The South American herb Yerba Mate is one of the healthiest and most effective options for stimulation before exercise. While I don’t suggest using stimulants regularly for exercise, and especially not for daily use as it is extremely taxing on your adrenals, yerba mate is a nutritionally dense option packed with trace minerals, amino acids, vitamins, and antioxidants. Similar to green tea in many ways, yerba mate is rich in chlorophyll and is a good digestive aid. Like green tea, it is also a slower releasing stimulant that will not result in the jitters that you receive from coffee and other forms of caffeine, and can deliver a significant amount of sustained energy. For this reason, yerba mate can be very beneficial for improving productivity and increasing athletic performance as it brings on short term productive stress. It can be very useful for athletic events such as races and other competitions, or for getting through a higher intensity workout.
If you are a regular user of stimulants and/or a regular coffee drinker, I highly suggest attempting to break your dependance on caffeine in order to fully benefit from the effects of yerba mate. I suggest going a minimum of 3 weeks without caffeine in order to get your body relying on nutritional forms of energy, rather than stimulants. Once you have successfully broken your dependance on caffeine and other stimulants, I suggest taking yerba mate no more than once a week as to not over-stress your adrenal glands. As always, you should be sure to include Maca into your recovery smoothie after consuming yerba mate in order to nourish your recently stressed adrenals.
For more information regarding Maca and it’s nourishing benefits, be sure to read our post: SuperFoods Spotlight – Maca.
You can add yerba mate to many energy bars and other recipes by grinding the herb in a coffee grinder. When selecting, be sure to choose either “wild harvest” or a type that has been grown WITH the jungle, rather than INSTEAD of the jungle. This will help support the Paraguayan farmers of wild harvest yerba mate and in turn, help prevent the clearing of old-growth rain forest.