Energizing morning beverage: green tea, yerba mate, lemon juice, ginger

Lately in the mornings, I’ve been making myself a cup of tea that has been incredibly energizing. I feel like I have the energy of someone half my age, which would be…under 30. This morning I was literally jumping at ecstatic dance!

Here’s how to make it:

Boil some filtered water and turn off the heat.

Into a tea ball or strainer, add about a teaspoon of loose green tea leaves. You could use a tea bag of green tea if that’s all you have, but be warned: the tea that goes into tea bags is of vastly inferior quality compared to loose tea.

Add anywhere from a pinch to a quarter teaspoon of yerba mate. Too much can give heart palpitations, so more is not better. Start with a pinch and add more if you have no unpleasant side effects.

Put the tea ball into a cup and fill the cup with hot water.

Add about a teaspoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice or other citrus juice.

Add 1 or 2 slices of fresh ginger root, about as thick as a nickel.

Let steep for about 3 minutes. Remove tea ball.

You could add stevia or honey if you like, but I find the astringent taste refreshing. You can also pour it over ice for a refreshing cool beverage.

Health benefits

  • Green tea is a powerhouse for health. It contains catechins, which are antioxidants that scavenge the body for free radicals and destroy them.  The catechins also protect the skin from DNA damage from UV light. Green tea’s EGCG kills cells showing abnormal growth rates — like cancer cells. It lowers the absorption rate of cholesterol from food and increases the rate cholesterol is excreted, so it improves cardiovascular health. Its theanine boosts the activity of T cells, enhancing the immune system. It assists in weight loss by stimulating the metabolism while dissolving triglycerides.
  • Adding lemon juice to green tea boosts the amount of catechins that are absorbed, supercharging it. Green tea alone is already pretty supercharged, so this combo is super-supercharged! By itself, lemon juice has dozens of beneficial properties: it is alkalizing, improves digestion and elimination, cuts phlegm, purifies the blood, improves the skin, lowers blood pressure, aids in weight loss, and more.
  • Yerba mate provides provides energy without the negative side effects of caffeine. Its theobromine (also found in cacao) relaxes the blood vessels, lowering blood pressure. It stimulates the immune system. It also promotes weight loss by decreasing hunger pangs and stimulating the metabolism.
  • Ginger induces the death of cancer cells. It improves digestion, relieves gastro-intestinal distress, is anti-inflammatory and pain relieving. Like the other ingredients, it is stimulating and energizing.

It’s amazing to me that with just a morning cup of lemon ginger green tea mate, I can do so much for my health while I increase my energy for the day. 


4 thoughts on “Energizing morning beverage: green tea, yerba mate, lemon juice, ginger

    • Thanks for commenting, Jack. Glad you enjoy the blog! Both the green tea and the yerba mate do have caffeine in them. The effect feels much milder than coffee caffeine does, on my body, anyway. The research indicating that the xanthines in yerba mate affect the muscles rather than the central nervous system could well be on target, based on my experience.

  1. I brew usually about 7-8 table spoons of mate for one batch in my 32oz french press. I believe mate is a weaker stimulant than coffee, maybe because of a higher ratio of theobromine and theophyline and less caffeine (this might be able to account for the comment above as these two chemicals may have slightly different actions than caffeine though all three are related in the xanthine family). This amount is pretty typical of what can be expected to sufficiently fill a gourd in South America. A tea ball might not let the leaves expand and extract well.

    • Dan, I gave up on the tea ball and use a strainer that fits inside the cup. I agree that mate is weaker than coffee, and it has a different effect. I’ve found that too much mate can give me heart palpitations, so I take it easy on the amount. Thanks for responding!

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