After only a few months of winter, I am already fed up of the cold.
Anyone who dives in cold water will tell you, half the battle is keeping warm when on dry land. Hot drinks really help to keep you warm, there is nothing quite like opening a steaming thermos and pouring out a warming drink after a dive.
Tea… Britain’s most popular hot drink, the backbone of the nation, doesn’t work so well for freedivers! A relatively high caffeine content and regularly topped up with milk means that it not only stops us lowering out heartrate but it can induce mucus production and make equalisation an issue. So what can we drink instead?
This is my recipe for my favourite ‘Freedivers tea’.
1 tablespoon of dried hibiscus flowers
1 Teaspoon of dried hawthorn leaves and berries
1 Teaspoon of dried Lemon Balm
1 teaspoon of honey
Obviously its best to use a tea strainer or something when making the infusion, or your cup is going to be full of floating foliage. You can vary the amount to taste, however this amount will create a mix which is strong enough for a about two cups, the most dominant flavour is the hibiscus.
All of the ingredients are great for freedivers. Hibiscus is not only tasty but is very high in antioxidants, great for clearing out any free radicals created by diving, it is also shown to reduce blood pressure. The Hawthorn has a calming effect and assists in steadying heart rate. The Lemon balm adds a lovely taste and has relaxing properties. I add a drop of honey to soften any bitterness and for a bit of energy.
The combination of flavours create a slight cherry taste that I love, meaning that I drink this as my regular brew.
If you want to make it taste really festive, add a bit of cinnamon to the mix!