There is a brand new type of drink coming to town soon – to help endurance athletes maintain their stamina and enable them to go further and faster.
This is the CHIA drink, made from hydrated chia seeds, blended together with fruit juices that are rich in antioxidants. Produced in Nelson, in the South Island of New Zealand by a father and daughter team, Ben and Chloe Van Dyke, the main ingredient, chia, is a natural superfood that is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. Moreover it also contains nutritious proteins, minerals, electrolytes, fibre and antioxidants.
As well, the drink is also 100 per cent natural – and contains no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives and also has no added sugar. It is also suitable for vegetarians.
For athletes, CHIA drinks have numerous benefits. For example, the chia seed is able to absorb and hold water up to 12 times its weight. So this keeps the body hydrated and focused for a longer period of time and thus beneficial to athletes or those who are involved with an active lifestyle.
In Singapore, the drink is being imported by EHF (Singapore) Pte Ltd. Owner and distributor, May Kwan, has a passion for good food and it has been her ambition to bring some of the CHIA drinks to Asia.
Said Kwan, “We deal in healthy foods and those that we have confidence in the quality. We have only a small range of products but all are personally selected for their premium quality and their individual unique aspirations.” The CHIA drink was the grand winner in the New Zealand Food Awards 2014.
I was given the opportunity to sample these flavours of CHIA drinks. These were Blackcurrant & Apple, Blueberry & Apple and Passionfruit Orange & Apple.
Here are my comments on the drinks.
BLACKCURRANT & APPLE
This drink has a fairly ‘thick’ constituency (slightly viscous) and so it reminded me somewhat of a sago beverage.
It has a pleasant flavour though, and does not overwhelm the senses. The blackcurrant flavour is immediately apparent and reminds me of a blackcurrant drink. It is also slightly sweet and the generous amount of chia seeds added to the drink, also provide an interesting, slightly chewy texture that is rather unique and pleasant.
BLUEBERRY & APPLE
The thickness is quite similar to the blackcurrant & apple flavour – and the amount of chia seeds too, was really generous.
For the flavour, this one reminded me of a slightly sweet blueberry beverage. The flavour was pleasant and did not overwhelm me.
PASSIONFRUIT ORANGE & APPLE
This too, had a similar constituency , as compared to the previous two drinks.
And the flavour of this drink, reminded me primarily of an orange beverage with a little passionfruit mixed in.
As a whole, I think that these are a good alternative to sweetened fruit drinks. It will satisfy the sweet cravings, though I think it may take some time getting used to the thicker texture. But if you love milkshakes and smoothies, then I feel that you would enjoy this too – as a much healthier option.
As said Kwan, “Whether you are about to run a marathon or need some energy boost for a long day ahead, CHIA is a convenient, natural and healthy drink to keep you going.”
The CHIA drinks will make its debut at Jasons and Marketplace stores soon. Price to be advised.