How to use tea to make your own natural sports drink September 10 2014

posted by Nick Schäferhoff

As we have learned elsewhere, tea – especially the green kind – is a great choice for athletes and active people in general. It provides a caffeine boost to train at higher intensity, increases endurance by promoting using fat as fuel, and speeds up recovery.

Consequently, simply having a few cups of tea throughout the day is a good idea for everyone who likes to get a good sweat on. However, there is an even better option: Using the beverage to mix your own natural sports drink.

Natural sports drinks – One recipe to rule them all

 

The main advantages of making your own performance potion are this: It's cheaper than buying from the shop and you have total control over the ingredients. No chemicals, no coloring agents, no nothing, thank you. Plus, it is a lot of fun to experiment and come up with your own versions.

Making your own sports drink is easy. The basic recipe looks like this:

  • Liquid base – for hydration, duh!
  • Electrolytes – to make up for those lost during sweating
  • Carbs – replenishing muscle fuel

Below are ingredient options for each part. Just pick one (or more) from each category, combine ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth. The rest is up for experimentation.

Liquid base

  • Water
  • Tea (cold-brewed also works)
  • Coconut water

Electrolytes

  • Sea salt
  • Lemons/limes (citrus fruits are generally a good source of electrolytes)
  • Sea vegetables

Carbs

  • Fruit juice without added sugar (preferably fresh and unpasteurized)
  • Berries
  • Agave nectar
  • Maple syrup
  • Dates
  • Honey

 

I personally like to use green tea diluted with water for the base. I'm also a big fan of dates and lemons. So a sample recipe would look like this:

  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup of green tea
  • 2 dates
  • ½ teaspoon of sea salt
  • lemon juice to taste

Easy right? Now it's up to you.

 

Additional tip: Use tea varieties with a rather gentle flavor. White tea is a great idea, some varieties of green tea and oolong also work. Stronger and more bitter tea in my opinion does not make for a good sports drink. But of course that is up to personal preference.