Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Green Tea Sports Drink

Ingredients: Organic green tea, honey, sugar, salt, lemon and (not shown) coconut water

 Hello!  It's been a loooong while since I've posted anything. A lot of life has happened since, and I'm also posting frequently on Instagram @stephwtea. But here I am with a bit more time on my hands, planning to share occasional musings on tea and life here once again. (Are blogs dead? Possibly - still, I write.)

I've transitioned out of my 25-year corporate career. So what have I been doing? Walking - a lot! (Plus cocooning and putting the foundation in place for my work going forward.)  Back to the walking - I turned 50 earlier this year and I want to mark the milestone year with something physically challenging. I decided to hike, in one day, a well-known trail in my region that happens to be about 50 kilometers (31 miles). I've been training since Dec 30th, my last day of work. 

The color is all natural, from the tea and lemon juice

It's been fantastic! And a LOT of miles, which brings me to the subject of this post. I don't usually do sports drinks for two reasons: 1 - I think they're over-utilized in general and 2 - I don't like the flavor of the commercial ones. And yet, once I got up to 4+ hours of hiking, I needed something in addition to water. My heartfelt thanks to Jenna Braddock for the original version of this recipe! Jenna is a dietitian and personal trainer, and determined what was necessary to make a balanced drink in terms of sugars and electrolytes. Deep gratitude! I took the original recipe and customized just a bit, reducing how much is made and upgrading the quality of tea to loose, organic green. (I'm using the Young Mountain Tea Darjeeling Green.)

Field testing: a winner!

Here's my version of the recipe, if you'd like to give it a try. It makes just a bit over 2 cups.
  • In a heat-safe vessel, pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 generous tablespoon of loose green tea. Steep for 4 minutes. (Important note: This is a very rare moment when I will suggest you use boiling water on green tea, and for this long! Usually, it's a shorter steep and much cooler water. Here we're making a concentrate.)
  • Remove the leaves after 4 minutes.
  • To the hot tea, add and stir until dissolved:
    • 1 TBSP of honey (fructose and glucose)
    • 1/2 TBSP (aka teaspoon and a half) of table sugar (sucrose)
    • 1/8 tsp salt
  • Let the tea mixture cool a bit, then add 1 cup coconut water and 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • Chill and then enjoy out on the trail!  (I usually make this the night before.)