For MOMS & MOMS-TO-BE* and KIDS 15+**
Pretty much everyone is in search of more energy these days, trying to keep up with their ever-evolving lives and schedules. Now add kids into the mix and it seems like sleep becomes a thing of the past and there is never a day where you aren’t “tired” or in need of a pick-me-up.
Although there are hundreds of supplements, drinks, etc. that we can buy in order to help with our lack of energy, very few are what should be considered “healthy”. Moreover, many of them have addictive properties and can lead to a whole list of negative side-effects.
While coffee and tea are probably the most well-known, and healthiest, of the natural energy inducers, there is another option that most Americans still have yet to know about it. It’s called Yerba Mate and Guayaki has turned it into my new “energy drink” of choice.
THE PRODUCT: Guayaki’s Organic Yerba Mate (pronounced: Gway-uh-kee Yer-bah Mah-tay), is not your typical energy beverage. With the strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea, and the euphoria of chocolate, yerba mate is made from the naturally caffeinated and nourishing leaves of the celebrated South American rainforest holly tree (Ilex paraguariensis).
Available in both [glass] bottles and cans, Guayaki’s Organic Yerba Mate comes in a variety of options, including such flavors as Grapefruit Ginger, Enlighten Mint, and Pomegranate Terere, with some tasting more ‘juicy’ and ‘earthy’ and others appearing more light, bright, and lightly carbonated.
NUTRITION-WISE: Yerba Mate is not an ‘energy’ drink in the traditional sense, but many people do experience energy from drinking mate, as well as clarity of mind. With approximately 80 mg of caffeine per serving, (somewhere between that of green tea and coffee), yerba mate also contains, theophylline, and theobromine, well-known stimulants also found in tea, coffee and chocolate. Yet unlike tea, yerba mate has a low tannin content so it can be strong like coffee with out becoming extremely bitter. Moreover, yerba mate is not oily and acid forming, like coffee, so it is less likely to cause stomach acid and jitters. Nevertheless, yerba mate helps stimulate focus and clarity, boosts physical energy, is used to support weight loss programs [that include a balanced diet and exercise], and aids elimination.
In regards to nutrients, yerba mate contains:
Vitamins: A, C, E, B1, B2, Niacin (B3), B5, B Complex Minerals: Calcium, Manganese, Iron, Selenium, Potassium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Zinc Additional Compounds: Carotene, Fatty Acids, Chlorophyll, Flavonols, Polyphenols, Inositol, Trace Minerals, Antioxidants, Tannins, Pantothenic Acid and 15 Amino Acids. In fact, The Pasteur Institute and the Paris Scientific society in 1964 concluded “it is difficult to find a plant in any area of the world equal to mate in nutritional value” and that yerba mate contains “practically all of the vitamins necessary to sustain life.” In addition, results from a study done by researchers at the University of Madrid assert a high content of mineral elements, especially K, Mg, and Mn, in mate. They considered those findings “to be of great relevance” to the nutritional value of mate infusions.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Having never even heard of yerba mate until a couple years ago, I was surprised to learn how popular it is in other countries. In fact, yerba mate is the national drink of Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Southern Brazil where it is consumed 6 to 1 over coffee.
I was also impressed when I realized how many health benefits it has, from digestion support to the amount of natural energy it gives – without the jitteriness or other negative side-effects that other caffeine filled beverages often have. And the variety of flavors that Guayaki has makes this an easy addition when I’m looking for a quick pick-me-up after a short-nights sleep or a long morning.
The only negatives I can say about Guayaki Yerba Mate is the amount of sugar grams in some of the beverages. Since I really try to limit my sugar intake as much as possible, I personally won’t be drinking a lot of the flavors on a regular basis. However, Guayaki does make some low sugar/calorie varieties including the bottled Unsweetened Terere and the canned Grapefruit Ginger – two flavors that I have pretty much become obsessed with!
Plus, if you were to compare the sugars and calories to the majority of other ‘energy’ drinks, not to mention the vitamins and antioxidants, there is really no comparison in how much healthier a can of Guayaki is!
*As mentioned, Yerba Mate does contain around 80 mg of caffeine per serving, which is about equivalent to a cup of coffee. While this isn’t a ton, I really don’t believe that children need caffeine at all, so I would not recommend giving yerba mate to any kids under 15 (unless you are prepared to deal with their craziness ;
*I would also use your own best judgment if drinking yerba mate while pregnant. While there isn’t really that much caffeine – and doctors say you can safely ingest up to 200mg/day – I personally would try to avoid caffeinated beverages as much as possible when expecting a little one. However, the other vitamins and minerals, etc. found in yerba mate are actually quite good for a pregnant momma, so if I was really craving a pick-me-up, I’d probably go for a can of the Grapefruit Ginger (which would be good for any indigestion problems you may be having as well)!
And remember, Contact Healthy.Fit.Fab…Moms today to create a personalized plan so you and your family can live a healthy, fit, and fabulous life!