The super foods of the vegetarian / vegan athlete: yerba mate

Yerba maté is an ultra popular drink in South America, a real institution. Halfway between tea and coffee (appearance and effects), yerba mate is not to be put aside as part of a healthy and sporty vegan nutrition!

Caffeine for energy and weight loss

Yerba mate, like coffee, contains caffeine. We know the effects of caffeine on the body, helping to fight physical and mental fatigue. Yerba mate is therefore interesting for someone looking for a boost before starting their training, or in the morning at breakfast . However, it is best not to consume too much yerba mate to avoid addiction (limit the number of daily cups as much as possible).

In addition, the caffeine present in yerba mate has an appetite suppressant effect and it could promote weight loss. Personally, I do not recommend that you consume it to aim for weight loss, I think it is more relevant to already have a qualitative diet (see NSV program ) to avoid cravings before including foods only for their “appetite suppressant” effects.

Antioxidants, to improve recovery

Yerba mate is rich in antioxidants s , and these play a key role in the fight against cellular aging. At the sports level, consuming enough antioxidants will prevent the appearance of stiffness. Many athletes like Lionel Messi have also adopted yerba mate.

Antioxidants will also limit the risk of injury, especially in the joints. It is therefore ideal for an athlete with a rather high training volume, with intensive sessions.

Vitamins and minerals, for optimized sports practice

Having different but vital roles within the body (transport and use of energy, muscle contraction, proper functioning of the nervous system, immunity, stress management, sports performance, etc.), vitamins and minerals are provided by a rich and varied diet.

If you are athletic, vegan and consume enough fruits and vegetables, your intake of vitamins and minerals should be sufficient (except for the vitamin B12 which is a special case). However, yerba mate contains vitamins A, B, C and E and can therefore be of great support in the daily vitamin intake.

How to consume yerba maté?

Yerba maté is easily found in organic stores and in traditional culture, it is consumed with a calabash (container) and a bombilla (straw with a filter) .

It is also possible to consume it as a classic infusion (like a traditional tea), you just have to be careful not to use boiling water because it alters the taste quality and the virtues of the tea. plant. In fact, yerba mate can be enjoyed both hot and cold. Given its high nutritional intake, I have included yerba mate in the superfoods recommended in my Vegan Sports Nutrition program .

Be careful once again: like coffee, it is preferable to consume yerba mate occasionally to avoid habituation and therefore the reduction of its effects … You can find other tips to start vegan sports nutrition by downloading my free guide, by clicking here !

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