Back in my college days, I was an avid drinker of green tea. I was consuming anywhere from 2 to 4 cups of green tea daily. While I was enjoying the solid benefits of the effective epigallocatechin (EGCG). Green tea is famous for containing the potent amino acid l-theanine, which is known for boosting focus and promoting a relaxed mindset. L-theanine was one of the big proponents that attracted me to green tea in the first place. I couldn’t help, but wonder if there was a more potent tea that could give me the same health benefits as green tea without the potential side effects associated with green tea. Lately, there have been some issues centered green tea extract and over consumption related to hypothyroidism.

To summarize what your thyroid does. The thyroid gland controls how your body’s cells use energy from food through a process known as your metabolism. Your metabolism plays a direct role in your body’s temperature, heartbeat and how efficiently you burn calories. Someone that is experiencing sluggish energy levels, slow metabolism and constantly feeling cold all the time could be a sign of low thyroid commonly known as hypothyroidism. So you’re asking how does green tea. The so-called dandy when it comes to anti-oxidant kings of the supplement and health space potentially has a dark side to it. The possible explanation resides in the green teas catechins causing an influx in the immune system’s T-cell and B-cell antibody reaction.

So for anyone that experiences any type of autoimmune condition like Hashimoto. It might be wise to reconsider ingesting more than 2 to 3 cups of green tea daily. This now leads to the juicy bit of all things yerba mate and why it might be the superior tea of choice. For starters, yerba mate originates from the subtropical areas of South America. Yerba Mate originates from the same plant species as green, white, black and oolong tea. What determines the final taste and benefits is how the duration of the oxidation and processing it goes through. What makes yerba mate unique is that you get the strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea and the euphoric and bliss feeling of chocolate. So in a sense you could say that yerba mate displays nootropic like effects. The tea boasts a whopping 196 active compounds compared to green teas 144. Compounds like anti-oxidants, polyphenols, flavonoids, bioflavonoids, chlorogenic acid, theophylline and theobromine are all present in yerba mate.

As of lately, chlorogenic acid (CA) has been getting a lot of attention and for good reason. This is the very same compound you can find in green coffee bean supplements. Chlorogenic acid promotes cardiovascular health by keeping the arteries squeaky clean and keeping blood pressure in check. It also lowers oxidized small dense LDL particles. To put things into perspective, green tea contains very little chlorogenic acid compared to yerba mate, which ranges from 6mg to 20 mg. Yerba mate is a solid tea choice for individuals struggling with blood sugar swings and people with diabetes.

In fact, this one study examined the anti-obesity effects that yerba mate could have on patients with obesity. What was found was that yerba mate delayed gastric emptying. This translates to reducing the duration of time it takes for one to perceive gastric fullness (Andersen T et al, 2001). As a result, the overweight patients lost a great deal of weight over a span of 45 days. Even more interesting is that yerba mate has the potential to influence one’s caloric intake and meal satiation (Harrold et al, 2012).

I recommend opting for the air-dried forms of yerba mate since there have been some concerns about the smoked yerba mate and potential cancer risk from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PCA) from the smoking process. Brands like Guayaki and Eco Teas follow this tradition of air-drying. So next time you are deciding which tea to try, give yerba mate a try and enjoy the mental clarity, focus and fat burning potential that comes with it. It’s pretty sweet stuff!

What do you prefer? Yerba Mate or Green Tea?