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Caffeine content in yerba mate - what stimulates the most?

2023-01-23
Caffeine content in yerba mate - what stimulates the most?

Outside the window, it's a gloomy autumn or a cold winter morning and, as a result, a lack of energy and desire to get out of bed. What can you do? Where do you get the energy from? Well, we have some tried and tested ways. You can drink yerba mate and stay energised all day. Or you can stimulate yourself with tea, coffee or energy drinks. What do they all have in common? Caffeine!

Summary:

  1. Caffeine - what is it?
  2. Caffeine, matheine or theine? What is in yerba mate?
  3. How much caffeine is in yerba mate?
  4. Stimulating effect of yerba mate
  5. Yerba mate vs coffee and other drinks with caffeine. Who is the winner?
  6. Caffeine is not everything!

Caffeine - what is it?

People have been consuming caffeine for centuries, which has several natural sources. According to legend, energy-boosting tea was discovered in around 3000 BC by a Chinese emperor. Cocoa beans were used by the Mayans as early as 600 BC. Coffee was discovered in the 9th century AD in Ethiopia. The Guarani Indians discovered the stimulating properties of Ilex paraguariensis and guarana growing in South America centuries ago. At the time, no one knew that the stimulating effect was due to the caffeine contained in these plants, which was not isolated from coffee beans at 1819 by German chemist Friedrich Ferdinand Runge. Caffeine research went into full swing and, less than 20 years later, scientists discovered that the same substance existed in tea. At the end of the 19th century, it was also detected in cocoa. Coffee and tea became popular all over the world, gaining more and more recognition. Cafés sprang up in every large, respectable city. It was possible to meet in them, chat, read the newspaper and drink hot, stimulating drinks.

How does caffeine work?

Caffeine is an alkaloid with the chemical formula: C8H10N4O2. It is a psychoactive substance, which means that it has a direct effect on brain function. It stimulates the mind and the whole body, adding energy and offsetting feelings of fatigue, improves concentration, sharpens the senses and enhances mood. It has to do with interfering with the action of adenosine, the body's naturally produced sleep-inducing substance. Its effects are particularly desirable for people who need a large dose of energy and need to be concentrated for long periods of time. Almost everyone drinks a cup of coffee or tea in the morning to wake up and sober up the mind. People who work at night to get rid of the feeling of drowsiness or office workers or IT specialists whose work requires particularly intensive concentration reach for caffeinated beverages. Caffeine in a balanced, reasonable amount is a cure for energy loss. Overdosing can lead to unpleasant consequences.

Caffeine, matheine or theine? What is in yerba mate?

Caffeine has many sources. The most common is coffee beans, but it is also found in tea, cocoa, guarana and in some species of holly. Caffeine is also in yerba mate. Depending on the source, some people call the stimulant substance theine, guaranine or mateine. The truth is that they are all one and the same caffeine, and its effects vary slightly due to other substances found in plants together with caffeine. And where is it most abundant?

Yerba mate vs caffeine

How much caffeine is in yerba mate?

Caffeine is most often consumed in stimulating infusions or drinks. The intensity of caffeine depends on the type and amount of coffee, tea or dried yerba mate poured. The amount of caffeine is also dependent on the brewing time, sometimes the temperature of the water or the ratio of water to product, thus the dilution of the main substance. When averaged out, it looks interesting, and examples are given below:


    Yerba mate and other stimulating drinks - caffeine content in milligrams (mg) per litre:

  • espresso: about 1691–2254 mg caffeine per litre
  • drip coffee: about 550-850 mg caffeine per litre
  • percolated coffee: about 386–652 mg caffeine per litre
  • energy drinks: about 320 mg caffeine per litre
  • tea: about 100-450 mg caffeine per litre
  • soda drinks: about 96-185 mg caffeine per litre

Comparatively, yerba mate has a caffeine content of around 358 mg per litre, which is less than brewed coffee and a tad more than the average energy drink.


Stimulating effect of yerba mate

As we have already noted, there is less caffeine in yerba mate than in coffee, yet it stimulates better and longer. So why is the strong, long-lasting effect of yerba mate, rated by many higher than the stimulation of coffee? Referring to a well-known saying, man cannot “sleep” by caffeine alone. There are many substances in yerba mate, other than those found in coffee, that make caffeine (or mateine, depending on the approach) work in a slightly different, better and more effective way. In addition to caffeine, yerba mate contains antioxidants, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, chromium, potassium, B vitamins, zinc and C vitamin. The amount of caffeine in yerba mate recedes into the background. Its surroundings and the right balance of ingredients come to the fore. In addition to caffeine, other xanthines - theophylline and theobromine - are also present in the yerba mate infusion. Like caffeine, they belong to the group of alkaloids, or nitrogen-containing basic organic compounds. They also have in common the fact that both substances exhibit energetic properties. Admittedly, xanthines do not stimulate as strongly as caffeine. However, their effect on stimulating the body can hardly be denied. They have a relaxing effect - by dilating blood vessels, they lower blood pressure. Some yerba mate growers are keen to highlight the presence of xanthines in their products. This is done, for example, by the famous Argentinian company Las Marías with its flagship Taragui Energia. As it reports on its website, the holly from which it is made is harvested in summer, at the peak of the plant's development. This is when it contains particularly high levels of xanthines, up to 30% more than when it is harvested during other seasons.

Yerba mate vs coffee and other drinks with caffeine. Who is the winner?

Yerba mate lasts longer and its effects are more stable and balanced, compared to coffee. While there is a sudden "descent" and a sharp drop in energy about 4 hours after drinking coffee, the stimulating effect of yerba mate subsides gently and gradually and the body does not feel such a shock. What is more, coffee leaches magnesium and nutrients. Tea is healthier than coffee, but has a limited, weaker effect - it is not a sufficient source of caffeine for people who need a decent dose of energy. Popular soda drinks, although they contain caffeine, have little stimulating effect and many sweeteners. Even the light versions still contain lots of artificial substances. The increasingly popular energy drinks, when consumed over long periods of time, place a heavy burden on the body and are not healthy. While each of these drinks has its own disadvantages, yerba mate has only positives. It has a beneficial effect on the entire body. Not only does it stimulate, but it also improves the functioning of the digestive system, improves the metabolic process, removes harmful substances from the body, and some even attribute its influence on weight loss.

Caffeine is not everything!

Looking for an effective and natural drink to give you energy for the day? Try yerba mate! It may seem a little bitter at first, too intense, but you will quickly get used to its taste. We guarantee you won't regret it. The amount of caffeine contained in yerba mate is sufficient and not excessive. In addition, along with it, you will provide your body with what it needs - the power of vitamins and minerals. Without slowly poisoning your body with sweeteners, preservatives and other artificial substances. Once again, it turns out that the best choice is what is natural. Choose yerba mate and boost yourself!


Source of information:

  1. Wikipedia: Caffeine, Yerba mate.
  2. C.I. Heck, E.G. de Mejia, Yerba Mate Tea (Ilex paraguariensis): a comprehensive review on chemistry, health implications, and technological considerations, w: J Food Sci.
  3. taragui.com

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