Yerba Mate vs Green Tea: Is Yerba mate Green Tea?
Let’s compare Yerba Mate vs Green Tea. Green tea has been dubbed as the “Elixir of Life” for its long list of health benefits. But organic Yerba mate is considered to have, not only the health benefits of green tea, but also the strength of coffee, and the feel-good euphoria of chocolate. While yerba mate and green tea have many similar benefits, many consider the former as the healthier drink of choice: after all, there’s a good reason why the herbal tea is Argentina’s national drink. The answer to the question whether one is better than the other lies in their benefits and nutritional content.
Yerba Mate and Green Tea’s Similarities
Yerba mate and green tea are tea-based drinks that contain extracts from the leaves of certain plants. Yerba mate comes from the dried leaves of the South American rainforest holly plant while green tea comes from varieties of the Camellia Sinensis plant that originated in China but can also be found in many different regions in the world such as India, Japan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Hawaii, and even in the United States.
Yerba mate vs green tea: Both drinks bring about similar health benefits due to their similar properties, which are:
- promote a healthy cardiovascular system
- promote a healthy gastrointestinal tract
- improves digestion
- promote weight loss
- lowers blood pressure
- lowers LDL cholesterol
- contains high levels of antioxidants
- contains high amounts of vitamins and minerals
- good source of energy
- improves concentration and mental clarity
Both of these tea-based drinks help to promote a healthy heart; support weight loss efforts by reducing exercise fatigue and produce a boost of energy; reduce risks for certain cancers and even help to stop the production of cancer cells; reduce inflammation and bacteria in the body; and help to reduce oxidative stress that causes chronic and life-threatening diseases.
While yerba mate and green tea promote overall health, mate has been proven in many scientific studies to contain more antioxidants and nutrients, making it superior to green tea. So how do these teas compare? Let’s take a look at Yerba mate vs Green tea.
Yerba Mate and Green Tea: A Comparison
1. Antioxidant Content
Green tea contains many different antioxidants but the most dominant is epigallocatechin-3-gallate, or simply EGCG. It is said to be responsible for green tea’s many health benefits.
Yerba mate, on the other hand, contains the antioxidant chlorogenic acid, which is the same antioxidant present in green coffee beans.
EGCG brings about the following benefits:
- slows down the aging process,
- promotes cognitive function,
- promotes a healthy heart,
- promotes weight loss through thermogenesis and fat oxidation,
- contains anti-cancer properties by inhibiting the growth of tumors in the stomach, liver, lungs, and colon.
Chlorogenic Acid’s benefits include:
- reduces blood pressure levels
- lowers cholesterol to promote cardiovascular health
- improves mental clarity and cognitive function
- reduces and attacks cancer cells
- slows down the release of glucose
Both antioxidants provide roughly the same benefits but yerba mate seems to have more antioxidant content than green tea, making it superior in the fight against oxidative stress.
The Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety published a clinical study that concluded yerba mate contains the largest antioxidant levels among 25 tea-based and non-tea-based drinks, which included green tea. A 2010 study, which was conducted by a Dr. Elvira de Mejia, or the University of Illinois, reported that yerba mate has more antioxidants than green tea.
In terms of ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbency Capacity) value, each gram of green tea has a value of 1,350 units while yerba mate has a value of 6000 units. ORAC value comes from a lab test that seeks to quantify the total antioxidant capacity of certain foods.
These studies and tests show promising scientific proof that seems to answer the many questions regarding yerba mate vs green tea. So is yerba mate green tea’s superior counterpart in the tea-based drinks market? Let’s learn more about the two’s similarities and differences.
2. Caffeine Content
While both yerba mate and green tea contain caffeine, the former definitely has more of this energy-boosting compound. One cup of green tea contains 25mg of caffeine while mate has 80mg.
Caffeine is responsible for both of the tea drinks’ benefits that include: mental alertness, a boost of energy, metabolism boost, and thermogenesis that promote weight loss.
Though mate has more or less the same caffeine content of coffee, most mate drinkers don’t experience the “crash” that comes with coffee drinking. Mate has also been known to improve mood, help with depressive symptoms, and provide the feeling of euphoria. Jitters and irritability, which are both side effects of caffeine, are not experienced by yerba mate drinkers.
