MUDWTR: a drinkable mud with superfood benefits

This piece is part of our wellness drinks series. Read our last two pieces about drinkable collagen and charcoal lemonade here.

While researching wellness drinks, we were intrigued to come across MUDWTR, a new company founded by entrepreneur Shane Heath. The drink comes in a powder form, but when mixed with water turns into a mud-like beverage. We wanted to learn more about this revolutionary new product and company, and chatted with Shane to learn more:



What is MUDWTR and what led you to create this product? How did you come up with the name?

I have always been interested in finding ways to improve my health through nutrition. Unfortunately, I bought into the cultural norm that coffee was the solution to doing more, would and soon I was drinking 3-4 cups a day while pursuing an active and ambitious lifestyle. I was working as a designer for a tech company in Silicon Valley, working out twice a day, and drinking tons of coffee, like most people around me. I started to notice an increase in my anxiety, and began having mid-day jitters.

I loved the ritual of drinking coffee, but I realized I was reliant on a drug (caffeine) for my vitality. So, I set off to find something better. I got an opportunity to be an artist-in-residence at a space in Goa, India, quit my job, moved there, and spent 6 months painting. It was there where I fell in love with Chai, which has lower amounts of caffeine but still has an amazing flavor, culture and tradition built around it.

When I came home, I began using chai as a base and started researching about other ingredients that had amazing benefits. I was just playing around with recipes until I had this brown sludgy drink with chunks of chaga floating in it. People would ask me what I was drinking, and I would respond “mud”, hence the name MUDWTR. The base is a masala chai consisting of black tea, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger, and black pepper. We then added cacao, turmeric, cinnamon, sea salt and four mushrooms: chaga, reishi, lion’s mane, cordyceps.

I never thought I’d be in the beverage business, given my background in designing digital experiences. But after two years, I kept meeting people who were having similar doubts about coffee, and had the realization that they might want this drink I had. So, I designed the brand and purchased ingredients all in a weekend in May 2018, and the company started to take off overnight. 6 months later, I raised over $1M and am having the time of my life.

What are some of the benefits of drinking MUDWTR? What does it taste like?

People say MUDWTR tastes like if cacao and chai had a healthy baby. It has a chai flavor but you can also taste hints of turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon. Before I had MUDWTR, it was difficult to quit coffee because I missed the dynamic and gritty flavor profile that coffee had… but now I’m never going back.

The ingredients in MUDWTR have many more benefits than coffee and tea. MUDWTR has 1/7th the caffeine than coffee, but cacao and cordyceps support alertness and energy. Lion’s mane supports healthy mental. Turmeric helps regulate your response to inflammation, cinnamon helps with cravings, and chaga and reishi help support a healthy immune system. MUDWTR optimizes both your body and mind.

Why are you excited about the wellness drink space?

It’s an amazing time right now. Years ago, we saw a big shift from sugary drinks like Arizona iced tea, Snapple and soft drinks to naturally sweetened beverages like coconut water, Honest Tea and La Croix. I think we are seeing a similar shift happen right now from high caffeine drinks like Red Bull and lattes to nutrient-dense drinks like kombucha, keto shakes, tonics, and MUDWTR. Drinks and compounds that were really only known amongst die-hard yogis or ayurvedic practitioners are now being used by elite athletes looking to optimize for stress reduction, recovery and well-being. We are grateful to be here at this time.

What’s next for your company?

We are young and still just finding our tribe and trying to create a community around what we believe in. Part of our focus is growth: educating and not being afraid to go against the grain if we believe in it... and seeing who resonates with it. The other part is providing that community with products, experiences and content that improves their experience here on Earth. We are developing a new creamer product that you can add to your MUDWTR for additional benefits, texture and flavor. We are also working on a new “dreams” blend meant to drink at night to induce recovery and rest. We are currently scaling our manufacturing to meet demand, but are doing so in a conscious way - fighting packaging companies and manufacturers to not use any single use plastics. Lastly, we are opening up donation-based cafes in LA, and most recently opened the doors on our Abbot Kinney location. One of the core values of our company is trying to improve ourselves as individuals, because only then can we bring something to the world that actually makes a positive difference.