One of our perennial favorites here at Running Northwest, Sportland Tea Company, has something new and after spending some time with it, we can clearly say it’s a game-changer in their lineup. Many of us here are not coffee aficionados and instead prefer the caffeine and taste of a great tea. Sportland’s first offerings we raved about, but the launch of their new Endurance Matcha with CDB…. just amazing. We had a chance to catch up with their founder, Brandon Schoessler, directly to get his take on the new addition.
Where does Sportland source all the ingredients for the new Endurance Matcha and CBD Instant tea mix?
Our goal is to keep everything as close to home here in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest, as possible. I think I said in that initial interview that I was a fiercely proud Pacific Northwest kid, so I do everything I can to keep things local. Obviously, the main component of our product (matcha) has to come from Japan, but that is the only foreign component. We have a great relationship with an organic farm outside of Kyoto that makes a simply incredible product. In this blend, because there is no room to hide behind other flavors, it had to be really high ceremonial-grade quality…so that is what we used.
The other ingredients are all from either here in Oregon or Colorado (CBD). We sampled several CBD powders from across the US before going with our current supplier. They had the best quality full-spectrum product, most comprehensive testing, most water-soluble powder, and were the most professional during the review process…they weren’t the cheapest by any means, but we wanted quality and reliability above all, and that’s what we got. We’re really pleased.
Where does the actual production occur? Keeping it local as well?
We produce it all here in the Pacific Northwest. We take all the ingredients and have them blended by a dry mixer here in Portland, then ship it to a small family-run stick pack fulfillment operation near Boise, ID…the stick pack film is printed in Spokane, WA…it’s one big regional family.
And now for a little interlude where we brew a cup, note the Japanese chasen (matcha whisk) is optional but definitely adds to the experience…
CBD (Cannabidiol)? That is quite the addition and an almost controversial one for some. How did you make the decision to move forward with it as a key ingredient?
CBD…it’s been an interesting discovery process. It all started with our athlete ambassador team asking for a CBD solution. I was looking for a way to integrate it a little before that, but when they started pushing it became a serious goal. It’s been removed from all the banned substances lists in athletic events, the 2018 Farm Bill made it (effectively) legal in the US…there’s still some gray area there, but for the most part, it’s legal. We spent a lot of time doing research on the performance benefits of CBD for athletes, read a lot of papers on the National Institute of Health site, as well as a few others, and then worked out what we think is the right dosage range of CBD for an active individual based on body weight and level of effort.
How did you find a balance between stimulant and sedative as CBD can obviously do both at different volumes?
The question of stimulant vs. sedative is a great question. Most often the sedative effects of CBD are really a product of the interaction with the THC in whatever you might have consumed. By its nature, CBD is not a sedative. It DOES have an interesting effect on the Endocannabinoid System within the human body by blocking stress/specific receptors and allowing you to fall asleep faster or relax easier, but it’s not the CBD knocking you out. A lot of studies have shown that it helps improve cognition and awareness. When combined with caffeine, in our case matcha, it has a really synergistic effect. Matcha is already an effective stimulant (almost as much caffeine as a cup of coffee), and the easier onset and decline of the caffeine doesn’t result in a spike/crash scenario. The CBD effects and benefits typically kick in 30 – 60 minutes after you ingest it via our tea…so if you are out for a long run it won’t feel as tough, or if you had a nice HIIT workout about the time you are done you should start to feel better with the CBD blocking some pain receptors.
What is your take on the stigma associated with the use of CBD?
I do think that there is still some stigma attached to the world of CBD…still a little guilt by association. That’s all going to change, and you can see it happening already. Sports associations have done the initial research, they’ve declassified it and are allowing professionals to use it as a tool in their performance…it’s only a matter of time until there is enough information out there. It’s Sportland’s primary goal to show how a natural, healthy, and effective compound is allowing people to feel better and perform at a higher level.
Thanks Brandon for your time, now our take on it…
This stuff is just insanely great for so many reasons. The stick based design keeps it highly portable and portion-controlled. It blends easily with either hot or cold water (we prefer it iced). It also tastes just as great as other high-end matcha teas you might find on the market.
As for performance, right before any long run the matcha and CBD mix just seems to find the right balance. Many other pre-workout drinks and even coffee provide a jolt of caffeine that immediately spikes and wakes you up, but doesn’t necessarily last. For us, the blend here seems to carry a nice progressive release so you are well into
Also, make sure to check out their new GABA Oolong + CBD for Recovery as well as their other great blends. That CBD versions run $32.99 for 10 packets and their other blends run $12.99 for roughly 20 servings. You can find them all on their website at https://sportlandtea.com.
Drink up! Cheers!