Chia Seed Shines in Athletic Study

December 27, 2010

Researchers test chia seed against Gatorade.

New science has emerged in support of chia seed for sports performance.

Researchers at the University of Alabama department of kinesiology tested chia seed  (Salvia hispanica) against Gatorade to determine whether the omega-3 source could be suitable for carbohydrate loading before athletic activity. The results were published in the January 2011 issue of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

In the crossover trial, six highly trained males were assigned to one or two beverages: Gatorade (100% of calories from Gatorade) or chia (50% of calories from chia and Gatorade) with a two-week washout period in between each assignment. Subjects ran on treadmills for one hour, followed by a 10-kilometer timed run on a track.

After all subjects completed each assignment, researchers observed no statistical difference in final times between Gatorade (average completion time 37 minutes and 49 seconds) and chia (average completion tmie 37 minutes and 43 seconds).

The researchers determined that chia seed may allow athletes to decrease their intake of sugar while increasing omega-3 content (with chia) without affecting performance results.