Improves physical performance and slow transit: Learn about the benefits of yerba mate

The yerba mate is an infusion of different herbs that has become very popular in South America. Today it is a widely consumed drink in Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Brazil and even some parts of Chile.

Scientifically known as Ilex Paraguariensis , yerba mate is a native tree of the Paranaense Forest, whose dried leaves and ground twigs are served in hot water. In general, it is a plant that is usually taken as an infusion to warm the body. However, its benefits in our body are multiple.

According to specialists, this herb is not only a good ally to provide energy and stimulate the central nervous system, it also helps to improve the digestive system.

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It is also characterized by its contribution of vitamins A, B, C and E, as well as minerals, including: iron, magnesium, sodium and potassium, important nutrients for maintaining good health. It is also considered a vital source of antioxidants.

But, what other benefits does it bring to health?

Intestinal transit

The National Library of Medicine of the United States, Medlineplus, maintains that among the many benefits of the plant, is its ability to combat constipation. In fact, its effectiveness is such that the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database has included it in its list of medicinal herbs.

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This is how, and due to the polydextrose properties of its leaves, that yerba mate regulates intestinal transit, optimizes digestion, the absorption of nutrients and, therefore, contributes to combat the problem of constipation.

In addition to the above, it is an excellent ally to improve fluid retention problems, as it has diuretic properties and thanks to its composition of caffeine and other chemical substances, it stimulates the brain, heart, muscles that line blood vessels and other body parts.


Another of its properties is its ability to control cholesterol levels  to lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol, in addition to increasing the percentages of HDL cholesterol, which helps clean the arteries of accumulated fatty plaque.

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In this sense, it provides an antioxidant effect to the body even when a high-fat diet is consumed. In fact, recent research in the journal Nutrients, conducted in people with metabolic disease, was shown to help lower fasting glucose, a marker of improved metabolic health and lower risk of diabetes.

Improves physical performance

As caffeine has the ability to enhance muscle contraction, reduce fatigue, and improve athletic performance by 5%, mate can be expected to work the same to some extent.

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From work in certain studies, after giving 1 gram of mate (in capsule form) to people before exercising (moderate intensity), they burned 24% more fat.

Beware of boiled water

Although its medicinal properties have been certified, the World Health Organization ( WHO) warned that if taken improperly, it could cause throat and larynx cancer.

However, do not be alarmed, the instance specified that the development of this disease is not related to the plant as such, but to the temperature of the water to make the infusion.