Did You Know that Yerba Mate May Help You Lose Weight?

15 January, 2019
This popular South American drink is great for promoting weight loss. Read all about this in this article!

Yerba mate is the drink of choice in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and some areas of Brazil and is reaching more countries around the world.

If you consume it without adding any sugar and without accompanying it with a dessert, it may help you lose weight. In this article, you’ll learn more about how it does this.

Yerba mate and its properties

This bitter herb infusion that’s consumed in South America has many advantages. Yerba mate leaves grow in mountainous zones or jungle areas. In addition, after being cut down, these leaves are ground and dried.

This article may interest you: How to Cleanse Your Body with Yerba Mate

Some people choose to sweeten the drink with sugar, honey, or sweeteners. However, it’s said that “true mate” only contains herbs and hot water.

Mate is drunk with a metal straw out of a container (which has the same name as the herb). During the summer, you can also drink it cold (for example, by adding orange juice to it).

Here are some of its properties:

1. It’s stimulating

Thanks to this property, yerba mate may “trigger” the digestion process, which may help you lose weight more quickly. This is because it contains mateine, a chemical similar to caffeine.

In addition, it may boost your metabolism and energy.

2. Mate is soothing

While yerba mate shares properties with coffee, the truth is that drinking this herb may help relax and calm you.

Why? Because it contains two substances called theobromine and theophylline (they are also present in the tea but in less quantity).

It’s recommended to consume yerba mate after eating because it may help reduce cravings for certain foods and also reduce stress.


3. It’s satiating

Because you’re basically drinking water with herbs, mate fills your stomach with liquids and fills you up.

However, you must bear in mind that it’s not a food replacement because it doesn’t have all the necessary nutrients.

  • Yes, it can help you not “attack” a pack of cookies or a tray full of baked goods in the middle of the morning, for example.
  • Yerba mate may help delay the speed of gastric emptying and thus make us feel satisfied after eating for longer.

4. Yerba mate is an antioxidant

Because it contains a good amount of antioxidants, yerba mate may help fight oxidative stress, improve skin health, and eliminate free radicals.

5. It’s anti-inflammatory

Drinking mate several times a week may greatly reduce inflammation. Thus, it’s recommended for people who suffer from rheumatism, bronchitis, arthritis, and other inflammatory diseases.

6. Mate is diuretic

Drinking mate is a good idea if you want to possibly help your kidneys work better and stay healthy.

You can also try it if you have fluid retention.

More properties of yerba mate

This increasingly famous herb has other interesting benefits such as, for example, its ability to help restrict the buildup of lactic acid in the muscles. This may allow you to maintain high energy levels and increase fat burning.

Due to its theophylline and theobromine contents, yerba mate may also help dilate the bronchi and facilitate the oxygenation of blood.

Yerba mate.

Contraindications of yerba mate

Moderate consumption of yerba mate may reduce mental and physical fatigue.

You need to pay attention because if you drink too much of it, it can lead to insomnia, hyperactivity, and concentration problems due to its caffeine content.

Discover: Yerba Mate: The Migraine Enemy?

On the other hand, mate can upset your stomach due to its astringent properties and the tannins that it contains. Some people get heartburn and others go the bathroom more after drinking it.

How to consume yerba mate to help you lose weight

Now that you know what the benefits of yerba mate are, the next thing is to learn how to consume it. Here are a few options:

The traditional way

This is how it’s drunk in South America. You’ll need a mate (the container which holds it) and a metal straw.

  • Heat the water until it boils and then add the yerba mate to the container.
  • Enjoy!

Drink it as a tea

If you don’t have the patience to fill the mate every time, what you can do is prepare a tea like you do with any other herb.

You can even get the herb in small packets. Otherwise, you can make the infusion the old fashioned way.


  • 1 tablespoon of yerba mate (10 g)
  • 1 cup of water (250 ml)
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar (10 g) (optional)


  • Heat the water until it boils.
  • Pour it in a cup and add the yerba mate.
  • Let it stand for a few minutes and strain it.
  • Sweeten (you can also use honey or stevia) and consume it as hot as possible.

Mate water

This is similar to the tea, but it’s of greater quantity. You can store it in a bottle once it has cooled down.


  • 4 tablespoons of yerba mate (40 g)
  • 4 cups of water (1 liter)
  • The juice of 1 lemon
  • Fresh mint leaves or mint (to taste)
  • Ice cubes


  • Heat the water and, when it boils, remove from heat.
  • Place in a jug, add the yerba mate, and let it stand for a few minutes.
  • Strain it and add the lemon juice.
  • Add the mint leaves and ice cubes.

Shakes or smoothies

The yerba mate infusion can be used as a liquid base to make any fruit or vegetable shake or smoothie.

  • Kim, S. Y., Oh, M. R., Kim, M. G., Chae, H. J., & Chae, S. W. (2015). Anti-obesity effects of Yerba Mate (Ilex Paraguariensis): A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12906-015-0859-1
  • Kang, Y.-R., Lee, H.-Y., Kim, J.-H., Moon, D.-I., Seo, M.-Y., Park, S.-H., … Oh, H.-G. (2012). Anti-obesity and anti-diabetic effects of Yerba Mate ( Ilex paraguariensis ) in C57BL/6J mice fed a high-fat diet. Laboratory Animal Research. https://doi.org/10.5625/lar.2012.28.1.23
  • Pimentel, G. D., Lira, F. S., Rosa, J. C., Caris, A. V., Pinheiro, F., Ribeiro, E. B., … Oyama, L. M. (2013). Yerba mate extract (Ilex paraguariensis) attenuates both central and peripheral inflammatory effects of diet-induced obesity in rats. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnutbio.2012.04.016