Yerba mate is a traditional drink of Latin America enjoyed all over the world. I recently started drinking mate, and I thought I’d compile a short list of the benefits of mate culture.
Here’s a quick video if you are not familiar with mate:
1. Increased Energy and Attention
Mate contains about 85 mg of caffeine per 8-oz. per cup. I guess some dietitians believe mate contains mateine rather than caffeine, which is still caffeine… kinda? Regardless, between the caffeine, mateine, theobromine, theophylline, and other nutrients, mate will give you a physiological boost.
2. Good Source of Vitamins and Minerals
I remember switching from my childrens’ chewable vitamins to my regular adult vitamins. From that first bite into that gritty gray pill, I knew it was going to be a tough transition. Well, the good news is that the terrible taste of adult vitamins doesn’t have to linger only a few seconds. With mate, you can savor the bitterness of vitamins with every new cup of hot water.
3. Increased Tolerance for Tastes and Palates
Because you’re enduring the mature flavor of nutrient-rich mate, you will likely develop a preference for other “acquired tastes.” In fact, you will probably enjoy eating anything once you have become accustomed to the earthy bitterness of mate. Of course, you wont overeat because mate has been reported to suppress appetite.
4. Digestive Health and Weight Loss
Not only does mate contain nutrients that promote a healthy digestive tract, but your new tolerance for acquired tastes means you will probably be able to eat more healthy foods like kale, quinoa, and vinaigrette salad dressings. Keep in mind that you may develop a tolerance for these foods, but kale is not pizza. Your new mate habit will probably cause you to eat less overall because nobody wants to eat a whole kale on their own. *Googles how kale is measured*
5. Increased Attractiveness
Given your new diet as a result of your mate habit, you will probably have the body you’ve been missing since high school. Your improved physique will give you a new sense of confidence, and everybody knows that confidence is sexy. Not to mention the points you will get for your knowledge of a foreign culture. In fact, just knowing about mate probably gives you more knowledge about South America than most of your friends.
6. Easier Social Interactions
If you are even considering drinking mate, you are probably introverted or some kind of ambivert (This is an assumption, but most extroverts are probably regulars at more than one coffee stand and enjoy the social interaction of buying coffee. This point stands regardless of your social personality, though). Your unique mate gourd and straw (bombilla) will become an instant conversation piece (granted you are around other human beings and drinking mate). This means no more worrying about initiating conversation. You will probably spend a lot of time answering questions like “What are you drinking?”, “Where did you get that cup?”, and “Is that cannabis?” By the time you answer these questions, you will probably think of a good excuse to leave to get back to that book you want to finish.
This list has been compiled in good humor, but mate does have some verified and speculated benefits. Really, look it up. As with many things, mate is a bit of an acquired taste–to my understanding, so is coffee, alcohol, and pineapple on pizza (I still haven’t acquired that last one)–but it’s probably something new to you. So why not give it a try?