Some variations of yerba mate contain equal amounts of caffeine when compared to coffee. Other than the moderate caffeine content, mate has not definitively proven to cause negative side effects from consuming the beverage daily.
Yerba Mata Caffeine Content
The traditional mate beverage has anywhere from 80 mg to 160 mg of caffeine per serving. These statistics almost match the exact caffeine content found in each cup of regular black coffee. However, mate does contain antioxidants which tend to reduce the stimulating effects caused by caffeine.
Research has shown that consuming more than 500 mg of caffeine a day from any food or drink source has the potential to affect sleeping patterns. Over-consuming caffeine also causes headaches, anxiety, nausea, and a rapid or irregular heart rate. Therefore, drinking no more than 2 to 4 cups of mate tea daily remains the recommended amount.
Traditionally, mate was only served warm. The South American groups that started the mate drinking ritual always enjoy their servings at warm temperatures, opposed to using boiling water to make the drink.
The Cancer Debate
Some studies have shown that yerba mate has the ability to reduce the risk of some cancers. Other studies have shown the exact opposite. In fact, regularly consuming moderate amounts of mate has been linked to the promotion of oral, esophageal and bladder cancer.
However, you must know that these studies involved hot mate and not the traditionally-served warm yerba mate. This difference plays a key role in the varying test results.