3 Dragons Energy - Matcha Tea Energy Drinks

Sarah & Katherine are taking part in this weekend’s Reading Half Marathon. Apart from putting in the hours training they have a sneaky little energy boosting drink that they like to use to help get them round. Being a whizz with a blender and having an aversion to spending a small fortune on commercial energy drinks, Katherine likes to brew a bottle or two of Green Dragon. She has a variety of Green Dragons for easy training runs, more intensive workouts, long runs and some recovery and post-race options.

All the recipes contain matcha, the Japanese green tea used in the formal Japanese tea, or matcha, ceremony. For a number of years matcha has been the boy wonder of the western tea world but it has been around for over a thousand years in the east. The tea bushes are kept in shaded conditions for several weeks before they are harvested which helps give the tea its distinctive bright green colouring. When dried the stems and veins are removed from the leaves before the leaf is milled to a fine powder. Matcha has the highest caffeine content among teas and this contributes to its reputation as an energy booster, but like all green teas it contains L-theanine, which regulates the effects of caffeine as well as stimulating Alpha waves. If you want it more science-y, this is what our friends at breakawaymatcha.com say about it.

“L-theanine is a bunch of glutamate molecules bonded together which brains alpha waves. Alpha waves indicate a state of alertness. They’re not found when we’re drowsy and nodding off. They’re only present when we feel alert and conscious. L-theanine triggers these waves. It’s why we feel focused and alert when we drink matcha. In contrast, we might feel alert when we drink coffee or take caffeine pills, but that alertness is often accompanied by unpleasant side effects, including jitteriness and even panic and paranoia, and is often followed by a “crash.” Jitteriness or crashes simply don’t happen with matcha."

Matcha’s high caffeine content is balanced with a high L-theanine content, up to 20 times that of ordinary green tea, meaning that the caffeine effect is more up and running than dump and run, so you can make the most of your training and relaxing. We all have different sensitivities and our bodies will react differently to the same thing, so if you have concerns about the amount of caffeine in the recipes, start by using a smaller amount of matcha and adjusting it until you find the right level for you. Ceremonial grade matcha can be very expensive so make sure you buy standard or confectioners grade matcha for recipes. An electric whisk or a matcha whisk is handy for these recipes. Balloon whisks will work but require more effort.

Little Green Dragon

The Little Green Dragon is a gentle refresher ideal to take with you on a light training run or to the gym and perfect for a bit of zip at any time. We make up several bottles at a time and keep them in the fridge. Use sparkling water for a cool, refreshing drink on a hot day when you’re not running.

  • 250mls warm water (Boil a kettle and let stand for 5mins)

  • 1 tsp matcha powder

  • 1 tsp clear honey

  • Juice of half a lime

  • Quarter tsp salt

  1. Put the matcha into a bowl with 250ml warm water and whisk until the surface is covered with little bubbles.

  2. Add the honey and lime juice and whisk again.

  3. Pour 100ml -150ml into a glass or drinks bottle.

  4. Fill to the top with cold water and drink.

Mighty Dragon

The Mighty Dragon has a lot more body and is more like a smoothie. It contains enough energy to get you through a longer workout but can be quite filling so don’t drink it too close to the start of your workout or use a smaller amount diluted. This is a great breakfast smoothie about an hour before a longer run. It’s also good after a long run as a recovery drink but don’t forget to drink lots of water too. This will keep in the fridge for a few days.

  • 250mls warm water (Boil a kettle and let stand for 5mins)

  • 2 tsp matcha powder.

  • 200ml natural yogurt or skimmed milk

  • Dessert spoon oats

  • Half a banana

  • Small piece of ginger

  • Juice of a lime

  • 2 teaspoons clear honey.

  • Half tsp salt

  1. Put the matcha into a bowl with 250ml warm water and whisk until the surface is covered with little bubbles.

  2. Add the lime juice, honey and salt and whisk thoroughly until all the ingredients are mixed and let cool.

  3. In a separate bowl or pan add all the other ingredients and stir until evenly distributed.

  4. Add the matcha mix and using a stick blender blend thoroughly until smooth.

  5. Pour and drink.

Smooth White Dragon

After the half marathon Sarah and Katherine swill be mixing up our favourite post-race indulgence, the Smooth White Dragon. This recipe makes a rich, creamy, bubble-topped tea that gives a necessary perk after all the hard training and the race is over. This recipe is adapted from Linda Gaylard’s Matcha Latte.

  • 350 mls sweet almond milk

  • 15g white chocolate

  • 2 tsp white matcha

  • 120mls warm water (Boil a kettle and let stand for 5mins)

  • Green matcha for garnish

  1. Boil a kettle and let stand for 5mins.

  2. Heat the milk in a saucepan over a medium heat, stirring constantly.

  3. Add the chocolate and let the mixture simmer until it becomes creamy.

  4. Take off the heat and let cool.

  5. Add the water to the matcha and mix to a thin paste.

  6. Add the milk and chocolate mix and whisk thoroughly.

  7. Stop whisking when your latte is light and frothy.

  8. Pour into cups and sprinkle with a little green matcha as garnish.

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