To run in your workouts and races, your body needs energy, lots of energy in some cases.
Without the energy coming from the food you eat and the nutrients your body stores, it is impossible to run and perform at our best.
The longer or more intense your workout or race is, the more important it will be to avoid the depletion of your energy stores.
The muscle contractions can be supplied with energy by a variety of metabolic substrates, the most important:
-Carbohydrates (stored as hepatic and muscular glycogen as well as glucose in blood)
-Fat (adipose tissue)
During a half marathon or a marathon, most (or all) of the energy coming from glycogen can be depleted and that is why it is important to consume carbohydrates while you run.
CHIA SEEDS AND SPORT DRINKS: THE PERFECT COMBINATION
For exercise lasting for more than an hour, studies have shown that carbohydrate consumed during the activity will provide additional fuel and increase endurance capacity. (For events lasting less than an hour the benefits of carbohydrate ingestion are negligible.)
One of the most convenient ways to ingest carbohydrate during exercise is by consuming sports drinks, which have the added advantage of also providing fluid.
A 500 cm3 bottle of sport drink provides approximately 115 calories, 29 grams of carbohydrates, 225 mg of sodium and 63 mg of potassium.
Even though many runners ignore this, chia seeds are an excellent option to be consumed before and during workouts or long or intense races.
According to a Study performed by the University of Alabama, adding chia seeds to sport drinks is a feasible option to improve performance in events that are longer than 90 minutes long and allows athletes to reduce their sugar intake and increase the intake of Omega 3 fat acids.
In order to reach this conclusion, six highly trained men had an intake of carbohydrates by means of:
- a) a sport drink
- b) a mixture of half of that drink and chia seeds.
After consuming carbohydrates, the participants ran during one hour at 65% of their maximum level of effort, followed by a 6-mile long control test.
Two weeks later, the test was performed again, but the amount of carbohydrates was modified: those who had only had the sport drink, had the mixture of sport drink and chia seeds, and vice versa.
The results showed that there were no significant differences between both groups: the runners who had the chia seeds ran the 6 miles in 37 minutes and 49 seconds, and those who only had the sport drink did it in 37 minutes and 43 seconds.
This means that those who had less sport drinks and included the chia seeds had a similar performance than those who did not add them.
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For that reason, we recommend you to include chia seeds in your nutritional plan during long workouts and competitions.