Pronounced "Iss-key-ahh-tay" as far as I can tell.
Not too long ago I finished reading McDougall's Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen. It is such an amazing read, a combination racing story, the evolution of running, something of an introduction to the Raramurri, and a spirited defense of barefoot running. Pretty interesting race with lots of kookie characters. Scott Jurek, one of the runners involved in the Copper Canyon Ultra, has been helping to support a seed bank for the Raramurri. Personally, I am not so sure about all of the studies that McDougall invokes in arguing for barefoot or in fairly minimalist running shoes (video) but I have toyed a bit in the past with barefooting it and have now weaned myself off of orthotics. I have some background reading to do.
McDougall describes drinking Iskiate, the Raramurri's energy drink, a combination of lime, sugar/honey, and Chia seeds (yes, "ch-ch-ch-chia"). The sugar gives fast energy, the limes give Vitamin C, and the Chia all kinds of interesting things.
So I decided to try it out.
Turns out that everyone else seems to have the same idea AND that Chia seeds are readily available at Whole Foods. I located a recipe for 8 ounces at Runner's World and made my first batch to use as a recovery drink after the Cougar 10-Miler. Instead of honey or regular sugar I used brown sugar. I let it steep over night in the fridge and then transferred it to a water bottle in the morning.
On the way out to the race with PT and Sj I described this drink, including the part about the seeds, to much general derision. They were interested to see if I would actually down 2 teaspoons of seeds. PT said she wanted a picture of my face after drinking it.
I did it! That's me taking my first tentative sip after running 10 miles.
How was it?
Really good. Pretty limey. Drinking the seeds was a bit interesting but otherwise the whole concoction was quite refreshing. All-in-all, it tastes so much better than the many energy drinks I have tried.
The question is, did it do anything?
I am not sure my test yesterday was a good one as I had been pounding water, Nuum, and watermelon while waiting for Sj to finish. So I made some for after today's run. A little less limey this time and, yes, it did have an interesting and desired affect (aside from the ice cream headache I got from drinking a very cold beverage). I felt refreshed but I don't know why.
The answer to that is in trying to figure out how Iskiate actually works.
7/14/09 Addendum: It seems that quite a few people the world over are trying to find information of Iskiate are ending up here. I sure would like to hear what you are turning up in your researching. If you've a mind to please help build a bibliography via comments.