Yerbae Energy Drink Review – Is It Worth Buying?

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By Thomas Youngerman

Reviewed by Juliana Tamayo, MS, RDN - Last Updated

yerbae energy drink review

Yerbae stands out in the energy drink market as a plant-based beverage carefully crafted with all-natural ingredients. Its unique formulation stimulates the body and sharpens the mind. Co-founded by industry pioneers Todd and Karrie Gibson, Yerbae is committed to providing a clean, functional, and effective product free from sugars, calories, or synthetic compounds. 

The competition in this nearly $50 billion energy beverage category is fierce and includes some of the giants in the consumer products market, including Coca-Cola (Monster) and Pepsi (Rockstar and Starbucks). Plus, we have energy supplement entrees such as C4 from Cellucor and Amino Energy from Optimum Nutrition. Finally, we have the energy shots segment with Five Hour Energy and Vitamin Energy. 

So how do these Scottsdale, AZ entrepreneurs differentiate their products and carve out a slice of category sales? A task made even more complicated by the similarly named Guayaki Yerba Mate brand also on retailers’ shelves and in their refrigerators? One attempt is an Advisory Board with some very prominent actors in the sports and fitness world, such as:

  • Kyle Shannahan, Head Coach, San Francisco 49ers
  • Lincoln Riley, Head Coach, USC Football
  • Ben Johnson, Offensive Coordinator, Detroit Lions
  • Richmond Flowers, Former NFL Player
  • Annie Thorisdottir, Crossfit Athlete

Given the brand’s on-shelf distribution at major retailers such as Sprouts, Albertsons, AJ’s Fine Foods, Safeway, and Costco and its online presence at Amazon, it appears the brand is enjoying some success. After going public in 2023 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, the brand posted 3Q 2023 sales of $3 million, down substantially from the prior year. 

Delving a bit deeper in this article, we break down the ingredients in Yerbae Energy drinks, discuss the taste, their marketing approach, and product claims, compare price/value to the competitive set, and address how well it delivers on its proposed functional benefits. 

Yerbae Energy Drink

Yerbae contains minimal ingredients, focusing on their proprietary blend of yerba mate, white tea, and natural caffeine. Positioned and marketed as a beverage, the product has a Nutrition Facts panel versus a Supplement Facts panel, so we cannot determine the precise dosage of the ingredients. However, we do know the product is “100% committed to zero” with no Calories, Fats, Proteins, or Carbohydrates. 

yerbae energy drink

The best-selling flavors (Black Cherry Pineapple, Mango Passion Fruit, and Watermelon Strawberry) come in 12-ounce or 16-ounce cans. The 12-ounce delivers 120 mg of caffeine, and the 16-ounce packs 160 milligrams. Twelve-ounce Seltzers have 100 mg caffeine.

Additional energy beverage flavors and Seltzers are available as follows:

12-ounce Seltzer cans, Unsweetened

  • Acai Blueberry Seltzer
  • Lemon Hibiscus Seltzer
  • Orange Cherry Pineapple Seltzer
  • Pomegranate Berry Seltzer
  • Strawberry Kiwi Seltzer

16-ounce Energy Beverage cans, Naturally Sweetened

  • Classic Lemonade
  • Iced Triple Berry
  • Yuzu Lime

The company website also offers a variety of packs combining the best-selling flavors. Other Yerbae logo merchandise available includes Dad Hats, can covers, gift certificates, and shaker bottles. 

The products are non-GMO, gluten-free, paleo and keto-friendly, kosher, and vegan. There are no artificial colors, sweeteners, or flavorings, with Stevia leaf and sea salt providing the taste. As a result, the products appeal to a diverse market segment following a myriad of diets and eating strategies. Note: caffeine, in the absence of carbohydrates, will not affect ketosis.   

Yerbae Energy Drink Ingredients

As noted above, there are very few (seven) ingredients in the Yerbae formulation:

  • Carbonated Water – for effervescent quality.
  • Natural Flavors
  • Citric Acid – a preservative
  • Yerba mate – a plant and herbal tea drink native to South America. Rich in antioxidants, yerba is said to have coffee’s caffeine content and tea’s health benefits, including energy, focus, enhanced physical activity, and weight management. Frequent users report an energy boost without the jitters or crashes from other energy sources.   
  • White Tea – high in antioxidants, may aid in weight loss, and reduce the risk of heart disease, among other health benefits. White tea has the highest concentration of L-theanine (think focus and alertness) of the true teas.  
  • Stevia Leaf – a natural sweetener from a shrub native to South America. Stevia is far sweeter than sugar, about two-four hundred times as sweet. 
  • Sea Salt – produced from the evaporation of seawater, sea salt is used as a seasoning, in cooking, and for preserving food.

