus more recently Paul Pogba and the England football team, all swear by it. Here’s why.

Benefits of Yerba Mate

A clean and calm energy boost

Yerba mate contains a moderate amount of caffeine, known to enhance memory, mood, and alertness. It makes you more motivated and productive by stimulating production of the neurotransmitter dopamine. But besides caffeine, yerba mate contains the compounds theobromine and theophylline. These alkaloids work together to provide unique, mild stimulant effects.

Yerba mate drinkers experience a state of alert wakefulness similar to that of coffee, but for a much longer period of time and without coffee’s crash (i.e. payback time). It rarely interferes with sleep and doesn’t cause caffeine jitters. This makes it perfect to take before or during performance in the gym or at your desk, producing long lasting, sustained energy.

A high concentration of vitamins and minerals

Each serving of our performance teas contain the following vitamins and minerals due to the inclusion of yerba mate (a much more impressive list than that found in coffee):

Vitamin A, vitamins B1, B2, B3, and B5, vitamin C, vitamin E, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, sulfur and zinc.

Yerba mate also contains 11 polyphenols and exhibits more antioxidant power than any other tea-based drink or coffee.

Digestive aid

Drinking yerba mate regularly can help the body’s digestion system function more efficiently and by stimulating the body to have regular bowel movements. A study done in Buenos Aires, Argentina at the Catedra de Farmacologia “found that yerba mate induces an increase in bile flow and enhances the intestinal tract.” This again makes it the perfect brew for athletes needing to digest a lot of calories throughout the day.


Our take on Yerba Mate

Athletic Tea Co.’s pyramid bags include yerba mate with a number of other natural performance enhancing ingredients: sencha tea, Siberian ginseng, gotu kola and schizandra berries. The matcha powder contains ground down yerba mate (so you ingest the whole leaf and more of the goodness). It also contains added pea protein, green tea matcha, Siberian ginseng and maca. You can take either hot or cold, in the office or on the go.

View Athletic Tea Co.’s yerba mate here. Delish!

Rob Lis

FreeGym Founder. Loves football, running, spin and dabbles in HIIT. Rob created FreeGym to help people keep fit, for less. Instagram: @freegymco

Join the #FreeGymSquad

Join our mailing list to receive the latest updates and free workout offers near you.