Why Hydration? A Letter From Our Chief Herbalist

Why Hydration? A Letter From Our Chief Herbalist

Backpacking is one of my favorite summer activities. There’s nothing like sleeping under the stars, waking up to the birds, and sitting by an alpine lake for breakfast. Part of my drive to develop our new instant line was a desire to incorporate Rasa into my backpacking routine. Does it get any better than a hot cup of Rasa with a mountain sunrise?

Last summer I got in several trips with our instant Rasa sachets (Classic & Café Rasa) in my pack, and it felt good! But somewhere around mile 20 of a solo 24-hour backpacking loop, I had a realization born of dehydration and fatigue— our instant line could be much more than what we’ve traditionally considered Rasa. Rasa makes adaptogenic coffee alternatives, and without bias, they are the perfect way to start the day. But I'm not craving hot coffee at 3 pm in the full sun. I want the energy and stamina boost of our adaptogens and something cool, refreshing, and hydrating.

In my walking fever dream, I flashed back to one of my peak hydration moments— I was visiting a vanilla farm in Southern India, and everyone in our group was hot, tired, and thirsty. One of our farming partners casually climbed up a coconut tree and started throwing coconuts down to us. Five minutes later, we were joking, having fun, and feeling totally re-energized.

My next thought was: what if I could get my adaptogen boost and the joy of perfect hydration in a delicious Rasa product? We got to work, and the answer to this question is Raspberry Hibiscus Hydration!

The Science of Hydration

There are two essentials every hydration drink must have: electrolytes and carbohydrates. Electrolytes like sodium (aka salt), potassium, and magnesium help replace what we lose through sweat. If we just drank water during exercise, we’d soon run low on these key minerals, and fatigue, headaches, and irritability would kick in. Our blend is powered by high-performance coconut water powder harvested from young coconuts (which have the highest potassium levels of any coconut — more than double that of normal coconut water!). We added Himalayan salt and freeze-dried lemon juice to complete our electrolyte mix.

Small amounts of carbohydrates, often sugar, help absorb and transport electrolytes. We wanted to make sure our blend had the right amount of sugar, enough to help our Himalayan salt and electrolytes do their jobs, but not so much that it starts to become harmful (like some of the over-salted, over-sweetened hydration mixes out there). These super-sweet mixes are made for an ultramarathoner sweating literal buckets; however, it’s way too much sugar and salt for just about everyone else, making these drinks unfit as daily summer refreshers. In Raspberry Hibiscus Hydration, we opted for 3g of sugar, which comes from coconut water, raspberry powder, and coconut sugar.

Adaptogens for Performance, Antioxidants for Protection

The five adaptogen and mushroom extracts in this blend are perfect for both the trail and a Sunday BBQ. Totaling more than 4000 mg of adaptogens per serving, Raspberry Hibiscus Hydration delivers calm, sustained energy without the crash. Cordyceps, eleuthero, and rhodiola are all well-known herbs for endurance and performance and also help with high altitude adjustment (hello 14ers, IYKYK). Lion’s mane keeps our heads in the game, and gynostemma pushes off fatigue.

You probably won’t need another reason to love hibiscus and raspberry, the uniquely tart and sweet combination that drives the flavor of this blend, but they’re not just pretty and flavorful— they’re also antioxidant powerhouses, with high levels of vitamin C, anthocyanins, and other potent compounds. These antioxidants help reduce muscle damage during intense exercise and support recovery and repair. What a beautiful way to mix business and pleasure, function and flavor.

Bright, layered, and refreshing, this new Rasa product will have you feeling hydrated and ready for whatever is next, whether that’s 5 more miles before sunset or racing your kids in the park. And if you don’t care about any of this on a lazy summer Sunday and you make yourself an iced cup purely because it tastes good, well, that’s perfectly okay, too!

To summer sweetness,
Ben Nahar
Rasa Chief Herbalist