The Unsweetened Seltzers eliminate the Stevia and Sea Salt and include Guarana Seed Extract. 

  • Guarana has been used medicinally for centuries by Amazonian tribes. When used in energy drinks, it helps reduce fatigue and boost brain health. 
yerbae energy drink nutrition facts

What to Expect from Yerbae Energy Drinks 

We sampled Yerbae Energy Beverages, not the Seltzers. The Beverages have a higher caffeine content and are naturally sweetened versus the unsweetened Seltzers. Unfortunately, the additional caffeine did not deliver an energy boost or improve focus, and the natural sweeteners did not improve the taste. I tested Yerbae before resistance and cardio training, and there was no perceived benefit when exercising.

Disclaimer: My caffeine tolerance is unusually high as I consume several cups of black coffee each day, and my pre-workout supplement has 300 mg of caffeine anhydrous. I am not a tea drinker and have never tried yerba mate before this review. 

Those more accustomed to tea and/or yerba mate may have a different experience. Customer reviews indicate this is possible. 

Yerbae Energy Taste Profile

I tried what I assumed were among the brand’s best-sellers: the Black Cherry Pineapple and the Mango Passion Fruit. Both are naturally sweetened with stevia. The Mango had an intriguing and somewhat pleasant taste that I could not identify; however, the aftertaste was bitter. I managed to finish the 16-ounce can. The Black Cherry Pineapple did not have the benefit of an intriguing initial taste but still had a horrible aftertaste. I finished less than one-quarter of the can.  

Other customer reviews mention the taste positively, so we assume they are more experienced with the taste of yerba mate or have used Seltzers or different flavors. 

Yerbae Energy Drink Benefits

The company website makes very few claims beyond the product’s attributes, its “100% committed to zero” positioning, and great taste. Yerbae is non-GMO, gluten-free, paleo and keto-friendly, kosher, and vegan. The products have no artificial colors, sweeteners, synthetics, or flavorings and no calories, fats, proteins, or carbohydrates. 

yerbae watermelon strawberry 1
Source: Yerbae Facebook Page

Beyond the “always plant-based energy” statement, extolling the benefits of yerba mate as an energy source, there are virtually no specific health claims. The natural caffeine content is 160, 120, or 100 milligrams, depending on the variety. 

Surprisingly, the site does not mention the purported benefits of natural versus synthetic caffeine or other clinically supported health claims of yerba mate; its powerful antioxidant properties to fight free radical damage, or its benefits in blood pressure and cholesterol management.

Is Yerbae Safe?

The established experts, Mayo Clinic, WebMD, etc., all cite the potential benefits of yerba mate consumption, such as stimulating the brain and heart, for athletic performance, memory, and fatigue, but are quick to note there is no good, published scientific evidence to support these uses.

They also state that consumption for up to twelve consecutive weeks is not a problem; however, using yerba mate long-term, especially with alcohol or nicotine, has been linked to an increased risk of various types of cancer. The caffeine in yerba mate may also cause insomnia, jitteriness, upset stomach, and increased heart rate. With the relatively low levels of caffeine in Yerbae, your side effects should be minimal when consumed in moderation. 

Yerbae vs. the Competition

As indicated in our opening, the Energy Drink and Energy Supplement space is incredibly competitive. Products seem to be segmented as beverages versus supplements, energy and cognition aids, and more potent energy drinks and shots versus the all-natural, plant-based. Yerbae, no doubt falls into the clean, plant-based segment of beverages. As a result, in this writer’s opinion, Yerbae would not be suitable as a performance drink (pre, or intra-workout), as an energy and cognition aid, or even for a quick afternoon energy blast. 

It appears there is a subsegment of individuals seeking the clean, all-natural, milder energy of a yerba product, and Yerbae fits that need. Further, these people obviously are accustomed to yerba mate, and the brand’s taste may not be as off-putting to them.

yerbae classic lemonade energy drink
Source: Yerbae Facebook Page

When making head-to-head comparisons of nutrition products, one area we always scrutinize is the manufacturer’s practices, such as cGMP compliance and third-party testing. We found no information on Yerbae Beverages regarding certifications or outside testing. 