Because of its higher caffeine content, mate seems to be a better source of energy than green tea. Mate also contains 3 xanthine alkaloids, which are mild stimulants, and said to be responsible for the tea’s unique and healthy boost of energy. It can also be a better drink to improve concentration and mental clarity, as well as more effective for weight loss since thermogenesis is also more efficient.
3. Nutrient Content
Yerba mate contains 196 active compounds while green tea contains 144, which means mate contains 52 more active chemicals than the latter. These compounds or chemicals include 24 vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, 15 amino acids, as well as other compounds that include fatty acids, flavonoids, chlorophyll, trace minerals, and polyphenols.
One cup of mate contains the vitamins A, C, E, B1, B3, and B5; the minerals calcium, magnesium, selenium, phosphorus, and iron. Green tea, on the other hand, contains the vitamins C, A, B1, B12, K, and P; and the minerals copper, nickel, zinc, phosphorus, fluoride, iron, calcium, and magnesium.
According to the famous study by the Pasteur Institute and Paris Scientific Society in 1964, they concluded that “it is difficult to find a plant equal to mate’s nutritional value.” And that mate practically contains all the nutrients needed to sustain life. When it comes to nutritional values at Yerba mate vs Green tea debate, one cup of mate beats one cup of green tea.
4. Weight Loss
One of probably more popular points in this article is a comparison of yerba mate vs green tea weight loss properties. Again, both green tea and yerba mate are known to help promote weight loss. Both are known to promote thermogenesis – which is the body’s natural way of burning stored fat through the increase of body temperature. Both drinks are also known to boost metabolism and suppress appetite.
Most of these weight loss benefits come from the drinks’ caffeine content, and obviously, since mate contains more caffeine than green tea, it is safe to say it could have the better capacity to support weight loss efforts. Yerba mate vs Green tea: Yerba mate wins a point again.
However, it must be noted that drinking mate or even green tea while fasting can be dangerous. Toxicity has been known to occur when individuals drink caffeine-infused drinks while fasting.
5. Side Effects
There have been certain reports that yerba mate seems to increase the risk of certain cancers, but clinical trials have not proven significant results. Side effects, on the other hand, have been reported, but are limited to caffeine-related effects.
While both drinks share many of the same health benefits, they also share the same side effects when you drink too much. These side effects, which are similar to most caffeine-based drinks, include:
- upset stomach
Green tea and yerba mate may not be advisable for pregnant women and those who are nursing, as well as those who are suffering from anemia and bleeding disorders. For anyone suffering from anxiety disorders, both drinks are also to be avoided due to the boost of energy brought about by these drinks.
In terms of side effects, both drinks are relatively similar. Yerba mate vs Green tea: draw.
I just love drinking tea. For a long time, green tea was my favorite. But a few years ago my friend from Brazil introduced me to Yerba mate. First, I asked myself: “Yerba mate vs Green tea?”. Immediately I went online to see what is better. Yerba mate is really special due to its nutritional value. It is hard to find a plant with so many different vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals.
Now friends are asking me if it is Yerba mate green tea. Because I am a tea lover I kindly explain the difference. Before I was drinking green tea every day. Today I started a day with Yerba mate. Just like every day.
When it comes to Yerba mate vs Green tea debate I am on the side of Yerba mate.
Green tea vs Yerba mate: The Bottom Line
There is much debate to the question, is yerba mate green tea’s better option? While green tea has been hailed for its health benefits, anti-aging properties, and calming effects for decades, yerba mate has only begun to arrive in the Western market as a healthy drink option.
And while mate has an acquired taste, it hasn’t stopped the Western world from consuming Argentina’s national drink to experience its world of health benefits.
Yerba mate vs green tea: On many different levels, from antioxidants to nutritional value, to weight loss effects, to caffeine content, it can be seen from scientific studies that yerba mate and green tea do go neck-to-neck, but the obvious healthier choice is hands down the former.
And while scientific studies on yerba mate have not been much publicized compared to green tea, it must be noted that such studies have shown great significant and promising results when it comes to Yerba mate being the superior drink of choice.