Aztec and Mayan cultures have used Chia seeds for thousands of years. Their name means “strength” and they should be consumed by every long distance runner, because of their nutritional qualities.
The author of Born to Run, Christopher McDougall, is one of the biggest promoters of these seeds and barefoot running. He has always highlighted the seeds’ energetic properties. “In terms of nutritional content, one spoon of Chia seeds is like a salmon, spinach and human growth hormones shake”.
If you haven’t tried them yet, here we tell you the top 3 reasons to eat Chia seeds in a regular basis (we take them a couple of hours before a hard workout).
THEY CAN IMPROVE PERFORMANCE JUST AS A SPORTS DRINK
According to a Study from Alabama University, Chia water (water mixed with Chia seeds) is a very feasible option to improve the athletic performance in 90 minutes or longer events.
The study was conducted with 6 highly trained men, who were asked to consume carbohydrates as:
- a) a regular sports drink
- b) a mix of 50% sports drink and 50% Chia seeds
After drinking this mix of carbohydrates, these men ran during an hour at 65% of their maximum capacity, followed by a control test of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles).
Two weeks later, the test was repeated, but changing the order of the drinks, modifying the carbohydrates load. The ones who drank the regular sports drink were given the Chia seed mix and vice versa.
The results showed that there were no significant differences between both groups: the group with Chia seeds ran the last 6.2 miles in 37 minutes and 49 seconds, while the group with the regular sports drink ran in 37 minutes and 43 seconds.
Consequently, researchers concluded that carbohydrates consumption with Chia seeds drinks is a viable option to improve performance in resistance tests with a 90-minute or more duration, allowing athletes to reduce their sugar consumption and increase Omega 3 fatty acids consumption.
THEY IMPROVE YOUR HYDRATION
One of the main problems runners go through, is keeping balance of electrolytes, because it is very easy to lose body fluids while exercising, taking the risk of being dehydrated.
These little seeds can absorb between 9 to 12 times its weight in water, so they can extend hydration and balance electrolytes in our body.
THEY ARE FILLED WITH NUTRIENTS
In just 1 ounce of Chia seeds we can get:
– Fiber: 1/3 ounces
– Proteins: 0.17 ounces
– Calcium: 0.006 ounces
– Magnesium: 0.003 ounces
– Also, they have a good amount of zinc, vitamin B3 (niacin), potassium, vitamin
– Como reemplazar las bebidas deportivas de manera natural
– Nutritional information.
flickr photo by Mumumío http://flickr.com/photos/mumumio/17298305425 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license