Mate tea and footballers: popular with Messi and Co.

Whether mate tea is the miracle cure for becoming a successful footballer cannot be scientifically proven. In the meantime, however, it seems hard to imagine many dressing rooms without it. Recreational and professional footballers love the tart tea made from holly leaves and are convinced of its performance-enhancing effect. What is actually true about this belief - we try to get to the bottom of it.

Messi, Suàrez & Co - these footballers swear by mate tea

In 2018, France's kicking hero Antoine Griezmann said he felt like an Uruguayan. Uruguay flag and soccer ball in goal net.He adores the culture, the people and the lifestyle there. And anyone who has followed his career will come across the South American country again and again. For example, his first professional coach was from Uruguay, his best friend and godfather of his child is team-mate Diego Godìn from Uruguay. Not to mention his favourite accessory off the pitch and in the players' dressing room: the thermos filled to the brim with mate tea. Many footballers seem to be switching from water to the hot drink - which, by the way, can also be enjoyed wonderfully cold.

The list of footballers who drink mate tea can be extended indefinitely. Luis Suàrez from Uruguay has known yerba mate since childhood. But also in the English national team, Eric Dier and Danny Rose are known as lovers of the tart tea. The best footballer of the last decade - Lionel Messi - comes from Argentina and grew up with mate tea. The striker is thus one of the best-known ambassadors of the national drink.

Mate tea and its special features

The prepared mate tea is not only a treat for footballers. In South America, many people do not leave home without the appropriate mate accessories. Calabashes, bombillas, thermos flasks or bags are available in various designs in our online shop.

It is also popular to drink it in convivial gatherings with friends and family according to certain rituals. Whether with a shot of alcohol - not in mate tea for footballers, of course - or in a set order in which the host drinks the first infusion himself - mate tea cannot be accompanied by South American specialities such as empanadas, tortillas or quesadillas. A grilled beef steak is also the perfect accompaniment to mate tea.

Whether at the office, with breakfast or before bed, yerba mate rightly has its reputation as the national drink.

How do footballers drink their mate tea?

Before mate tea can be enjoyed by footballers, it has a long history of origin. Before the first harvest, the holly - either growing wild or cultivated in plantations - has to grow for about four years and be cut back in the meantime. After harvesting, extraction, drying and grinding take place. Some varieties are roasted over an open fire.

Only then is the mate tea ready for preparation. A handful of leaves is placed in a calabash - a gourd-shaped vessel - and then infused with water heated to about 70 to 80 °C. The first infusion is particularly bitter. The first infusion is particularly bitter. To prevent the mate tea leaves from being swallowed, a bombilla - a drinking straw with a sieve at the bottom - is used.

The longer the tea leaves steep in the brew, the more pronounced the flavour; roasting is also clearly noticeable. It is not uncommon for mate tea to be additionally enriched with citrus flavours.

This is behind the secret of mate tea's success with footballers

Antoine Griezmann is not the only footballer who appreciates mate tea and believes in its performance-enhancing effect. However, this has not been scientifically proven. The drink got its reputation as an energy booster because of its ingredients. It contains a high proportion of caffeine, which makes it a perfect stimulant. The purely herbal consumption of mate tea has the advantage for footballers that they do not have to resort to coffee or sweet energy drinks to get the kick for the decisive goal.

Leg skill training on football field.

The list of natural ingredients is long. The green-yellow infusion has a tart flavour that can vary depending on where it is grown. Climatic conditions - such as proximity to the sea or the altitude of the plantation - play a particularly important role.

  • Caffeine
  • Theobromine
  • Theophyllin
  • Tannins
  • Vanillin
  • Essential oils
  • Chlorophyll
  • Vitamins A, B1, B2 and C

Mate tea is appreciated by footballers because of its possible stimulating effect, so that the kickers can be driven to top performances. Antoine Griezmann, Luis Suárez, Eric Dier and Lionel Messi have proven their belief in this – they are celebrated heroes in every stadium in the world.

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