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For a Healthy Energy Drink, Think Yerba Mate!

Okay, you’re trying to make healthier beverage choices, so forget some of the chemical concoctions on the market today that are passed off as energy drinks. Try Yerba Mate! It’s an all-natural alternative that not only boosts energy, but has 24 vitamins and minerals, 15 amino acids, and abundant antioxidants.

Yerba Mate (pronounced yer-bə mä-tā), sometimes called Paraguay or Brazilian Tea, comes from a small evergreen tree, a member of the holly family native to the subtropical forests of South America. The dried leaves and stems of the tree are used to make an infusion the natives call the “drink of the gods” and have been drinking for centuries because it has so many health benefits.

It is considered to be the healthiest of the six most commonly used stimulants in the world — yerba mate, coffee, tea, kola nut, cocoa and guarana — providing both energy and nutrition.

Each infusion of 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.

The taste somewhat resembles green teas, but it is also available in many flavored varieties. Unlike most teas, the leaves may be infused several times as it does not become bitter and astringent when steeped for extended periods.

One of my favorite brands of Yerba Mate comes from Guayaki.  Their products not only taste good, but all of them are produced without the use of herbicides, chemical pesticides, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Guayaki not only offers great products, but also helps preserve the rainforest and support indigenous people by partnering with small farmers of South America to obtain mate from the sub-tropical forests. Mate that is forest grown has more nutritional value and a smooth, rich flavor.  It is also environmentally sustainable in the long term and provides more income per acre for the farmers than cattle or agricultural products such as corn, soy or wheat.

There are several types of Yerba Mate available from Guayaki. Here’s a list of some of their products:

~ Bottled Yerba Mate. These organic energy drinks are available in 8-ounce bottles of mint, citrus, Pomegranate, raspberry, traditional and unsweetened varieties.

~ Yerba Mate Lattes. Available in 32-ounce bottles of either the rich, traditional flavor, or a spiced mate chai latte, the mate is mixed 1:1 with milk, then heated or poured over ice.

~ Loose-Leaf Mate. This comes in several different flavors, from Traditional to Java Mate (tastes more like coffee). It’s packaged in 7 and 8 ounce bags, plus 1 or 5-pound bags.

Last but not least, my very favorite products from Guayaki –

~ Tea Bags and Bulk Loose Mate. These are great tasting teas! I use them in my tea maker all the time to make iced tea, and often experiment with different flavors, mixing and matching to find ones that really delight the palate!

Tea bags are available in the traditional flavor, plus Chai Spice, Greener Green Tea, Magical Mint, Chocolatte, Orange Blossom and Red Tea.

For hot tea, I will confess to a special weakness for the Chocolatte Mate or Orange Blossom Mate. The latter also works great for ice tea, as does the Magical Mint, mixed with plain mate, and sometimes other tea blends.

It is also worth noting that many of their mate blends are lightly sweetened with stevia, a naturally sweet substitute for sugar.  Also, Guayaki offers gourds and bombillas, the traditional way to drink Yerba Mate, and other accessories.

I highly recommend Guayaki. I haven’t tried every one of their products, but those I buy regularly are always of the highest quality.

So switch to Yerba Mate for a great energy drink!

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