Other focus areas when comparing energy drink brands include convenience, availability, taste, and price value. Yerbae gets good grades on convenience and availability, given their online and in-store presence. Taste could have been a stronger point for the brand, and the price value discussed below appears competitive in the category. 

See our Bonus Section, which recommends the best energy drink options considering your objectives, such as energy and focus or enhancing physical performance. 

Yerbae Energy Drink Pricing 

On the company website, Yerbae Energy products are priced as follows:

  • A twelve-pack of 12-ounce cans – $29.99
  • A twelve-pack of 16-ounce cans – $32.99
  • Variety packs of twelve 16-ounce cans – $33.99
  • Seltzers, twelve-pack of 12-ounce cans – $27.99
  • Seltzers, variety packs of twelve 12-ounce cans – $29.99

The company offers a “Subscribe and Save” feature, which qualifies subscribers for a 10% discount on their first order and free shipping on all subsequent orders. 

On, the pricing is similar, with the 12-ounce Energy Beverages slightly less expensive:

  • A twelve-pack of 12-ounce cans – $26.99
  • A twelve-pack of 16-ounce cans, one flavor or variety pack – $32.99
  • Seltzers, a twelve-pack of 12-ounce cans – $27.99
  • Seltzers, variety packs of twelve 12-ounce cans – $29.99

Safeway sells individual cans for $2.99. At Sprouts, Yerbae, 16-ounce is typically $2.79 but is currently reduced to $2.50 per can. We were unable to find the brand at other popular retailers of energy drinks and/or supplements.


  • Price 3.0
  • Taste 2.0
  • Energy 2.5

In Summary: Yerbae Energy Drink Review

With offices in Scottsdale, AZ, within walking distance of my home and across the street from my old gym, I desperately wanted to make this Yerbae review more positive. Generally, we like products with a limited number of quality ingredients, preferably in appropriate, efficacious dosages, and third-party tested for quality and safety. So, Yerbae meets the limited number of compounds criteria; however, we cannot determine the dosage of any compound, and we could find no mention of third-party testing.  

The company is very conservative in its advertised benefits, even more so than what other sources state about yerba mate or white tea. It prefers to extol the product’s attributes over health benefits. Such as:

  • Naturally sweetened (or unsweetened)
  • Caffeine content (160, 120, or 100 milligrams)
  • Great flavor
  • No sugar, carbs, calories, or synthetics

Benefits of Yerbae Mate per other sources:

  • Nutrient-dense
  • Powerful antioxidant 
  • May help prevent certain diseases
  • Helps improve cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Energizing effect
  • Improves digestion
  • Purifies the body

Perhaps the company chooses the high road and assumes its targeted consumers will know the benefits of yerba mate without being told?

Obviously, I am not among those targeted consumers; I had a tough time with the taste. Even at the higher 160 mg of caffeine in the Energy Beverage, I could not feel an energy boost and did not experience any cognitive benefits, much less improved athletic performance.

On the company website and on Amazon, there are several glowing reviews. People who feel the energy and focus benefits, and enjoy the taste. Perhaps these are more experienced consumers of yerba mate. 

If plant-based, all-natural, clean, and functional is your sweet spot, perhaps this sugar, synthetic, and calorie-free Yerbae is more suitable for you.  

Other Energy Drink Options by Objective – Bonus Section

Energy and Focus

Better options for those seeking a more substantial energy boost with enhanced focus include Monster, Red Bull, Five-Hour Energy, Monster, or Rockstar


If cognition is your priority, our favorite option is Onnit’s Alpha Brain Shots or Focus Aid

Physical Performance

Many people use a ready-to-drink for energy and improved physical performance. Almost any iteration of Cellucor’s C4 for pre-workout is an excellent choice. For those looking to sip their energy drink throughout their workout, we recommend Amino Energy as an effective intra-workout drink. 

For Gamers 

Almost a category unto itself, the energy, focus, hydration, and reaction time required by esports or gamers is best met by either G-Fuel or Ghost Beverage.

Overall Rating:
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Thomas Youngerman

Thomas Youngerman is an entrepreneur and author in the health and wellness space with extensive experience in the supplement industry. He has owned multiple sports nutrition stores and served as the Category Manager and Director of Business Development for a regional chain of nutrition stores. Thomas created a successful line of men’s healthy aging supplements that was distributed in GNC, The Vitamin Shoppe, and Kroger, and later sold to a West Coast corporation. Thomas was previously a certified nutrition coach. He has a strong understanding of nutrition, supplement formulations, DSHEA, cGMP, and FDA regulations.