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NorCal Margarita Recipe – The Fitness-Friendly Drink?

NorCal Margarita enjoys cult status in the Northern California CrossFit and Paleo scene.

Over here, it’s still a real insider and not widely spread by now.

Particularly flashy in the light of this cocktail stands out its fitness compatibility.

Those who love cocktails but do not want to slow down their progress will find the NorCal Margarita a good compromise.

Where most drinks add decent sugar along with the obligatory alcohol calories, this cocktail delivers almost no carbohydrates.

Sounds good, right? It even gets better, all this with 100% outstanding taste.

In this article, you will learn:

  • The four ingredients of NorCal Margarita
  • The NorCal Margarita Recipe
  • Why is NorCal Margarita “healthier” than other cocktails?
  • How to find the right amount of alcohol consumption

Let’s start with the ingredients.

Some NorCal Margaritas next to each other in a row

NorCal Margarita – Ingredients

For a real NorCal Margarita, you only need four ingredients – the fifth is optional:

  • 30 ml Tequila (100% agave). I recommend investing a bit more in high-quality tequila. You can taste the difference. I like this repository of Sauza.
  • 1 lime. You can not go wrong here. If I have the choice, I buy bigger fruits, as they usually contain more fruit juice.
  • Crushed ice. If you do not have an ice crusher, you can get it in the supermarket (and even online).
  • 200 ml of soda water. Basically, you can also use carbonated mineral water. Real bartenders, however, swear by the Schweppes original, because it contains at least 570 mg / l sodium bicarbonate (“soda”). The soda reacts when mixed with the acid of the lime, creating a softer taste than most mineral waters.
  • Optional: salt. Who likes it, can garnish the cocktail glass with a salty edge.

Eye and hand enjoy with. NorCal Margarita tastes best in a fancy cocktail glass. A cocktail shaker is handy for the preparation, but however, it can also be done without.

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NorCal Margarita for performance athletes

NorCal Margarita – Preparation

Incidentally, NorCal Margarita’s original recipe goes back to Robb Wolf, a paleo-pioneer who opened one of the first CrossFit Gyms in Northern California.

How to prepare the drink:

  1. Squeeze out the lime.
  2. Add the tequila, lime juice, fruit pulp and crushed ice to the shaker.
  3. Shake and put everything in a (fancy) cocktail glass.
  4. Add soda water and mix it.

Voila. Your drink is ready to go.

Optional: If you want, you can prepare the cocktail glass with a salt rim by moistening the glass rim with a quarter of a lime and then spinning it on a flat plate in salt.

Nutritional value

In consideration of the NorCal Margarita’s nutritional value, the following assumes a serving of 250ml.

  • Calories: 94
  • Fat: 0,1g
  • Carbohydrates: 7,1g
  • Dietary fibre: 1,9g
  • Protein: 0,5g

Why is the NorCal Margarita “healthier” than other cocktails?

Tequila is the basis of every margarita. In contrast to NorCal Margarita, the traditional version is also made with orange liqueur, sugar or syrup.

The result is a cocktail with a high alcohol and sugar content, which is delicious, but also brings with it the typical “side effects”:

  • The readily available carbohydrates increase the blood sugar level so that the additional calories contained are absorbed and stored faster.
  • Alcohol dehydrates your body – the higher the percentage, the faster. If you do not want a hangover the next day, you should drink as much water as possible in parallel to make up for the loss.

The NorCal Margarita is virtually sugar-free. Because of its decent (soda) water portion, it is one of the most fitness-compatible cocktails ever:

  • No added sugar: The NorCal Margarita comes without “empty” sugar calories.
  • Insulin brake: The lime juice limits the alcohol-induced increase in insulin levels. This also reduces the likelihood of food cravings that sometimes favour alcoholic drinks.
  • Water: The soda water lowers the alcohol and increases the water content of NorCal Margarita. This will keep you hydrated a bit better. However, an extra glass of water is still a good idea.
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The NorCal Margarita has a stronger effect than its actual alcohol percentage would let you believe.Because of the carbon dioxide, the alcohol gets into the blood faster. Thus, it does not hurt to enjoy it a bit slower.

NorCal Margarita for good taste and health

How to find the right balance in the drinking of alcohol

That alcohol and sport are not the best friends, I probably do not have to tell anyone here. And anyone who knows me knows that I’m not a fan of total bans.

Because a moderate approach that works without prohibitions works best for most people in the long term.

There are no “good” or “bad” foods in my world. There are only “good” or “bad” motives to consume them.

Anyone who, like me, is an indulgence person, bans do not really work for us anyway. And they are not necessary, because:

The dose makes the poison. And pleasure is not a question of the dose.

How much you enjoy something does not depend on the quantity, but on how DELIBERATE you enjoy a portion of food.

For me, a piece of cheesecake based on grandmother’s recipe, a delicious barbecue with my peers and every now and then a burger are a piece of livability.

Here is a nice example: In the last weeks, I reduced my body fat percentage from about 14-15 to just around 10 percent, in order to look a bit “harder” and in shape.

Now, I am still in good shape and only slightly put on some weight.

Still, I did not give up on ice cream or the occasional drink. I just eat a lot more consciously – and enjoy it more deliberately.

Enjoyment and progress are therefore not a contradiction.

If you want to lose weight, you need a calorie deficit, of course.

The 90-10 or 80/20 rule gives you the freedom to do so.

Alcoholic drinks are thus included in the remaining 10%. Alcohol brings two peculiarities that you should know:

  • Worse sleep. Anyone who has alcohol in their blood wakes up more often at night and wakes up less well recovered. Also, it disturbs the muscle regeneration which you will feel in training the day after. If you want to make good progress, you should not expect miracles on this day.
  • Braked fat metabolism. As long as you have alcohol in your blood, your liver shuts down the lipid metabolism. This will allow your body to store excess calories much more easily.
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It depends on your values and goals, which measure for you is the “right one”. For me, that means:

I rarely drink alcohol more than once a week.

More precisely, I limit my alcohol consumption to a max of four times per month. Oftentimes I don’t even reach these four occasions.

I feel good AND continue to make progress without feeling like I’m giving up.

Closing thoughts: NorCal Margarita

If you enjoy a cocktail from time to time, the NorCal Margarita is a quite fitness-friendly alternative to other alcoholic drinks.

The cult drink of the Northern California Paleo and Crossfit scene in this country is still a real insider tip.

In my personal environment, the drink has become widely spread at parties and I like it that much because it’s less sweet than other cocktails.

Nobody should be surprised that alcohol does not necessarily boost athletic performance. On the other hand, you do not have to do without it entirely in order to look good.

For me, the “healthy measure” means that I might enjoy something alcoholic once a week – rarely more often, but often even less. Ideally, I plan on the day after anyway only a relaxed workout or even a regeneration day.

How do you feel about alcoholic drinks? Do you completely abandon or do you take a moderate approach? What did you do best?

Write a comment below.

I highly recommend you to check out our social media channels for the latest daily content.

As always, thank you so much for reading,


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Hi, I'm Claas. I am a passionate fitness and performance lover. For several years I have been training and developing my personality with dedication, ambition, and commitment to pursue my goals. During this time, I already had the opportunity to support many friends, family members and athletes on their journey to achieve their goals, both athletic or performance driven. Whether about nutrition, training, performance or self-development, for the last few years I was able to steadily improve my knowledge to provide our clientele with all my experience. I believe the key to a happy life, to pursue your goals, overcome challenges and convert your dreams to reality, is based upon mastering our four underlying four pillars; nutrition, fitness, productivity, and mindfulness.

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