When losing weight is your goal, you should open your eyes to anything and everything that can help the process along. A great fitness routine is important, but it goes hand in hand with consuming the right foods and beverages. If your favorite source of caffeine is a sugary latte, flavored coffee, or something similar, we have a great alternative for you to try that’s an excellent addition to a healthy lifestyle. In fact, people swear by it for weight loss. The drink we’re referring to is called yerba mate, and it’s so much more than a comforting beverage. Keep reading to learn more, and when you’re finished, check out Here’s How Much Water You Should Drink Every Day To Lose Weight.

What is yerba mate?

yerba mate
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Yerba mate is made from the llex paraguariensis plant and has been a beloved traditional hot beverage for individuals across South America, explains Janal Cruz, vice president of operations at Guayaki. Cruz adds, “Yerba mate is much more than just a drink; it’s a cherished tradition hailing from South America, specifically from the heart of the Atlantic Forest. [It] boasts a distinct flavor that many have come to love. Traditionally savored from a communal gourd and sipped through a metal straw called a bombilla, it fosters a sense of connection and community unparalleled by any other beverage.”

This naturally caffeinated, unsweetened beverage (in its true form) is “a refreshing alternative to coffee,” says Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, a registered dietitian and certified specialist in sports dietetics who sits on our Medical Expert Board.

Plus, it comes with plenty of health benefits that are just too good to pass up on. According to Cruz, “It provides caffeine, similar to what you’d find in your morning coffee, theobromine—the feel-good component of chocolate, and polyphenols, a contributor to antioxidant activity also found in green tea. What this blend does is give anyone sipping on yerba mate a wonderfully smooth surge of energy and focus.” Cruz also points out, “The Charrúa of Uruguay and the Tupí of Brazil also saw the value in chewing yerba mate leaves for their energy and vitality-boosting properties, dubbing it ‘green gold’ for its immense value.”

How can yerba mate help you lose weight?

woman holding yerba mate tea
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Goodson reveals that the caffeine content in yerba mate makes it an especially stellar beverage to help you lose weight.

“Caffeine is a stimulant that can increase metabolic rate and promote thermogenesis, which is the body’s process of generating heat and burning calories. This can lead to a modest increase in energy expenditure, which could contribute to weight loss,” Goodson tells us. “[In addition,] caffeine has been shown to suppress appetite in some individuals, leading to decreased food intake. This can potentially result in a reduction in calorie consumption, aiding in weight-loss efforts.”

Caffeine can also boost your performance during workouts, as it increases adrenaline levels and improves muscle contractions, explains Goodson. This can enable you to perform a more intense workout or a longer one, which amounts to a higher calorie burn and weight loss.

People swear by drinking yerba mate for weight loss.

People on TikTok are raving about the benefits of yerba mate for weight loss and an all-around healthier lifestyle. Neuroscientist Dr. Andrew Huberman spoke about the beverage, noting in a clip, “For those of you that are looking for some mild appetite suppression, and want to accomplish that while also ingesting caffeine, yerba mate might be a good option for that. And just know that it’s operating through two mechanisms on the body, through mild gut distention to make you feel full, and on the bran to increase satiety and make you feel less hungry.”

The clip was featured in Fabio Sagebin MD’s video, who explained, “This is a prominent Stanford neuroscientist talking about something that is near and dear to my heart. I love yerba mate. Yerba mate is the best solution to energy, to management of a healthy metabolism, and anti-inflammatory properties.”

Alexa Mellardo

Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa
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