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What is Yerba Mate? Why do the Best Footballers in the World Drink it?

Written by: Tom Whittle 25 September 2020

The Drink of the Gods 

Yerba Mate (yer-bah mah-tay), a key ingredient of our performance range, is a traditional drink made from the dried leaves of an evergreen holly, Ilex paraguariensis, a native plant of South America. It is often referred to there as 'Bebida de los Dioses' or 'Drink of the Gods'. Throughout our time in Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil, we saw first hand the nations’ obsession with this super-brew. It is by far the most popular drink on the continent and Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr., plus more recently Paul Pogba and the England football team, all swear by it. Here’s why:  
The world's most famous yerba mate drinker, Lionel Messi.

Benefits of Yerba Mate:

- Creates A Natural and Sustained Energy Boost

Yerba mate contains a moderate amount of caffeine, known to enhance memory, mood, and alertness. It makes you more motivated and productive by stimulating production of the neurotransmitter dopamine. But besides caffeine, Yerba Mate contains the compounds theobromine and theophylline. These alkaloids work together to provide unique, mild stimulant effects.


Suarez always drinks yerba mate pre-game. Traditionally, yerba mate is drunk through a 'bombilla' (metal straw).


 Yerba Mate drinkers experience a state of alert wakefulness similar to that of coffee, but for a much longer period of time and without coffee’s crash (i.e. payback time). It rarely interferes with sleep and doesn’t cause caffeine jitters. This makes it perfect to take before or during performance in the gym or at your desk, producing long lasting, sustained energy.   




- Rich in Vitamins and Minerals

Each serving of our performance teas contain the following vitamins and minerals due to the inclusion of Yerba Mate (a much more impressive list than that found in coffee): 

Vitamin A, vitamins B1, B2, B3, and B5, vitamin C, vitamin E, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, sulfur and zinc.

Yerba mate also contains 11 polyphenols and exhibits more antioxidant power than any other tea-based drink or coffee. 

- Aids Digestion

Drinking Yerba Mate regularly can help the body's digestion system function more efficiently and has been suggested to support regular bowel movements. A study done in Buenos Aires, Argentina at the Catedra de Farmacologia found that "Yerba Mate induces an increase in bile flow and enhances the intestinal tract.” This again makes it the perfect brew for athletes needing to digest a lot of calories throughout the day.

Mission's Yerba Mate Tea

Our Perform tea includes Yerba Maté with a number of other natural performance enhancing ingredients: Sencha Green tea, Gotu kola and Schizandra berries. Our Hydrate Matcha contains finely ground down Yerba Maté (so you ingest the whole leaf and more of the goodness). We've added Matcha Green Tea, Maca, Siberian Ginseng, Baobab and natural Himalayan Pink Salt electrolytes.  



Images: Instagram / AFP