It's iskiate, and yep, you probably won't try it 'cause it likely sounds too weird or, at the very least, way too good to be true! So there's the challenge, prove me wrong about trying it. If you do, you'll find that you'll prove me right about how absolutely incredible an energy source this is. Hey, it's a win-win situation! But I'll bet you still won't even try it!
Here's the scoop. For as long as we've been running and paddling together (almost 38 years!), Joan and I have tried every energy bar / drink / candy / gel / "jelly" bean / in addition to various homemade possibilities. From Gatorade to "Watermelon Chomps" to Joan's awesome dried and pressed "Logan Bread", we've searched high and low for something that will sustain energy on a run or paddle.
When Christopher McDougall's book, Born to Run, came out, there was the answer. Since then, thousands of runners have tried the recipe of Mexico's "running people", the Tarahumara Indians. They are arguably the finest endurance runners on the planet and they have used the tiny chia seed as a quick and sustaining energy source for generations. Here's how McDougall describes his introduction to this amazing drink:
...the iskiate went down like fruit punch with a nice limey tang...I felt fantastic."
- Christopher McDougall, Born to Run. Random House, 2009. p. 43-44
Well, I can tell you, after reading that and like a lot of other folks, we went out, bought a bag of chia seeds (available at many health food stores) and gave it a try. Holy cow! For once, something you read about lives up to all expectations and we've carried this drink with us on runs and paddles ever since!
Our usual recipe for a typical 500 ml water bottle, as pictured above, is water, 12 grams of chia (two tablespoons), a squeeze of lime juice for taste and a squeeze of agave syrup for a little sweetening. Agave syrup, by the way, is preferable to sugar because it is a low-glycemic sweetener and, therefore, it won’t cause a sharp rise or fall in blood sugar.
The seeds quickly hydrate and the gel-like texture is very pleasant. The drink is wonderfully refreshing and our experience over the past year has been that it energizes like no other "energy drink", gel, or bar. So, there you have it, an energy drink has been proven ultra-effective by generations of the world's finest long-distance runners, easy to make, and super-nutritional.
But are you going to try it the next time an activity such as running, kayaking, or anything else for that matter, requires sustained energy? I'll bet you don't, though I can't imagine why. Now come on, show me that I'm wrong about that! :-)
PS We use Wholesome (the brand name) organic blue agave syrup (it has a golden colour), a product of Mexico and widely available, at least here in North America. ReaLime, a bottled lime concentrate, is great but the juice from a fresh lime (or lemon) is extra super-tasty!