Yerba Mate Clinical Evidence
Alkhatib A, Atcheson R. Yerba maté (Ilex paraguariensis) metabolic, satiety, and mood state effects at rest and during prolonged exercise. 2017 Aug 15;9(8):882.
What are the effects of yerba maté (YM) on parameters related to weight loss?
Yerba Mate is a popular herb for weight management, but its effects on metabolism, satiety, and psychomotor effects have not been widely studied.
Human intervention trial
Randomized, crossover, placebo-controlled. Participants rested for 2 hours prior to completing a 30-minute cycling session at each individual’s crossover point intensity. This is the point at which the energy burned from fat decreases and the energy burned from carbohydrates increases. After the exercise session, researchers measured fat oxidation (FAO) using indirect calorimetry and volunteers rated their hunger, prospective eating, and desire to eat on a subjective appetite scale. They also rated their mood state, including focus, energy, and concentration.
12 healthy, active women
2 g (single dose)
Yerba Mate significantly increased FAO, and significantly decreased hunger, prospective eating, and desire to eat while significantly increasing focus, energy, and concentration.
“Combining Yerba Mate intake with prolonged exercise at targeted “fat-loss” intensities augments FAO and improves measures of satiety and mood state. Such positive combined metabolic, satiety, and psychomotor effects may provide an important role for designing future fat and weight-loss lifestyle interventions.”
Nutrition and Metabolism
Alkhatib A. Yerba Maté (Ilex paraguariensis) ingestion augments fat oxidation and energy expenditure during exercise at various submaximal intensities. 2014;11:42.
How does yerba maté (YM) effect metabolism during exercise?
YM is a popular herb for weight management, due to its thermogenic effects. However, its effects on metabolism during exercise, when metabolism is already increased, have not been widely studied.
Human clinical intervention trial
Randomized, crossover, placebo-controlled. Participants took YM or a placebo 60 minutes before an ergometry exercise session. Researchers measured volunteers’ power input every 3 minutes until the volunteers reached peak oxygen uptake. Their expired gases and calorimetry were used to analyze fat oxidation (FAO) and energy expenditure (EE). Blood samples were taken at rest and after submaximal and maximal power output to measure blood lactate content (BLC).
14 healthy men and women
1,000 mg (single dose)
YM increased FAO and EE by 24% at all exercise intensities below 70%. There was also a trend toward decreased BLC. VO2 peak, peak power, and peak RER were not affected.
“Acute YM ingestion augments the exercise dependent increase in FAO and EEFAO at submaximal exercise intensities without negatively affecting maximal exercise performance, suggesting a potential role for YM ingestion to increase the exercise effectiveness for weight loss and sports performance.”
Mechanism of Action
Yerba maté’s (YM) has both thermogenic and weight management properties. These are attributed to bioactive compounds including polyphenols, caffeoyl derivatives, phytosterols, saponins, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. Animal research suggests YM’s metabolic effects include lowering cholesterol, triglycerides, and glycemic control. It has also been shown to improve waist to hip ratio in humans. YM may aid in weight management by increasing energy during exercise, suppressing appetite through increased expression of glucagon-like peptide-1, delayed gastric emptying, and increased ghrelin in rodents.