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Wed Jul 15, 2015, 02:24 PM

US gymnast shares secret: drinking yerba mate

US gymnast Sam Mikulak won his second gold medal in the Pan American Games yesterday, and he’s almost certain to be in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics a year from now contending for a medal.

Not bad for starters. But he says his real passion, the secret behind his growing fame, lies with a herbal tea called “mate” (pronounced mah-tay), which is ever-present in Argentina, Uruguay and southern Brazil. Pope Francis is often seen drinking it, and Albert Einstein was reportedly a big fan of the beverage. “If I ever go there to the Vatican, I’ll know he (Pope Francis) drinks it,” Mikulak said.

Mikulak, who won gold medals in the team and overall competition, came close to Olympic medals three years ago in London — placing fifth in both the vault and team competition. He credits much of his success to drinking the infusion, whose complete name is “yerba mate.” The tea-like drink is traditionally brewed in a hollowed-out, dried gourd and sipped from the gourd through a metal straw, known in Spanish as a “bombilla.”

It’s ordinary to see people in Argentina or Uruguay walking the streets with a thermos of hot water and the gourd, prepared to brew the infusion almost anywhere. You can even see motorcyclists lugging around a thermos, tucked under an arm or hanging from a shoulder strap.

“I think it helps your mind and brain mellow and focus a bit more than normal,” Mikulak explained. “That’s why I drink it as an athlete.”

Mikulak said he was introduced to it by chance by friends in high school in southern California.

At: http://buenosairesherald.com/article/193889/us-gymnast-shares-secret-drinking-mate-

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Reply US gymnast shares secret: drinking yerba mate (Original post)
forest444 Jul 2015 OP
DavidDvorkin Jul 2015 #1
forest444 Jul 2015 #2
DavidDvorkin Jul 2015 #3
flibbitygiblets Apr 2018 #4
DavidDvorkin Apr 2018 #5

Response to forest444 (Original post)

Wed Jul 15, 2015, 03:01 PM

1. I drink it frequently, but still no gold medals!

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Response to DavidDvorkin (Reply #1)

Wed Jul 15, 2015, 03:35 PM

2. Tell me about it!

I've been sipping on the stuff since high school (20 years ago), and my biceps are skinnier than Sam's fingers.

Seriously though, my experience with yerba mate is that it's just as stimulating as coffee, but without the jitters or sweaty palms. Unlike coffee, moreover, you can drink mate well into the night and it'll not only help you focus on your paperwork (or whatever else you're staying up late for ), but it won't interfere with your sleep! Has your experience with it been similar?

I've never done anything athletic in my life, but I can certainly see how it might benefit you if you are (all of the boost, none of the jitters). Of course, and as you know, it's really bitter - and that's usually a deal breaker for people I've known who've tried to switch to it.

Qué será.

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Response to forest444 (Reply #2)

Wed Jul 15, 2015, 04:02 PM

3. I like the taste

If I make it mild, it reminds me of green tea.

However, I make it with tea bags, not loose leaf.

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Response to DavidDvorkin (Reply #3)

Mon Apr 23, 2018, 02:39 PM

4. Maybe I need to try another brand. Tastes like brewed lawn clippings to me.

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Response to flibbitygiblets (Reply #4)

Mon Apr 23, 2018, 03:02 PM

5. Well, yeah, a bit

A German friend said it tasted like hay. I think it mostly tastes like a very mild green tea. Maybe there's a strong individual reaction.

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