Guayakí Yerba Mate - A Powerful Rainforest Experience
Buzz in the PressGuayaki market mate energy drink alternative
By staff reporter
7/5/2007- Californian beverage manufacturer Guayakí is launching a no-hype yerba mate set to compete in the energy drinks category because of the natural compounds found in the South American plant.
The traditional tea-like beverage is drunk in many parts of Latin America and is known for some of its healthy attributes, such as being a rich source of polyphenols.
However, the beverage has a naturally tart and 'acquired' taste that would at first seem to make it an unlikely candidate for a refreshing on-the-go beverage in the North American market - that is to say, unless consumers become aware of its healthy attributes.
And it looks to be that this is how the company will promote its new drink.
"The unique combination of robust nutrition and balanced stimulation from the brewed leaves of the rainforest yerba mate tree make Guayakí Yerba Mate the healthiest source of energy on the planet," said Guayaki co-founder David Karr.
Guayaki first introduced a line of three functional yerba mate blend drinks earlier this year. These contain other herbs and organic juices in addition to mate.
The company is promoting its latest version of yerba mate as a traditional-style unsweetened and low-calorie mate that will be sold in a 16-ounce bottle.
In addition to its polyphenol content, mate also contains natural stimulants, thereby lending it to the energy drink category. According to Guayakí, a bottle of its unsweetened mate contains caffeine comparable to coffee and energy drinks. However, the company says the caffeine is balanced by mate's content of euphoriant and stimulant compounds theobromine, theophylline and pantothenic acid.
"Yerba mate is also a rich source of magnesium, which has been proven to ease anxiety," states Guayakí. "Many caffeine-sensitive people that drink yerba mate gain vitality and clarity of mind, but don't experience the jitters, stomach discomfort and headaches that are common complaints among consumers of coffee and energy drinks."
In South America, yerba mate is also touted for its alleged appetite suppressant properties. Research in North America on the traditional beverage is only slowly being gathered however.
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have been looking to target the antioxidant properties from mate tea for use as functional beverage ingredients.
Dr. Elvira de Mejia Green, assistant professor of food chemistry and food toxicology at Urbana-Champaign, told NutraIngredients-USA in January that they believe yerba mate extracts could have more antioxidant properties than green tea extracts.