If there’s one superfood designed specifically for runners, it’s certainly chia seeds! Whether you’re stepping up your training routine, in need of some mid-race fuel or just out for a neighborhood jog, chia will help you go that extra mile!
Although the popularity and innovation of chia seems like a recent phenomena, the consumption of chia actually dates back to as early as 3,000 B.C. when they were essential for sustaining Maya and Aztec warriors for up to 24 hours.
However, it was the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico’s Copper Canyon, the subject of the New York Times’ Bestselling Book ‘Born to Run’, who introduced chia seeds into their diet prior to long distance runs. The Tarahumara credit chia as the force behind their extraordinary stamina! These small, but mighty seeds are one of the most nutrient dense superfoods on the planet and are packed with essential Omega-3, plant protein, fiber, potassium, iron and so much more!
Want to kick your running game into a higher gear? Here’s a list of reasons why we recommend chia seeds for runners of all levels!
1. Chia is Key to Hydration
The golden rule to running is to always stay hydrated and chia can help with this! Soak some seeds in water for 10-15 minutes and watch them swell up to 12x their normal size. When you drink a 10 oz. glass of water mixed with 1 tbsp. of chia seeds 30 minutes before your run, you’ll reap the benefits of that additional H2O, helping you stay hydrated longer and kicking your thirst to the curb.
2. Reduce Inflammation and Joint Pain
Putting a lot of miles of strain on your lower limbs? The Omega-3 essential fatty acids found in chia seeds are associated with reduced inflammation which help to relieve stress off your joints during and after your runs. Adding chia into your routine will not only make your joints happy, but also speed up the recovery process your body needs to heal in between runs.
3. Avoid Cramping
Nothing gets in the way of a good run more than an unexpected cramp. Traditional runner wisdom preaches that the common remedy to muscle cramps is potassium (aka eat a banana), but chia does an even better job as a source. On a gram for gram basis, chia seeds actually have 2x more potassium than bananas! Next time, instead of chowing down on a banana which can sometimes sit heavy in the stomach, opt for some chia seeds that can help regulate body fluid levels and retain electrolytes.
4. Run Longer, Not Harder
As runners, we all want to go that extra mile, a little faster, and a little easier. Chia can help! To help you achieve this, these absorbent seeds help slow the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar, making sure the carbs consumed prior to running can fuel the body for longer periods of time. Those long runs will end up feeling shorter and shorter!
5. Extra Energy Boost
Chia seeds are a good source of iron, which is needed for the healthy transportation of oxygen around the body, a process critical to maintaining healthy bodily functions during strenuous exercise. The result of a highly efficient oxygen-flow is sustained energy, vitality and strength!
Whether you’re hitting the pavement for the first time or you’re a seasoned marathoner, it’s important to remember your body needs rest, water and plenty of nutrients for recovery. Introduce chia seeds into your running routine, or into your everyday diet, to feel the effects of this superfood. Consume them prior, during or after a run and you will notice the difference! We’ve created Mamma Chia Organic Chia Squeeze pouches to be the perfect on-the-go snacks that are so light and compact, you can easily stash one in your pocket or water belt for a tasty pick-me-up in the middle of your run! Chia is truly beneficial for runners of any level!