In partnership with the National Institute for Argentine Yerba Mate.
You know those days when you wake up with sunlight streaming in through your window, and then you leave the office after a full day of work and the sun is still waiting there, ready to warm your shoulders?
As the longest day of the year, the summer solstice is the ultimate opportunity for a happy day like that. That’s why you should totally make the most of it—by swapping your daily coffee for an Argentinian yerba mate.
If you haven’t heard of it, yerba mate is a tea that gives matcha a run for its money. It’s made from the leaves of the mate tree native to Argentina, has energy-boosting properties similar to coffee, and is filled with powerful antioxidants (including more polyphenols than green tea).
How can it help you maximize the daylight hours this June 21? Here are a few tips for healthy ways to make the most of the longest day of the year.
Healthy Ways to Celebrate the Summer Solstice
1. Go for a long run—early or late
Starting or ending the day with a long run in the sunshine will give you a vitamin D (and happiness) infusion. It’s the opposite of having to drag yourself out of bed in the dark to hit the sidewalk. For a performance boost, sip a mate latte before you lace up. Like coffee, yerba mate contains caffeine, which has ergogenic effects. That means research has shown it can enhance physical performance; it’s linked to increased power, speed, and endurance. It can also aid with circulation to keep your blood pumping as you sweat.
2. Work on a creative project you’ve been putting off
Even if you have to go into work, you’ll have extra daylight hours to do something for yourself. Yerba mate is known to provide the same steady, focused energy that matcha is known for (as opposed to the spike and crash many people get from coffee), so use that extra momentum to work on a creative project (like that vision board?) you keep saying you’re going to start but never get to.
3. Take a mental health day
Don’t tell your boss we said this, but if you were thinking of taking a personal day to do some things for yourself anyway, this would be the best day to do it. Maximize your mental health day by doing things that will help you thrive on other days when you’ve got to be on, like going for a mind-clearing hike in the woods or hitting up a sauna. Sip on yerba mate while you relax with a good book and you’ll be shoring up your body’s defenses for stressful days to come—mate is rich in powerful antioxidants like vitamin C and polyphenols, and researchers think it may be particularly good at reducing inflammation. And since it delivers a less intense caffeine jolt compared to coffee, you won’t have to worry as much about it keeping you up at night.