Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Product Review: Runner's Tea, Q&A

Runner's Tea recently became Sportland Tea Co. with the same original blends and brand new ones! 2017.

(Note, this post was originally written before the Runner's Tea became Sportland Tea Co.)

Hi!  Today I want to share with you a Question and Answer session I did with Brandon Schoessler of the Runner's Tea.  Brandon is the founder of the Runner's Tea and is intimately involved in the day to day work of this new product.

Brad Zinnecker/Trail Running Faith:  Tell us about the genesis of the Runner's Tea.  A tea seems like an interesting choice for a hydration drink to use in running. 

Brandon Schoessler: I’ll give you the medium length story:

I used to run a lot.  Then I stopped and sat behind a desk for several years.  I stayed in shape, but definitely lost that runner's edge.  At one point I woke up and realized that I did not want to be "that Dad" that sat on the couch and had his kid always come over to him to show him stuff…I wanted to be the Dad that could get up and move to where my child was, chase her around, and see her grow up and also so that I could maybe see my grand-kids one day.  This was the start of me getting back into shape.

As part of my desk job, I drank a lot of coffee.  I love coffee and everything about it.  One day, some friends at a nearby studio wanted to start a lunch run a few times a week.  Running on a belly full of coffee gave me a sour stomach, and it was miserable.  Then, by chance, I was drinking green tea before our run, and no sour stomach.  I experimented a few different days to see if it was the tea, and it was.  I could run, and I had energy to burn.

I did a lot of research on the benefits of green tea for athletic performance and discovered matcha…the single best (in my opinion) form of green tea in the world.  The health benefits are off the charts.   Combined with a few herbs to help settle the stomach, a few more to boost energy, and I had a drink that was allowing me to push harder, run farther, and recover faster.  That was it---I had a product that I knew other people could use.  Turns out it is also incredibly hydrating and healthy for you. 

Brad:  Tell us about the "ceremonial green matcha tea" that you use.  You mention it on the website, tell us why using this versus "culinary grade" is so important.

Brandon:  Great question.  Culinary grade could work in our blend, and it would be a lot cheaper to buy.  But it tastes like crap.  I want my tea to taste good.  I want people to understand that matcha is a powerful form of green tea, and if you are trying the lowest quality you are missing out on the experience.  Ceremony grade is what you would drink if you went to a tea house and sat down for a cup of matcha.  It’s just better.  I want our product to be better, too.

Brad:  What do you see as the greatest benefit of using the Runner's Tea?

Brandon:  Honestly, I hope that people drink the tea and experience a boost in their performance.  I want to help them get over that wall.  Once you know you can run that mile a little faster, and it does not hurt as much, you want to push yourself.  That, in essence, is what I want to give to people…a little nudge to help them become a better athlete.  

Secondarily, I want people to be healthy. I want people to live longer, stay sharper mentally, and be happier. Our tea can, in some regard, help that happen. I just want people to ‘live’.

Brad:  Tell us about your running journey. 

Brandon:  I was a runner before I was a walker.  Stood up and ran, never really looked back.  I grew up in a small town, my Dad had a house that backed up to a forest and I ran those hills and trails almost every day with my friends.

I ran track in school, sprints almost exclusively, but it wasn’t the same as the trails.  A couple state meets later and I just did not want to do that anymore.  So I gave up running and focused on work.  It took me a while, but now I am back and feeling better, running stronger and enjoying myself more when I run.

I am almost exclusively a trail runner.  I’m a sucker for those 5K obstacle course runs.  And I have just started training for a 1/2 Ironman coming up next year.  I don’t really like riding bikes, so this should be an interesting training experience.

Brad:  What near term future goals are in the works?  New flavors?  Other products, ventures, types of tea, etc.

Brandon:  Oh man…something really cool is in the works.  We have a recovery tea coming out in the near future.  I’ll be sending out samples to my ambassador team soon.  After that, we have a whole new concept that will, hopefully, really take the performance tea idea to the next level.  I can’t say too much yet, but it’s going to be pretty different and, I think, cool. 

Brad:  Thanks to Brandon Schoessler for taking out time to respond to my questions.  I really appreciate it.  As a product ambassador for the Runner's Tea who has used it on interval and long runs up to 22 miles, I really encourage you to try this new and innovative product.  Gluten-free, organic, and low calorie.  Contact me and I'd be glad to give you a 10% discount as well.  Check out the Runner's Tea at:  Runner's Tea

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