Chia Seed: Stamina Sustainer

Carolina Chica, Carolina Chica

June 4, 2013

4 Min Read
Chia Seed: Stamina Sustainer

Stamina is the capacity to continue an activity for some period of time or to repeat a movement continuously. The length of time that we require to keep going determines the type of stamina required. It ranges from local muscular stamina, which is required to perform a series of powerful movements, such as press-ups or wood chopping, to total stamina, where sustained effort is required during a prolonged period. It could be measured in hours, as with the long-distance runner, or even days or weeks, as in the case of Arctic explorers.

Stamina depends on the efficiency of the lungs, heart, blood vessels, and the working muscles. It is often referred to as aerobic, where the exercise will be moderately energetic, making you slightly out of breath, and will last for 20 minutes or more, during which you breathe in sufficient oxygen to provide an adequate supply to the working muscles, so withstanding the onset of fatigue.

Among young athletes, there might not be enough emphasis placed on stamina, though an increasingly sedentary American lifestyle actually boosts the need to focus on stamina. The focus on stamina often is negative instead of positive, as well, with stamina training given as a type of punishment. For example, an athlete might be told to run laps or do push-ups because she is late or makes a mistake.

Several natural ingredients have been shown to increase stamina by providing slow-burning fuel. Chia seed is one such nutrient-packed,  stamina inducer that doesn't deliver nervous energy stimulation.

Chia was one of the main dietary components of not only the Aztecs, but the Mayans, another pre-Colombian civilization that developed in Mesoamerica. Chia is richest rich non-marine whole-food source of omega-3 fatty acids and dietary fiber. Chia is a well-researched variety of Salvia Hispanica L.

Chia Improves Energy, Stamina

Many studies give evidence of the beneficial attributes of omega 3 fatty acids, fiber and antioxidants from chia seeds for different demographic groups, including children, pregnant women and individuals with cardiovascular conditions. These are, however, not the only ones: athletes, people who practice sports and those who work out regularly are benefited by their inclusion in the daily diet.

OMEGA-3. Some research suggests that athletic and sports performance could be positively impacted by the possible anabolic effects associated with the metabolism of certain eicosanoids to reduce inflammation and thus experience a better recovery and improved oxygen supply to the muscles . In addition to improving blood circulation, omega-3s have anti-inflammatory properties, which is beneficial for anyone who trains hard.

FIBER. One of the common mistake athletes often make is consuming hyperosmotic solutions with electrolytes or sugars that, instead of re-hydrating, cause a decrease in fluid reserves.

In sports with predominance of aerobic activity, glucose and glycogen are central to muscular metabolism when exercise ranges from moderate to strenuous and lasts for more than 75 to 90 minutes.

A study by the Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology, University of Alabama, compared the results of two different treatments with carbohydrate load  (CHO) for athletes, in resistance tests longer than 90 minutes. The traditional control treatment (100-percent calories from Gatorade) and a chia drink (50-percent calories from chia seeds and 50 percent from Gatorade). The results showed athletes taking the chia drink were able to increase their lipidic oxidation while saving glycogen in the muscles, compared to the traditional drink. This approach would enable athletes to reduce their intake of sugar and increase their intake of omega-3 fatty acids.

ANTIOXIDANTS. An excess of free radicals has a negative impact on sports performance, as it may intensify the muscular overload, increasing fatigue and slowing down the recovery phase. The way to mitigate the negative impact of free radicals on the muscles is to increase the intake of antioxidants, either through diet or through the consumption of supplements.

Chia is a source of unsaturated fats, which also contribute to cardiovascular health. Its high fiber content helps prevent water retention in the intestines, while its protein content helps the recovery and regeneration of muscle fibers.

Chia is a food product providing a balanced approach to long-term energy gain due to its fat and protein content, which makes it an excellent ingredient for dietary supplements, energy bars and/or snacks targeted to this market segment.

About the Author(s)

Subscribe and receive the latest insights on the health and nutrition industry.
Join 37,000+ members. Yes, it's completely free.

You May Also Like