Indian masala chai with spices

The time of year may be dull but the season’s trendiest drink comes in bold, bright yellow. 

If you’ve noticed sweaty runners milling about in cafes sipping hot, sunshine-coloured beverages, you should know: they might be onto something. The turmeric latte is the post-workout beverage of 2017. If you’re just hearing about it now, you’re arriving to the party right on time. It’s likely that your city’s trendiest cafes just started serving them and it will be years before they even approach done-to-death territory (pumpkin spice, we’re looking at you…). 

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The health benefits of turmeric

Apart from being trendy and cheerful looking, they are supposed to be steeped in health benefits too. (Hence why your nearest vegan health food pit stop has them top on the menu). That’s because, for endurance athletes especially, turmeric is like a magic spice. 

If right about now you’re thinking: “Turmeric? In a latte? Puke!” Hear us out. In our 2015 Trail Special, Canadian Running food writer Jonathan Sinclair wrote about the health benefits of the bold yellow spice which many may associate with curries and Indian cuisine. Many endurance athletes load up on medications and especially painkillers. Oftentimes, these are overused to deal with the aches and pains that come with logging long, hard runs. Inflammation specifically is what they are they are trying to reduce by cracking open that bottle of ibuprofen– which over time can damage the liver.  

But as Sinclair suggested, turmeric can be a natural alternative. 

“Instead of walking the tightrope and popping a few ibuprofens, hoping that your liver and kidneys can handle it, swap them out for a few capsules of curcumin. This is a derivative from the root vegetable turmeric,” he writes. “Many of us are familiar with turmeric as the spice that gives curry powder its orange hue. Turmeric has been proven to be one of earth’s most powerful natural anti-inflammatory agents. The reason why is that it contains curcumin.”

Since curcumin is plant-based, it’s less likely to tax your system. Looking for natural remedies? Well, this could very well be it. 

Golden milk

If this is sounding familiar, it could be because you’ve heard about a similar hot drink under a different name. “Golden milk” or “golden tea” is basically the same thing. Anyone who practices ayurvedic medicine would have been warming up to a hot cup laced with turmeric far before trendy fitness buffs arrived at this idea. Call it what you want, this is the new post-workout drink of the year. 

So want to make yourself a cup from scratch? The below recipe was adapted from food blogger NadiaLim.com.

HOMEMADE TURMERIC LATTE

Fresh turmeric (3cm piece, peeled) OR 3/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
Fresh ginger (2cm piece, peeled) OR 1/2 teaspoon ground
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon almond, cashew nut or hazelnut butter
1 ½ cups water or milk
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Add all ingredients to a blender, mix it up. Heat the liquid on a saucepan on the stove top and serve. 


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2 Comments

  • Darren Kirk Hedley says:

    Great article, thanks for this

    • Balaji Katlai says:

      Whats surprising is that a native version of such drinks have known to exist in Indian homes where in milk with turmeric is given as a home remedy for basic cold or sore throat. Sometimes, we just wonder how age old Indian traditions are getting rediscovered; hope the goodness spreads!

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