Best Yerba Mate: Our Two Healthiest Picks

Best Yerba Mate: Our Two Healthiest Picks

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Yerba mate is a caffeinated herbal drink made from a plant that's native to South America (particularly Brazil). Many brands selling this product suggest that it's healthier than coffee, but it can be hard for consumers to differentiate between yerba mate brands.

What makes any particular yerba mate product healthy? What should consumers look out for on the ingredient label when choosing a yerba mate product? Which brand has the best price? And which brand has the best overall taste and quality?

In this article we'll answer all of these questions and more, as we explain how to choose a high-quality yerba mate brand and what ingredients to look for (and which to avoid).

We'll pick our top two yerba mate products: Best Overall, and Best Value.

How to Choose High-Quality Yerba Mate

Most yerba mate teas have only one ingredient (yerba mate), which makes it easier to qualify them.

We recommend choosing loose leaf yerba mate tea rather than canned yerba mate drinks. Every canned yerba mate drink that we came across while researching this article contained unhealthy additives.

The ingredient list below is from one of the most popular canned yerba mate drinks:

popular canned yerba mate drink ingredients

Added sugar is included at a dose of 28 grams (g), which is 90% of the amount in a 12 ounce Coke.

Citric acid is clinically shown to cause whole-body inflammation in some individuals.

Our selection criteria for healthy yerba mate is simple:

1) Only one ingredient (yerba mate), which allows users to experience all of the health benefits of yerba mate without any of the potential health downsides of these additive ingredients 

2) Ideally organic, because organic food products contain lower toxin levels according to a meta-study published in the Nutrients journal.

Best Overall — Guayakí Yerba Mate

Guayakí Yerba Mate is our top overall yerba mate pick.

Organic yerba mate is the only ingredient, so this product meets our formulation standards.

We've tried this product ourselves and it's the best yerba mate we've had. The taste is slightly bitter (as all unsweetened yerba mate is) but not too bitter. It has a smooth consistency and is potent in terms of caffeine.

As the author of this article, I use this product a few times a week when I want a break from coffee and a slightly lower-caffeine option, but still want a morning pick-me-up:

yerba mate UGC

Guayakí Yerba Mate currently costs $20.16 for 151 servings, or $0.13 per serving.

Best Value — Playadito Yerba Mate

Playadito Yerba Mate is our top value pick.

Yerba mate is its only ingredient, so this product meets our formulation standards. It's not organic so we consider it to be slightly less healthy than Guayakí brand.

Playadito Yerba Mate currently costs $9.49 for around 320 servings.

This means that for under $10, you can have daily yerba mate for around a year with this product.

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Many yerba mate teas are similar in that the only ingredient is yerba mate. This makes it easier to determine which are the best options.

Ingredient list, organic certification and price are the only factors that we recommend considering when choosing a yerba mate tea brand.

Guayakí Yerba Mate is our top overall yerba mate pick, because it's certified organic, has no unhealthy additive ingredients, and has a great taste and texture.

Playadito Yerba Mate is our top value pick, because it costs under $10 for an entire year's worth, and it has no unhealthy additive ingredients.

We consider loose leaf yerba mate tea to be a much healthier option than canned yerba mate tea that often contains added sugar and questionable filler ingredients.