"Taken as a whole, Yerba mate, just like many herbs, is a good source of antioxidants and certainly deserves a spot in one's kitchen next to other herbal teas." (Dr. Rahelia, 2009)
It is often simply said that Yerba Mate is similar to green tea, though much more nutritious. Lab Tests have confirmed that Yerba Mate delivers more polyphenols and flavanoids than either red wine or green tea. (Bixby, et. al, 2005)
The Traditional Method: A Special Extraction Method
The easiest, safest, and best way to drink Yerba Mate is via the Traditional Method.
A 2005 laboratory study confirmed the traditional method's ability to deliver more nutrients than can be extracted from either green tea or red wine: "The particular way in which mate is drunk, which usually implies repeated extraction from a large (50-100 grams) quantity of dry product in a gourd, and intermittent consumption, many times for hours in a row, would allow for maintenance plasma levels of polyphenols which are usually not attained with green tea or moderate wine drinking." -Bixby, et. al., Life Sciences, 2005
Mate caffeine content varies, though many calculate it to be 25%-75% less caffeine than in a cup of coffee. Others argue that mate's caffeine naturally occurs in such a special way that it deserves a special name. They note that individuals sensitive to caffeine in coffee, black tea, or even green tea, do not show those sensitivities to the natural yerba mate caffeine.
Yerba mate contains a unique caffeine binding. It has a low level of caffeine that is uniquely bound with an alkaloid, making it an exceptional tool for endurance performances because it produces an energy like coffee and teas, but without the muscle tension. Thus, one is able to stay relaxed yet alert. Students, musicians, athletes, and many others enjoy the benefits of a focused energy that lacks physical tension.
Yerba Mate Nutrients: Young-Rye Kang, et al. Anti-obesity and anti-diabetic effects of Yerba Mate (Ilex paraguariensis) in C57BL/6J mice fed a high-fat diet. LAR (2012)
"Numerous active phytochemicals have been identified in Yerba Mate, including polyphenols (chlorogenic acid), xanthines (caffeine and theobromine), purine alkaloids (caffeic acid, 3,4-dicaffeoylquinic acid, and 3,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid), flavonoids (quercetin, kaempferol, and rutin), amino acids, minerals (phosphorous, iron, and calcium), and vitamins (C, B1, and B2)."
Yerba Mate Cleaner Caffeine: Heckman MA, et al. Caffeine (1, 3, 7-trimethylxanthine) in foods: a comprehensive review on consumption, functionality, safety, and regulatory matters. Journal of Food Science (2010)
"the caloric contribution of caffeine-sweetened beverages needs to be considered in the overall energy balance".