Nature

Nature’s energy drink! Get buzzed without the caffeine

Switchel is the new Red Bull... minus the chemicals

If you can’t live without your morning coffee or 2pm Red Bull when you’re flagging, then we’ve just found a treasure you’re going to want to grab with both hands.

It’s time to take a swig of switchel.

While it might sound like the name of a new social media app, switchel has actually earned the nickname of nature’s Powerade – the drink of choice for our England Euros 2020 squad.

Switchel is a simple yet fast-track mood booster containing water mixed with apple cider vinegar and often seasoned with ginger, honey, sugar, or brown sugar.

[Credit: Kim Daniels]

It is essentially an au natural energy drink minus harmful chemicals and added sugars.

In contrast, in one can of Monster, you’ll find this… carbonated water, sucrose, glucose syrup, acid (citric acid), flavourings, taurine, acidity regulator (sodium citrates), panax ginseng root extract, L-Carnitine L-Tartrate, preservatives (sorbic acid, benzoic acid), caffeine, colour (anthocyanins), vitamins (B3, B6, B2, B12), sweetener (sucralose), sodium chloride, D-Glucuronolactone, guarana seed extract, inositol, maltodextrin.

Phew!

The best thing about switchel is that you can tweak it to suit you, so, if you prefer a sweeter flavour you can add maple syrup or if you like a tarty kick you can include lemon or spices such as turmeric.

[Credit: Jesper Brouwers]

Sounds good, but how can such basic ingredients pack such a punch?

The main element, apple cider vinegar – made by fermenting the sugar from apples – is a powerful antioxidant capable of reducing cholesterol and protecting your heart health.

Similarly, by adding ginger, you reap incredible benefits including relieving pain, boosting brain health, reducing inflammation, and even repairing the body’s DNA.

Even maple syrup, which is typically seen as a ‘naughty’ food for pancakes, is a diamond in the rough as while it is high in sugar, it also contains numerous antioxidants.

[Credit: PR]

As maple syrup is also a plant-based sweetener, unlike artificial options, it contains essential minerals like calcium, manganese, potassium, riboflavin and zinc too.

While switchel may seem like a wellbeing trend, it actually predates new-age detoxes with New England, USA claiming it originated there in the American Colonies in late 17th century.

It is said that the colonial farmers needed it to rehydrate while haying the fields, coining it their ‘haymaker’s punch’.

Fast-forward to 2021, and it is now being hailed as the perfect workout drink, largely due to the ginger helping relieve pain and inflammation so you can recover faster.

Just off to make some ourselves!

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