Yerba mate is a traditional South American beverage made from the dried leaves of the
Ilex paraguariensis plant. It has a long history of use as a stimulant and appetite
suppressant, and in recent years it has been gaining popularity as a weight loss aid. In this
article, we will explore the scientific evidence supporting the use of yerba mate for weight
loss, and examine the potential risks and benefits of using this popular beverage as a
weight loss aid.
One of the main active compounds in yerba mate is caffeine, which is known to have
thermogenic properties, meaning it can increase the body’s metabolism and boost fat
burning. Studies have shown that consuming caffeine can increase energy expenditure by
up to 11% and increase fat oxidation by up to 29%. Additionally, yerba mate contains
other compounds such as theobromine and theophylline, which are also known to have a
thermogenic effect and may contribute to weight loss.
Another proposed mechanism for yerba mate’s weight loss effects is its ability to suppress
appetite. Some studies have suggested that yerba mate may have an effect on hormones
such as ghrelin, which regulate hunger and satiety. In one study, subjects who consumed
yerba mate tea before a meal reported feeling less hungry and ate less than those who did
The combination of thermogenic effects and appetite suppression may make yerba mate
an effective weight loss aid. In a 12-week study, subjects who consumed yerba mate lost
significantly more weight than those in the control group. In another study, subjects who
took a yerba mate supplement lost an average of 2.2 kg (about 4.8 lbs) over 12 weeks,
while those in the placebo group did not lose any weight.
While yerba mate has been found to be effective in promoting weight loss, there are
potential risks and side effects associated with its use. As mentioned earlier, yerba mate
contains caffeine, which can cause side effects such as jitteriness, anxiety, and insomnia if
consumed in high doses. Additionally, yerba mate may interact with certain medications,
including antidepressants and blood thinners, so it is important to consult a healthcare
provider before using it as a weight loss aid.
It is also worth noting that, like any other weight loss supplement, it is not going to be a
magic solution. Proper diet and exercise are still crucial for weight loss, and yerba mate
should be used as a complementary aid rather than a replacement.
Overall, yerba mate is a traditional South American beverage that has been used for
centuries as a stimulant and appetite suppressant. There is scientific evidence supporting
its use as a weight loss aid, and its thermogenic properties and ability to suppress appetite
may make it an effective tool for promoting weight loss. However, it should be used with
caution as it contains caffeine and may interact with certain medications. It is important to
speak to your healthcare provider before using yerba mate as a weight loss aid and to
understand that it should be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise regimen.