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What Run Oregon is Drinking: Sportland Tea Company

Sportland Tea Co. Tea blends with health benefits.

Sportland Tea Co. Tea blends with health benefits.

Run Oregon sometimes receives products to try. Sportland Tea Company treated some of our bloggers to sample their product line. 
"Sportland Teas, along with The Runner’s Tea, are organic, loose-leaf teas made to help active, health-conscious people of all kinds perform better. These unique teas utilize innovative blends of ingredients like matcha green tea, GABA oolong tea, turmeric, ginger, mint, and other herbs. The use of these ingredients makes Sportland Tea Company among the first to produce loose-leaf GABA oolong and matcha tea blends in the United States."
Sportland Tea offers five varietals to choose from: Citrus Mint Endurance, Ginger Berry Performance, Matcha Spice Power blend, Eastern Lime Recovery blend and Vanilla Mint Focus blend. The ingredients and health benefits are impressive. Individual packages are available for $12.99 each, or choose the five pack variety for $58.45 and receive a 10% discount when trying them together. Sportland Tea Company offers a five-pack variety, or you may purchase the flavors individually. You can also find Sportland Tea at some of our local New Seasons Markets.

Jessica’s Thoughts:

I received the Matcha Spice Power blend and Citrus Mint Endurance products. I’m beginning to ‘dabble’ in tea, so having the opportunity to try two of the Sportland Tea offerings was a real treat. Each package I received contained 20 servings of organic loose leaf tea.

The Matcha Spice Power blend was my favorite of the two (full disclosure: both were very good!). As the Matcha Spice variety is part of the “POWER Blend”, it was packed with powdered MCT oil, which assists the body in creating a sustained energy production, and had an energizing flavor with matcha green tea and comforting spices. I find myself gravitating to this tea when I need a pick-me-up, whether that be extra energy to get through a long day chocked full of meetings, or even to get me amped up and ready to take to the treadmill or venture out for a run in the rain. It’s soothing, comforting and uplifting to the soul. I can, and do, drink this tea for any occasion. It’s my current ‘go-to’ tea.

The other flavor I received was the Citrus Mint Endurance blend, which also contained matcha green tea (yum!). Instead of the comforting, soothing flavor of the Matcha Spice Power blend, this tea was invigorating! Packed full of herbs, ginger, mint and ginseng, this concoction really gets you moving! The instructions suggest that you use this tea 15-30 minutes prior to a workout, or even when having a long day at the office. I found this tea to be extremely flavorful, however, the ginseng provided just too much of a kick, so I couldn’t settle down’. I preferred the sustained, uplifting feel I attained after drinking the Matcha Spice Power blend.

Annette’s Thoughts:

I’ve never been a coffee drinker, so tea is my go-to caffeinated beverage. I’m always excited to try new tea flavors, so I was thrilled to try out Sportland Tea – a Portland tea company with a focus on athletes.  I received the Power and Performance blends. Ginger Berry performance and Matcha Spice power.  I have to admit, I was a little nervous about this tea as it is loose leaf with green tea matcha powder. I wasn’t sure how that combination would work, but I was able to get a mix of both into my tea ball. The matcha tea strained out, while the loose leaf stayed inside.

I first tried the Ginger Berry performance blend because I needed a pick-me-up on a day I wasn’t feeling great. The tea was fruity with a light spiciness. While, I am more of a spicy tea lover, Ginger Berry was pretty good. I was surprised at the caffeine level in this tea. It wasn’t overwhelming, but it seems that fruity teas often tend to be lighter on the caffeine. I drank it hot, but I think this flavor would make a great iced tea. Did it help my performance? I’m not sure. But, I did make it through my day.

I was really looking forward to the Matcha Spice power blend. As I said before, I am into spicy teas, so this one was right up my alley. The Matcha Spice was an interesting spice blend. It wasn’t biting, but it was flavorful. I liked the ginger and cinnamon flavors that stood out in this tea. This one was definitely my favorite. I can’t really speak to the performance aspect of the tea, as I don’t tend to drink tea right before a workout, but I will enjoy this brew again!

