Mate, a natural drink with multiple origins? 

Mate is a drink made from the leaves of a plant called "yerba mate" (Spanish) or "erva mate" (Portuguese). Its scientific name is Ilex Paraguariensi. 

This plant is a shrub that can grow up to 20 meters high. It grows only in the border region between Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil. These three countries are the only producers of mate in the world. 

Considered a true national drink in Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, mate is a true symbol of sharing, friendship, conviviality and hospitality. It brings people together. 

Mate is therefore inseparable from these 3 countries, but it should not be forgotten that it is above all the drink of the Guaranis. 

For this Amerindian people, mainly originating from Paraguay, the yerba mate leaves have long been considered as a gift from the gods. It was common to use it as currency, as an offering but also for food consumption. They were consumed in a gourd (similar to the gourds used today) or chewed directly. 

Following the arrival of the Spanish in South America, mate spread from Paraguay to Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil

Today, mate is rooted in the Latin American culture. In Brazil it is called "chimarrão".

The virtues and benefits of Yerba Maté : 

Beware, mate is not a tea in the strict sense. It does not come from the plant and therefore does not contain any theine. Nevertheless, it has similar virtues. 

A naturally energizing and stimulating drink

Mate is an excellent stimulant, this is due to its high content in : 

 Caffeine: well known for its stimulating effect. However, mate contains less caffeine than coffee. This avoids undesirable effects. 

 Theobromine: this is what causes the bitterness of yerba mate. It is also found in cocoa beans. It stimulates the nervous system. 

 Theophylline: the main active molecule in tea leaves. The stimulating effect of mate is often compared to tea because it diffuses energy over the long term, without a peak in intensity. 

Yerba mate leaves contain almost 90% more polyphenols than green tea. This makes it an excellent antioxidant. Thus, it helps boost the immune system and metabolism. 

An aid to recovery

All these virtues make mate an excellent drink for recovery after physical effort. A study in the British Journal of Nutrition magazine has demonstrated the significant effects of mate on recovery after exercise. 

According to this study, the recovery rate is increased by 9% (over 24 hours) after a muscle training. 

Moreover, its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties mentioned above are perfect for damaged muscles after exercise.

A drink more and more democratized by high level athletes

As you can see, mate is full of health benefits. Perfect for a healthy lifestyle such as that of top athletes!

More and more, sportsmen and women, especially footballers, are highlighting their mate consumption and the benefits on their health. Many South American players have introduced this consumption during the European championships. It is now common to see European footballers drinking mate: Cristiano Ronaldo, Antoine Griezmann...

Small anecdote: did you know that the selection of the soccer team of Uruguay brought nearly 180kg of mate during the 2018 World Cup? 

How to prepare your mate? 

Traditionally, mate is prepared by brewing yerba mate leaves in a mate gourd (mate cup mentioned above). Traditional gourds are made from squash. Indeed, "calabash" is the name of the fruit used to make these containers. 

Because we know that not everyone owns a gourd, we made it easy for you! 

To taste our mate, you just have to let it infuse for 3 minutes in a simmering water between 85° and 90°C and that's all! 

How to enjoy a Yerba Maté? 

Traditionally, the Yerba Maté is drunk directly from the calabash that you now know. But it is also tasted with a bombilla, a small metal straw. 

Once again, to enjoy our mate, all you need is a cup and some simmering water. 

We recommend that you drink this mate on the maté to enjoy its stimulating properties throughout the day. 

Is mate a good alternative to coffee? 

Mate is an excellent alternative to coffee! It has important stimulating properties! 

Like coffee, mate contains caffeine but in smaller quantities. On the other hand it has other stimulants. 

The advantage of mate is that it releases its energizing virtues in a diffuse way over the long term, contrary to coffee which releases a "peak of energy". This allows you to avoid the famous "sluggishness" a few hours later. 

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