So what is the secret to endurance – or sustained energy – that marathon runners, triathletes and many other long distance sport devotees seem to possess? And how do we get it?
You may be surprised to know that these two secret ingredients might be in your kitchen right now – water for hydration and Chia seeds for a whole load of health benefits, including sustained energy release. It’s so simple that anyone with an active lifestyle can enjoy the benefits. Read on to see how we’ve gone one better to super-charge this ancient tonic.
Despite their rapid rise to fame over the past few years, chia seeds are in fact one of the oldest sources of nutrition and were eaten by the Aztecs as early as 3500 B.C. With a Mayan name that translates to “strength,” chia seed was prized more highly than gold.
In his New York Times bestseller, Born to Run, Christopher McDougall’s introduced the world to the Tarahumara people, a northwest Mexican tribe of super athletes. Arguably the world’s greatest long distance runners, the Tarahumara people run hundreds of miles at a time through the canyons of their region fuelled by a traditional drink called iskiate, that they would consume before running. The mixture of water, chia seed and lemon was believed to give the Tarahumara people stamina and hydration for their long running journeys.
That makes sense, as chia seeds are a concentrated food containing healthy omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants and calcium.
Kefir and chia
We’ve gone one better and instead of using plain old water, we’ve used our mineral charged probiotic water kefir! Apart from the obvious benefits of gut goodness and tastiness here are the benefits of combining the two:
- Provides sustained energy. Chia seeds are extremely absorbent, expanding up to ten times their original size when soaked in water and forming a gel-like substance. Because of this gel-forming action, chia seeds slow the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar, meaning the carbs in the water kefir (and fruit if you add it) will be able to fuel your body for longer periods of time. The regulation of carbohydrate release also stabilizes blood sugar levels. Because chia seeds have almost zero carbs, kefir provides the healthy energy you need before and during your workouts.
- Combats dehydration. Because chia seeds absorb ten times their weight in water, they help regulate body fluid levels and retain the electrolytes in the kefir, both key in the battle against dehydration. For long workouts in high heat and humidity, this wonder chia gel is a handy way to prolong hydration.
- Reduces inflammation and joint pain. Omega-3 essential fatty acids are a proven anti-inflammatory, and chia seeds are full of them. In fact, the Aztecs ate chia seeds to relieve knee pain. In addition to battling aches and joint pain, the essential fatty acids found in chia seeds alleviate skin problems, promote brain health, and have even been show to decrease the symptoms of hyperactivity disorder and hypertension. The prebiotic compounds in water kefir have also shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. (1)
- Accelerates post-run recovery. Amino acids are the “building blocks of protein” while antioxidants are the ultimate defense against free radicals. Chia seeds and kefir are full of both. Drink this magical elixir soon after your workout to jump start recovery.
Simply mix 2 tablespoons of chia seeds into a cup of your favourite flavour of Love Your Guts Water kefir.
Stir and let sit for a few minutes, then stir again. Keep stirring it every few minutes until it thickens into a gel.
Add fruit or lemon juice if you please.
Drink and go for a run or workout or cover and store in fridge for when you are ready.