Yerba mate tea has recently made a name for itself in the caffeine industry. With a substantial amount of “naturally infused caffeine,” Guayaki brand yerba mate claims to keep you caffeinated throughout your day. With finals approaching in the next few weeks, it is important that we allow ourselves to stay energized in the healthiest way. Yerba mate has boomed into college campuses, hoping to give students a healthier alternative to other caffeinated drinks. But how efficient can an herbal tea be in keeping us students awake? I put that to the test, comparing the efficiency of Guayaki yerba mate and coffee.

Coffee is something every college student learns to love. It’s affordable, comes in variety and can be found on almost every corner on campus. Whether you prefer black coffee, iced coffee with milk or a blended beverage, everyone seems to have their normal fix that works for them. While coffee can be great for keeping students awake, it comes with downsides. Coffee distributors have not held back on adding extra sugar, syrups and creams. These added ingredients can build up in a single drink. While a Venti Caramel Frappuccino might be a tasty way to wake you up in the morning, it also puts about 510 calories and 81 grams of sugar into your body. A Venti Caramel Frappuccino gives 130 milligrams of caffeine and a Venti Earl Grey Tea gives 130 milligram of caffeine. A sweetened iced coffee also contains a large amount of sugar, which might give you a sugar rush instead of a caffeinated boost. Don’t get me wrong — coffee is an excellent way to start your day and get your caffeine fix. But drinks like Frappuccinos and sweetened iced coffees may be adding unwanted sugars and excess calories into your morning diet.

Guayaki yerba mate tea comes in a variety of different flavors and can be purchased in a bottle, can or tea bag bundle. Yerba mate varies in nutrition, as unsweetened flavors contain less sugar and syrup than sweetened ones do. What yerba mate seems to lack is taste. While it can be an excellent source of caffeine, yerba mate fails to impress in flavor and sweetness. It gives a sufficient amount of caffeine with 150 milligrams in a can and 140 milligrams in a bottle. Yerba mate also brings health benefits as it contains vitamins and herbal nutrients that add to the caffeine content.

Overall, both coffee and yerba mate seem to have a large caffeine value. Where they differ is in their nutritious values and added ingredients. While coffee usually comes with added sugar, milk, syrup and whipped cream, yerba mate contains very limited amount of sugar and contains vitamins. They also greatly differ in taste. While blended and iced coffee drinks have a variety of delectable flavors, yerba mate fails to deliver. Both, however, do contain large amount of caffeine and will keep you awake and alert. It really depends upon the person as to which drink one may prefer. So next time you go to grab a quick pick-me-up, be sure to try a caffeine boost outside your usual order.