I recently heard about the great benefits of Yerba Mate and even Webmd has good things to say:


And some warnings too:

Carcinogenic Properties

Although some research has shown that yerba mate may have anticarcinogenic properties similar to green tea, other research has shown a potential link between yerba mate and cancers of the throat and mouth, especially when consumed at high temperatures. Further research is necessary to conclusively determine how yerba mate impacts the development of cancer in moderate and frequent drinkers.

Stimulant Effects

Like with coffee, the increased alertness, and energy felt by consuming yerba mate is caused by stimulation of the nervous system. For some people suffering from hypertension, heart disease, or heart arrhythmias, caffeinated drinks like yerba mate may cause complications such as increased blood pressure, a higher risk of losing a pregnancy, and higher blood lipids.

I won’t consume it at high temps.   But I DO need sugar with it.

Aside from some half & half frothing with my morning supplements, I don’t usually eat until evening. Intermittent fasting.

So I did some searching on which sugar I should use to avoid breaking the fast and here’s one of the better articles:

Which Sweeteners Break Your Fast?



Stevia alone may actually contribute to superior blood sugar and insulin levels. It doesn’t inhibit ketosis or the ability to burn fat, so it likely won’t break your fast for the purposes of fat loss and metabolic health. One review submits that both stevia and monk fruit improve glycemic control and insulin sensitivity. In type 2 diabetics receiving a standard-American high carbohydrate meal, 1 gram of stevia actually reduced the post-prandial (i.e., post-meal) blood glucose response by 18%. However, another 16-week human trial with type-2 diabetics, showed no impact of 1 gram of stevia on blood sugar, insulin level, or body weight. In both cases, however, studies showed no negative impact on insulin sensitivity.

Stevia is reportedly not digested or absorbed in the GI tract. Instead, it passes through the gut and gets broken down by bacteria living in the colon. So, stevia does not stimulate the gut and should be suitable for gut rest if that’s why you’re fasting.

Stevia is zero-calorie and protein-free, so it likely has no impact on autophagy, meaning you’re all set to use stevia if you’re fasting for longevity.

In Summary:

  • Fasting for metabolic health/weight loss: does not break a fast
  • Fasting for gut rest: does not break a fast
  • Fasting for longevity: does not break a fast

I just found 2 unopened boxes of Stevia that expired in 2018.  I doubt it’ll kill me, so I tried part of a 1 g package.

It was a little too much, hard to dose, but I can definitely live with the taste.  Added some more water.

Sugar Alcohols

Sugar alcohols can be found in nature or produced industrially. They have a chemical structure similar to sugar and alcohol, but are actually neither, so they metabolize in a very unique way. In general, they are incompletely absorbed and metabolized, so they’re commonly used in foods for diabetic populations where the goal is to reduce sugar intake and level out glycemic response. Two common sugar alcohols are erythritol and xylitol, and they each have very different impacts on a fast.


Erythritol only provides 0.24 calories per gram, so the caloric contribution is minimal and it doesn’t have an impact on your body’s ability to produce ketones or burn fat. In one study, Ingestion of erythritol up to 0.3 g/kg  to 0.8 g/kg of body weight (or about 20-55 grams for someone who weighs 150 lbs.) did not significantly increase serum glucose or insulin levels.

Perhaps surprisingly, despite its minimal calories, Erythritol does stimulate the digestive tract. Most of erythritol — about 90% — gets absorbed in the gut, even though minimal amounts are actually metabolized. The consumption of erythritol has also been shown to stimulate the secretion of Glucagon-like 29 peptide 1 (GLP-1) and cholecystokinin (CCK), two gut peptides released in response to nutrient intake. So you’ll be putting your gut to work to absorb erythritol even though it doesn’t contribute a significant number of calories to your diet.

Research is very limited on erythritol’s role in longevity. However, it is a protein free substance with minimal energy content, so we can assume that it likely doesn’t affect autophagy.

In Summary:

  • Fasting for metabolic health/weight loss: does not break a fast
  • Fasting for gut rest: breaks a fast
  • Fasting for longevity: likely does not break a fast

I’ve been using erythritol for everything except water kefir, but will go with my old expired stevia for the yerba mate.

Trying to take a break from coffee since I always add frothed half and half, love that stuff.  But obviously, not healthy.  Trying to quit dairy.

And I think I just figured out how to deal with my supplements that require fat to be absorbed.

I’ll take my morning supplements that don’t need fat.  I’ll take the morning supplements that do require fat when I first start eating.  And then take the PM supplements before I go to bed and stop eating.  Unfortunately, I often do eat until I go to bed, but I’m making an effort to quit eating earlier.

Won’t be a 12 hr spacing for twice/day capsules, but at this point, that’s the best I can come up with.  Hopefully few of those twice/day supplements require fat to absorb.   I literally keep a spreadsheet with all the stuff I’m taking.  And it’s time to update it.