Science Behind Mate Bros Yerba Mate Energy Drink

Mate Bros yerba mate energy drink is no longer manufactured, but it is another example of how not all energy drinks fit the Red Bull stereotype. Still, there’s a lot to learn by looking at the ingredients, especially since there are still plenty of yerba mate energy drinks on the market.

For a more complete list of other Yerba Mate based drinks, check out this blog from Yerba Mate Culture.

Did you know sleep-deprivation makes it harder for us to connect with others? Sleep-deprivation lowers our Emotional Intelligence, meaning we struggle to keep our own emotions in check and struggle to read the emotional cues of other people.

But what if an energy drink could help you connect with others?  It’s this spirit – and the spirit of the holiday season – which inspired this pick for the Energy Drink of the Month review.

The Energy Drink of the Month for December 2015 is Mate Bros Yerba Mate.

mate bros yerba mate energy drink

Mate Bros yerba mate energy drink is another “energy-drink-in-disguise” because it doesn’t fit the energy drink stereotype. To understand all the ways this energy drink is different, let’s explore the ingredients in this “Natural Energy Brew”.

Mate Bros Energy Drink Ingredients

Mate Bros yerba mate energy drink ingredients

This product has only six ingredients. SIX! This is definitely a selling point for people who don’t like the stereotypical energy drink with “chemicals” and unpronounceable ingredients.  Mate Bros energy drink ingredients are water, sugar, lemon juice from concentrate, yerba mate leaf extract, reb A (stevia), and natural flavor.

Let’s take a closer look at these ingredients:


This is a non-carbonated product, which means it’s closer to being a tea than a stereotypical energy drink. The fact it’s non-carbonated also makes it a very low Fatigue Level 2 drink in the 5 Levels of Fatigue system

  • As a reminder, the 5 Levels of Fatigue is a system for finding how much caffeine you need based on how tired you are.


Only 6 grams, and just plain sugar, not any of its acronyms.

Lemon Juice from Concentrate

This is the source of the 10% vitamin C and the 8% juice on the facts panel. In this case, lemon juice is not just for flavor, it’s a natural preservative. The acidity of the lemon juice makes it hard for bacteria and mold to grow. Note the absence of any other preservative in the ingredients list. 


Caffeine Informer Mate Tea

Yerba Mate Leaf Extract

According to the Mate Bros label, the Yerba Mate inside provides 99 mg caffeine per serving (per can). This is consistent with the content of Mate Tea, according to Caffeine Informer’s massive database (see Caffeine Informer image, above)

    • For more information about where yerba mate comes from and how it differs from other sources of caffeine like green tea and guarana, get your copy of the Energy Drink Guide:
      Energy Drink Book - fan photo Energy Mafia

Reb-A (Stevia)

Stevia is a natural sweetener. The term “Reb A” is the name of the molecule extracted from the leaf of the Stevia plant that delivers the sweetness.

    • Did You Know: Stevia can be tricky for product developers because it’s critical to find a good source. Not all Stevia tastes the same, and a poor quality source may leave some people with Stevia’s characteristic bitter-metallic aftertaste.

Natural Flavor

Since there is no indication on the label what flavor this product is supposed to be, I have no idea what this natural flavor is…maybe lemon?

    • I’m not alone in my confusion: when BevNet reviewed this product, they gave it 3 out of 5 stars and expressed disappointment that there was only one (ambiguous) flavor variety available.

Final Thoughts

With the amount of caffeine in this product and the very simple ingredient list, this is a very nice substitute for a weaker energy drink. Note, Red Bull has 80 mg caffeine per 8 oz can, and this product has 99 mg. What a nice healthy swap, right?

Related Resources:

If you’re interested in yerba mate specifically, you might enjoy these posts by Yerba Mate Culture:

Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about energy drink safety and ingredients – now in paperback, hardcover, eBook, and Audible!

energy drink book on audible