Loving the BITE: Chia For a Long Lasting Energy Source

Minerals – Chia seeds are an excellent source of phosphorous, manganese and calcium.  They also contain trace amounts of sodium and potassium.

Healthy fats: Chia seeds contain a high amount of plant based omega-3s.  And, while these cannot replace the omega-3s from fish and seafood, they still promote reduced inflammation and overall health.

Fiber: Chia seeds are a great source of fiber at six grams per one tablespoon!  Soluble fiber promotes digestive health, steady energy and blood sugars, reduced cholesterol, improved immunity, and overall wellness.

Antioxidants: Great for the athlete, Chia seeds provide healthful antioxidants that combat oxidative stress.  Specific antioxidants include caffeic and chlorogenic acids, myricetin, quercetin, and kaempferol.  These nutrients have also been correlated with reduced risk of cancer.

Protein: Chia seeds, like quinoa seeds, contain complete proteins with all essential amino acids.  Every tablespoon of chia provides 2 grams of protein.

Bonus Recipe:  Muscle Sparing Protein Shake

As posted last month, our muscle sparing protein shake utilizes Chia and Protein to provide a nutrient dense, nourishing shake that can reduce overnight muscle wasting in athletes.

Chia isn’t just for your Chia Pet.  It’s a great option for a filling breakfast, cycling nutrition, and protein shakes.  Take it from the Tarahumara, it’s good fuel.

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  • Chris

    Kelli thanks for the article..Going to have to try the overnight chia oats.

    • http://twitter.com/fuelright Kelli Jennings

      Hi Chris, You’re very welcome. The overnight chia oats are very flavorful and maybe even more convenient than instant oats. I hope you like it – let us know… Take care!

  • glenn

    Hey Darryl, some vegans use chia to replace eggs in recipes. I tried this with brownies. I also added a 1/2c uncooked quinoa and 1/2t almond extract to a standard brownie mix (like Betty Crocker). The texture was nothing like brownies, but it was pretty good. Moist and dense. The quinoa gives it a bit of crunch. I won’t say it’s health food, but it’s healthier junk food.

    • http://twitter.com/fuelright Kelli Jennings

      Thanks Glenn! Although I’ve never used chia for eggs, I’ve often used ground flaxseeds in place of eggs (my youngest kiddo’s allergic to egg whites). 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 Tbsp water = 1 egg in baked good. And, speaking of brownies, I’ve been thinking of sharing a very yummy black bean brownie recipe – I’ll steal your description, a healthier junk food:)

  • Karyn

    I’ve been using Chia seeds on and off for a while now but honestly never knew about the benefits. Thanks for sharing this article. Can the muscle sparing shake be used even when not working out? Should I only take it on days I’m working out or just worked out?

    • http://twitter.com/fuelright Kelli Jennings

      Hi Karyn, thanks for your comment! The intention of the muscle sparing shake is: 1) the provide long lasting protein (it becomes more long-lasting as the fiber in the chia delays digestion) overnight to spare muscle after working out, 2) provide a healthy, portion controlled fix before bed, and 3) provide a lot of healthful nutrients. So, it’s a good replacement for a sugary dessert any night. The muscle sparing effects of protein have been studied with mostly resistance training (weight lifting), and can be hypothesized to be of benefit from cycling with resistance as well (hills, high speed, intervals, etc). Here’s my recommendation: If you don’t normally have a after-dinner snack on days you don’t workout, stick with no dessert. If you do like to eat something after dinner, this is a healthful portion-controlled swap for anything sugary, even on non-workout days. On days you workout, it’s benefifical for muscle sparing, so include it on these nights.