Achiva’s Chia Seed Energy Drink Mix

One of the most common decisions I struggle with when packing for a jaunt in the great outdoors is what to eat. I have my go-to favorites such as kippers, avocados, Clif bars, walnuts, sardines, jerky, and cheese. I like to vary my diet when hiking and am always looking for something new to munch on under the forest canopy or perched on a rocky peak. The urge to eat does not come at the most convenient times. Often you are running out of daylight or trudging along an exposed, wind-lashed ridge when your stomach starts to growl and you are feeling sluggish. At these times you just want something quick and easy that does not have you lugging around any wrappers, tins, compost or having to stop and take off your pack to refuel. This is where specially formulated beverages can come in handy – they may not be for everyone but they certainly warrant consideration in any outdoor enthusiast’s menu.
Achiva’s Chia Seed and Dehydrated Coconut Water Native Energy Drink Mix Chai Tea is a new energy drink mix that is totally natural and is turning heads in the outdoor industry because of its ingredients label. You can actually pronounce all of the ingredients and do not need Google to figure out what they are. Seattle Backpackers Magazine had to get in on the action so I sat down with Chad Lauterbach, endurance athlete and product tester currently residing in Los Angeles, who has been testing this product for about two months.

What was your first impression of Achiva’s Native Energy Chia Chai Tea drink mix?

It was not what I expected. I envisioned that it was going to be more homogenous like a regular sports drink but it is very grainy. Also, it did not mix the way I expected it to (more on this in a bit). However, it does provide the same energy boost as other synthetic drinks that are full of chemicals. The hydration and energy aspects of this mix are fantastic.

How does it taste?

Honestly, I was a little disappointed. I have eaten chia seeds before and expected it to taste more like chia seed or even chai tea, but the flavor is very subdued. The beverage does not taste bad by any means; it just does not have a very pronounced taste.

Under what conditions did you test this product?

I am an avid runner and like to run anywhere from 10k to marathons. I typically run three to five times week around four to ten miles, with weekend day hikes and backpacking trips thrown in to mix it up a bit. I used Achiva’s Native Energy Chia Chai Tea drink mix on average three to four days a week. I would take the recommended serving size before my runs.

Would you recommend this for hiking?

I don’t really think so. However, I found it was most beneficial for shorter more high energy workouts, like running where you need a good energy boost right away. For a fun day hike in the woods this drink mix might be a bit overkill. If you are training for a fast ascent, such as beating your time up Mount Whitney, and you want a 100% natural beverage than this would be great. I would say it is a performance beverage it should be used when you want to perform at your highest.

What are some of the benefits of Achiva’s Native Energy Chia Chai Tea drink mix?

The number one appeal for me by far is that it is 100% natural. This energy supplement is a no-brainer for any athlete, but especially an endurance athlete, seeking a natural and pure diet. There really are not a lot of options like this widely available on the market.

I was also definitely getting a bump in energy when drinking this beverage. However, determining how much of the bump was coming from the chia seed and how much was coming from the caffeine in the chai tea is hard to ascertain.

I am definitely hooked on this drink mix now. It is hard for me to go back to synthetic products because I know they are chock-full of chemicals and I can get the same energy boost from an all natural product that is healthy. Ingredients-wise this drink is awesome!

How would you describe the drink (looks, texture, etc…)?

It is difficult to describe the consistency. It is weird, granular, and coagulated. The chia seed is ground up and suspended in the water. It kind of reminds me of very watery grits. When you drink it you feel like you need to chew it because the seed does not dissolve fully and creates kind of a gelatinous texture. It is hard to describe because there really is not anything like it. It is a very unique beverage.

Video shows the texture of the drink.

What are some of the drawbacks?

The biggest drawback for me was having to wait to drink it. The packaging says you can drink it right away, but it is much more palatable if you wait the recommended 15-20 minutes.  Also, it is hard to adjust to the texture of the beverage and some people just will not be able to get past that.

Lastly, due to its consistency and that it does not fully dissolve I was concerned that it would be hard to clean out of my water bladder. Especially if I were to let some dry up inside. Because of this I have not put it in my Camelbak and have opted to drinking it at home.

What are your final thoughts? Anything you would like to say to our readers?

The biggest plus regarding this drink is that it is a fantastic option for someone trying to find a 100% natural energy drink. It is fully natural. The price is right on. My usual Cytomax cost nearly twice as much as Achiva. I would say that if you can get over the texture, this is a great 100% natural energy beverage.

Achiva costs $18 for a 24 serving bag. You can find out more on Achiva’s website.

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