Millions of people start the day with a piping hot cup of java or tea first thing in the morning, but in some parts of the world, people wake up with a beverage you may not be familiar with called yerba mate.
Yerba mate is a traditional South American brew that's been said to offer “the strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea, and the euphoria of chocolate,” all in one tasty beverage. There are many companies that specialize in yerba mate products, like Guayaki Yerba Mate.
Guyaki Yerba Mate got its start in 1996 on the Cal Poly University campus when Alex Pryor first introduced yerba mate to David Karr. The pair quickly realized there was a great need for a nourishing source of energy and, with a little bit of optimism, set out to share yerba mate with the world.
Today, Guayaki Yerba Mate is one of the most popular energy beverages available on the market - but is it the best green tea shot drink? Let’s find out!
What is Yerba Mate Tea?
Yerba mate is an herb native to South America. It is one of the few plants found in the world that naturally produces caffeine alongside tea, coffee, cacao, and guarana.
Yerba mate is prepared as an infusion, similar to tea. However, it doesn't actually contain any tea leaves. A lot of people consume yerba mate in the same way they would green tea (or any other type of tea) but it is important to note that it is a totally different beverage.
Yerba Mate vs. Green Tea
Yerba mate, or Ilex paraguariensis, is a plant used for making herbal tea in South America. Green tea, on the other hand, is made from Camellia sinensis, which is the plant used for making all tea types - green, white, oolong, and black, to name a few. Green tea comes from several countries in Asia, including China, Taiwan, India, Vietnam, and Japan.
Interestingly, both of these plants need about three years before the first harvest.
Both popular beverages bring about similar health benefits due to their similar properties, meaning they both:
Support a healthy gastrointestinal tract
Support a healthy cardiovascular system
Promote healthy weight loss when paired with diet and exercise
Support healthy digestion
Maintain normal cholesterol levels
Maintain normal blood pressure levels
Contain high levels of antioxidants
Contain high amounts of vitamins
Improve concentration and mental clarity
Serve as a good, clean source of energy
Both of these body-nourishing tea-based beverages help to promote a strong and healthy heart, support weight loss efforts by reducing exercise fatigue thanks to the boost of energy, soothe and relax the mind and body, and reduce oxidative stress thanks to their powerful free radical-fighting antioxidants!
With that in mind, it goes without saying that both yerba mate and green tea are extremely beneficial for your overall health!
So, how do these teas compare? Let’s take a closer look.
Green tea contains many different body-nourishing antioxidants, but the most dominant is epigallocatechin-3-gallate, or simply EGCG. It’s said to be responsible for green tea’s many health benefits.
On the other hand, yerba mate contains the antioxidant chlorogenic acid, which is the same antioxidant present in green coffee beans.
EGCG Benefits (green tea):
Promotes cognitive function
Reduces signs of the aging process
Promotes a healthy heart
Promotes weight loss efforts through thermogenesis and fat oxidation
Chlorogenic Acid Benefits (yerba mate):
Helps to maintain normal blood pressure levels
Helps maintain normal cholesterol levels to promote cardiovascular health
Slows down the release of glucose
Both antioxidants provide roughly the same benefits, however according to a 2010 clinical study, yerba mate contains the largest antioxidant levels among 25-tea based and non-tea-based beverages, which included green tea.
Both yerba mate and green tea contain caffeine. If you make both of them using western brewing techniques with around 2 to 4 grams of tea, they are likely to yield the same amount of caffeine.
Caffeine in yerba mate will be more consistent among different versions of the plant, while green tea can give anywhere from minimal to very high amounts depending on when the plant was harvested (which is also partially what determines if it’s even considered green tea or if it’s white or black).
One study showed that a cup of yerba mate tea has, on average, 13 mg of caffeine, while traditionally brewed powdered yerba mate had around 135 mg per 500 ml. So, if you want more caffeine, opt for powdered types or increase the number of leavers per your cup.
What About Guayaki Yerba Mate?
The popular Guayaki Yerba Mate energy drink contains 150 mg per 16 oz can. This is a pretty standard amount of caffeine to find in an energy drink and is sure to give you the boost you’re after.
However, it’s important to remember that Guayaki Yerba Mate Energy Drink contains a whopping 26 grams of sugar. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), a healthy adult should never exceed 25 mg of sugar per day.
This means that just a single serving of this popular energy beverage will immediately throw you over the recommended daily limit of the sweet stuff. Too much of anything is never a good thing, but this is especially true for sugar.
When you consume too much sugar, the excess sugar in your bloodstream sets off a chain metabolic reaction that can affect your whole body, starting with raised blood sugar and widespread inflammation.
Additionally, too much sugar has been linked to weight gain, acne, and a major drain in energy - a hefty price to pay for a half-day energy boost.
Are There Healthier Options?
Guayaki Yerba Mate was onto something when they created an energy drink using the natural caffeine found in yerba mate.
Natural caffeine is absorbed by the body at a much slower rate than synthetic caffeine, meaning you won’t experience a jittery caffeine spike right after consumption, nor will you come across that terrible crash a few hours later!
Instead, natural caffeine will provide your body with sustained, calm energy throughout the day.
Rather than reaching for a Guayaki Yerba Mate Energy Drink, skip the sugar and reach for a Proper Wild Energy Shot.
Proper Wild crafts each energy shot using organic caffeine from green tea to provide clean, long-lasting energy all day long, paired with 0 g of added sugar thanks to the natural fruit juices used to flavor the shot.
A Final Word
So, is Guayaki Yerba Mate the best green tea shot drink?
Although Guayaki Yerba Mate is packed with many body-nourishing benefits, we can’t justify the 26 grams of added sugar. Too much sugar is the culprit behind so many different health issues, so we’re going to have to pass on Guayaki Yerba Mate this round and reach for something else like our Proper Wild Energy Shots when looking for a little jolt.
Here at Proper Wild, we believe in clean and simple ingredients backed by science, designed to maximize your productivity. That’s why our energy shots are made using organic caffeine from green tea, contain absolutely nothing artificial, and have zero grams of added sugar.
With L-theanine working hand in hand with green tea caffeine for maximum focus and productivity, it’s easy to see why our Proper Wild Energy Shots are loved by so many people all around the world and why we have over 500 5-star reviews from happy, energized customers.
Want to experience the difference of clean energy and no added sugar? Give our Proper Wild’s Clean All-Day Energy Shots a try today!