Hyla’s Thoughts:

Over the years, I’ve tried a number of products aimed at athletes to help enhance performance and recovery. However, until recently, I had never tried a tea product to give my endurance a boost or reduce my recovery time. That is until I was sent a couple of tea samples from Sportland Tea Co. based in Portland.

According to a statement on their website, they use “only the best 100% organic teas and ingredients” and “craft high quality custom blends that help increase performance and endurance, reduce recovery time, and enhance cognition.”

The sample pack I received consisted of two of the five loose-leaf teas they offer. As a self-proclaimed health nut and aspiring herbalist, I was impressed with the blends of herbs, spices, and teas that make up the two I tried. First up was the Endurance Citrus Mint. It has a bright flavor showcasing the matcha, peppermint, and lemongrass. Combined with the ginger and ginseng, the citrus really stands out. The mint is subtle and the matcha does not have a bitter aftertaste common in green tea powder.

To enhance endurance, they recommend that you prepare a serving 15-30 minutes before your workout or anytime you feel you need an energetic boost. I drank an 8 ounce serving before heading out on a cold, wet run. I was not feeling very motivated to begin with as I’d been freezing all day long. Having something warm and uplifting, thanks to the citrus, beforehand, definitely improved my desire to hit the road.

The second trial was the Recovery Eastern Lime. It also has a citrusy taste but is lighter and a little earthier in my opinion. It consists of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) oolong tea, turmeric, ginger, and lime. GABA oolong tea is known for its calming effect on the nervous system and offers a host of other benefits that include improved sleep, aids in the management of anxiety and depression, and increases energy. (Plants are so rad! Am I right?)

To aid in recovery, Sportland Tea Co. recommends a cup after a tough workout or rough day at the office. I enjoyed it following a short run on a day that I really felt I needed to decompress from and did feel quite a bit more relaxed afterward.

In all honesty, I’m not sure that I would reach for tea before, or after, a run on a regular basis. However, I really, really loved the flavor of both blends, not to mention their medicinal qualities, and would drink either of them for the pure enjoyment of savoring a lovely cup of tea.

Marilyn’s Thoughts:

I love tea, and I love trying out new teas. I might actually have a tea problem–there is SO. MUCH. TEA. in my condo, I’m running out of places to put it. And I have about half a dozen boxes in my desk at work, which I rotate out with the ones at home, because I also get bored… I think you get the picture. So I was super excited to try out Sportland Tea Co.’s fitness-focused tea blends (btw, I love the company’s name–super clever).

I received samples of the Ginger Berry Performance Blend and the Eastern Lime Recovery Blend. The teas look beautiful, and smell even better. The Ginger Berry blend has matcha green tea, ginger, hibiscus and ginseng to help energize. Green tea has tons of health benefits, as does ginger. The flavor is a perfect balance of fruity, floral, sweet and tart. It’s nicely nuanced, unlike many fruity teas. It’s so delicious on its own, and tastes great hot or chilled. I love it–definitely one of my new favorite teas. The Eastern Lime blend has gaba oolong tea, ginger, turmeric and lime oil. I’m not a huge fan of turmeric’s earthy flavor, but the ginger and lime oil helped to moderate it. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties, which is helpful for muscle soreness. While I didn’t necessarily feel any different in terms of performance or recovery while drinking these teas, they were delicious, and contain all-natural and organic ingredients.

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About Jessica Mumme (252 Articles)
Jessica Mumme, a Portland native, currently lives in Eugene with her husband and three cats (children). Her favorite distances are the 10k and marathon, but she will run any race distances, and especially loves competing in running events. She is Half Fanatic #2635, and has completed 42 half marathons since May, 2009. Jessica tackled her first ultra marathon distance at the 2015 McKenzie River Trail 50k Ultra. See her race calendar and other fun stuff at her personal blog, runjessica.com.

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