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Guayakí Yerba Mate - A Powerful Rainforest Experience

Buzz in the Press
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Buzz in the Press

Buzz in the Press

Yerba Mate Offers Healthy Lifestyle
Wednesday, 16 January 2008
Consumers are encouraged to "turn over a new leaf" in 2008 after newly compiled research highlights yerba mate tea's merits as a weight management tool. The New Year offers a fresh chance to make healthy lifestyle changes—and weight loss and fitness are always among the top resolutions. Millions of people in North America are desperately seeking an alternative to the fad diets that year after year provide them with initial weight loss, but don't 'stick' or inspire sustainable results. 

ImageNow, there is a new natural fitness fuel for people that want to turn over a new leaf in 2008 and establish a healthy 'life-changing' routine, according to Sebastopol, Calif.-based Guayaki, the makers of Guayaki Yerba Mate drinks.  

Drinks made from green yerba mate 'tea' leaves, such as the new organic yerba mate drinks from Guayaki, can be the life-changer that dieters are searching for. On Nov. 27, 2007, the NBC Today Show highlighted yerba mate as one of their "five life-changing foods."

Centuries ago, indigenous people in the rainforest of South America discovered that the leaves of the yerba mate tree boosted and sustained their energy and well-being. The plant became a staple of their diet and the base ingredient of their herbal medicine. Now, science is confirming what they have long known about the 'drink of the gods.'  A new compilation of research published in the November issue of the Journal of Food Science details yerba mate's many health attributes and highlights recent studies that support yerba mate's potential benefits as a weight management tool.

"Mate Tea has been shown to have possible effects in the area of weight loss and management and current research has provided some supportive evidence," stated C.I. Heck and E.G. De Mejia, authors of Yerba Mate Tea: A Comprehensive Review on Chemistry, Health Implications, and Technological Considerations. The authors, whom are with the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois, noted the following in their report:

• Obese men and women consuming mate tea have shown a decrease in respiratory quotient (RQ) indicating an increase in fat oxidation (Martinet and others 1999). 
• An herbal infusion made from mate, guarana and damiana showed drastic slowing of gastric emptying as well as a decrease in the perceived time for gastric fullness thus increasing satiety. This was also followed by a dramatic decrease in weight, after 45 days, in overweight patients (Anderson and Fogh 2001).

• Adding ingredients such as mate, guarana and damiana into supplements has shown to be effective in reducing body weight (Pittler and Ernst 2004).

• In a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, mate was given in a supplement form that also contained green tea, asparagus, black tea, guarana and kidney bean extracts. The results of this study showed that those taking the supplement had reduced body fat and change in their indexes of body composition (Opala and others, 2006). 

• It has been cited that the effect of mate on weight loss, while not directly known, could be due to its caffeine concentration, contributing to lipolytic activity, or saponin concentration, interfering with cholesterol metabolism and delaying intestinal absorption of dietary fat (Dickel and others, 2007).

• Mate has also been shown to have potential as a digestive aid due to a choleretic effect, increasing the rate of bile flow (Gorzalczany and others 2001).
In addition to being a weight management tool, the new report notes that "yerba mate possesses a much higher antioxidant capacity than green tea."  The report also highlights how research has found mate to be hypocholesterolemic, hepatoprotective, a central nervous system stimulant, diuretic and of benefit to the cardiovascular system.

The versatility and rich flavor of yerba mate are advantages for people that need the convenience of enjoying a dietary aid in a variety of settings, forms and recipes. Rituals, such as preparing and sharing yerba mate, are an important aspect of resolutions because they provide a comfortable sense of balance. The loose tea can be prepared hot in a coffee maker, French press, espresso maker or traditional gourd with a bombilla (metal filter straw). It also can be brewed in a variety of tea bag blends or made from Guayaki’s Mate Latte Concentrates. Cold yerba mate can be enjoyed via Guayaki’s seven new varieties of Organic Yerba Mate Drinks.  Drinking mate is more than a simple diet tool, it’s a fun lifestyle. 

Yerba mate is generating a buzz in Hollywood. Alicia Silverstone swears by organic Guayaki Yerba Mate to help give her healthy energy to get through long days of filming on the set, for example. Actress Amy Smart says that Guayaki Yerba Mate is one of her "favorite things" and is part of her daily morning routine. Matt Dillon, Meg Ryan and Gwyweth Paltrow are reported to be huge yerba mate fans, and even Hilary Clinton and Madonna have been cited as yerba mate lovers. 

One reason it is gaining a celebrity following is because expert trainers to the stars, such as celebrity lifestyle coach Cameron Shayne, creator of the Budokon method based in Los Angeles, are recommending it. 

"Unlike many weight loss aids, Guayaki Yerba Mate is a balanced energy source that doesn’t deplete the body—it feeds it with nutrients to help stave off hunger and cravings," says Shayne, whom has advised stars including Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Meg Ryan and Renee Russo.  Antioxidant-rich yerba mate contains 24 vitamins and minerals, 15 amino acids and an abundance of saponins (anti-inflammatory phytochemicals that bolster the immune system).

"Yerba mate provides a lot of 'good energy,'" says Shayne, “and that boosts peoples’ ability to exercise, which is so important for weight loss programs to stick around."  

Guayaki’s new drinks contain caffeine comparable to coffee; however, it is balanced by theobromine (the 'euphoriant' in chocolate) and another stimulant named theophylline. Mate also is a good source of B vitamins including pantothenic acid—the "anti-stress" vitamin, which promotes proper function of the adrenal gland. 

"Caffeine-sensitive people that drink mate don’t experience the jitters, stomach discomfort and headaches that are complaints from drinkers of coffee and energy drinks," adds Shayne.

Mate is a fitness fuel known to: assist the breakdown of carbs so more calories can be burned, increase cardiac efficiency and reduce build up of endurance-robbing lactic acid. It also has been found to relieve allergies by stimulating the adrenal glands to produce corticosteroids, which suppress inflammation and overactive immune responses to allergens, which opens the respiratory passages for better oxygen flow. 

Founded in 1997, Guayakí implements an award-winning market-driven restoration business model. By purchasing Guayaki Yerba Mate, customers help support reforestation and improve economic conditions of the farmers and indigenous communities that supply Guayaki.

For the past decade, Guayaki has been expanding market demand for organic rainforest yerba mate, a crop which provides a sustainable economic alternative to destructive practices such as deforestation for lumber, cattle grazing and mono-crop agriculture that is causing the rainforest to disappear. Each person that drinks two servings per day of Guayaki Yerba Mate helps protect approximately one acre of rainforest every year.