Ritual, a practice, is what makes you perform day after day, year after year. At Spartan, we’re never about doing a fitness feat once. Selecting actionable, sustainable rituals that power your performance, push your limits and gain results is key to living the Spartan Way. In this series, we share how to build healthy rituals that last so you can optimize (and revolutionize) your life. Think: screw resolutions—this is for the long game. Let’s make rituals instead.
Sponsored by our partner, Ritual Zero Proof
It’s whiskey season, and thanks to the pandemic we’re still stuck inside under stay-at-home orders. Sure, it’s tempting as all hell to break open the bottle for a nightcap. (We get it—2020 wasn’t an easy year and sometimes it’s tempting to take the edge off.) But instead of going for a booze-forward cocktail, opt for this nutritionist-recommended N/A whiskey hot toddy recipe that tastes just like the real deal, but sans hangovers, fitness setbacks or hydration hiccups.
Why This Healthy Hot Toddy Recipe Rocks
You can still enjoy a drink without the alcohol by making simple substitutions. But why cut out the booze? Well, even one drink negatively impacts your athletic performance in endurance sports. It impairs your body’s natural metabolic, cardiovascular, thermoregulatory and neuromuscular responses, according to a study published by the American College of Sports Medicine.
Furthermore, alcohol impacts muscle development and recovery, as well as memory and nutrient absorption—all things you fundamentally need to be the best endurance athlete you can be, says Marley Oldham Carnes, MS, RDN, CSCS. But while cutting out booze entirely may not be sustainable, by tweaking your drinking habits to include more N/A options, you’ll keep moderation (and therefore your fitness goals) forefront—without sacrificing the flavors you love. “This simple non-alcoholic Healthy Hot Toddy Recipe will bring you that same heartwarming effect whiskey offers, just without the alcohol and calories,” says Oldham Carnes.
Healthy Hot Toddy Recipe
“A healthy body is critical to achieving optimal performance for all athletes,” she says. “It’s important for an athlete to consider the consequences that come with alcohol consumption and how it will affect future training sessions, games and competitions.” The simplest way to avoid booze setbacks? Opt for mocktail recipes like this one.
- 2 oz Ritual Whiskey Alternative
- .5 oz Orange juice
- 2 oz Hot water
- 1 oz Lemon juice
- .5 oz Honey
- Cinnamon stick, orange wheel and whole cloves for garnish
- Add whiskey alternative, orange juice, hot water, lemon juice and honey into a 10 oz tumbler. Stir.
- Cut an orange slice and punch whole cloves into the fruit. Drop into the hot toddy for extra flavor or perch along the rim of the glass. Your choice.
- Finish off with a cinnamon stick.
Serve immediately and enjoy while warm.
The Breakdown: Health Benefits
- Whiskey alternative: Zero metabolic repercussions from alcohol, zero empty calories
- Orange juice and lemon juice: Rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, helps with absorption of iron, supports heart health, aids in collagen production and skin repair, helps in prevention of kidney stones
- Honey: Antibacterial, rich in antioxidants and probiotics, helps with wound healing, boosting immunity, gut health
- Cinnamon: Rich in antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and reduces inflammation
Bonus Spartan Hot-Toddy Challenge
Whether you’re tackling Sober January or hosting a small gathering of friends, mix up this mocktail for your next “treat-yourself” event and serve it without divulging your N/A secret quite yet. See if your crew can tell the difference—or if this flavor-rich substitute fools them. (We wouldn’t be surprised!)