Did You Know that Yerba Mate Helps You Lose Weight?

Yerba mate has diuretic properties, so it can help hydrate and expel retained fluids. In addition, it may help with weight loss.
Did You Know that Yerba Mate Helps You Lose Weight?

Last update: 15 November, 2020

Yerba mate helps you lose weight! It’s a drink made from the leaves and stems of the same plant (Ilex paraguariensis). It’s the drink of choice in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and some areas of Brazil and is reaching more countries around the world. These drinks are known as mate, tereré, and mate cocido (tea).

Formerly the drink with yerba mate was known as “Jesuit tea” or “Paraguayan tea”.

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 tropical areas. In addition, after being cut down, these leaves are ground and dried.

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). It is recommended to consume after eating.

Here are some of its properties:

1. Yerba mate helps accelerates your metabolism

A person that lost weight by drinking yerba mate.

Thanks to its content of caffeine, yerba mate may accelerate your metabolism. In relation to this point, one study took into account the following:

“Caffeine also accelerates metabolism and oxygen intake by body tissues and has the potential to produce significant effects on metabolic targets such as satiety, thermogenesis and fat oxidation (Wester-terp-Plantenga and others 2006).”

Many people often say that yerba mate helps burn more calories and therefore helps you lose weight faster. It’s also said to be able to speed up digestion, which is interesting.

It also used to be said that it contained “mateine,” which was supposedly a stimulant substance similar to caffeine, but this was proven to be nothing more than a myth.

2. Yerba 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.

3. It’s satiating

A woman making a circle with her hands.

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, and this generally improves the health of the whole body. Therefore, even the skin can look healthier.

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

5. It’s anti-inflammatory

Since it’s a hydrating liquid that promotes urination, yerba mate has a diuretic effect that helps eliminate retained liquids and, consequently, inflammation.

6. Mate is diuretic

As mentioned, drinking yerba mate can have a certain diuretic effect, which will increase the frequency of urination. This is not only ideal to combat fluid retention, but also to help the kidneys expel grit or stones (if any).

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 and calory burning.

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

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.

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 to the bathroom more after drinking it.

How to consume yerba mate to help you lose weight

Some tea in some bags.
Chimarro or mate is a characteristic drink of the southern culture of South America, bequeathed by indigenous cultures. It’s prepared with ground yerba mate and hot water.

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 gourd container which holds it) and a metal straw.

  • Put the raw yerba mate at the bottom of the container
  • Separately, heat the water (don’t let it boil)
  • Pour it into the container, over the yerba mate
  • Leave it to rest for a few minutes
  • Drink in moderation

Drink it as a tea

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


  • 1 c. of water
  • 1 tbsp. of yerba mate


  • Heat the water until it boils
  • Pour it into 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. However, ideally, you should drink it without any kind of sweetener
Some yerba mate that helps the body.
Caffeine is present in many drinks such as coffee, tea and mate.

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 c. of water
  • Ice cubes
  • The juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 tbsp. of yerba mate
  • Fresh mint leaves or mint (to taste)


  • 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

  • You can use the yerba mate infusion as a liquid base to make any fruit or vegetable shake or smoothie
  • Remember that if you prefer sweet flavors, you can choose papaya, bananas, and other similar fruits, since they’re naturally sweet. By using them, you’ll avoid adding sugar or other sweeteners later

So, do you know how you’re going to enjoy your yerba mate? Remember to consume it moderately -always within a healthy lifestyle- in order to take advantage of all its benefits.

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Can Mate Tea Really Help You Lose Weight?

The consumption of mate tea has spread throughout the world, not only for its medicinal properties, but also for its weight loss ones.

  • 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