Anyone who has spent much time outdoors or in heavy physical activity knows that there are times when you need more than just water to drink. But sports drinks, while helpful with replenishing electrolytes, can be over-sugary, unhealthful, and un-flavorful after sitting in a warm backpack for a few hours.
There are several delicious beverage alternatives I enjoy. Here’s one you should try:
Chia seeds hail from Mesoamerica and are from a flowering plant in the mint family. These tiny seeds, when soaked, swell and form a gel-like substance around them (similar to the seeds in tomatoes). Because the seeds absorb up to 12 times their weight in liquid they lend themselves to a hydrating and also semi-filling drink.
Here’s my basic recipe for Chia Fresca. The beauty of making your own drinks is that you can customize it to your own taste.
2 cups water
1 1/2 Tbsp. chia seeds
1/2 Tbsp. sweetener (I like raw honey, but pure maple syrup is also good)
1/2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
Add the chia seeds to your water and shake well. Let sit for 10 minutes, shaking occasionally to break up any clumps. Add the sweetener and lime juice and stir.
It tastes great cold and is better than a sports drink warm. It might not be the best drink for people with texture aversions, but it’s sure to turn heads and start conversations.
Note: I’ve recently switched to using plastic jar lids or plastic bottles for Chia Fresca as metal jar lids can often leave a funny taste to the drink when the metal sits with the acid (lime juice) on it in.