Monday, January 24, 2011

New Carbohydrate Loading Drink Looks Promising

“Omega-3 Chia loading appears a viable option for enhancing performance for endurance events lasting more than 90 minutes and allows athletes to decrease their dietary intake of sugar while increasing their intake of omega-3 fatty acids but offered no performance advantages,” report researchers led by Travis Illian at the Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology, of U of A.

Chia is the edible seed of the desert plant Salvia hispanica, a member of the mint family, which grows in Latin American countries including Mexico, Argentina and Peru. The seeds are said to be a significant source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. They are also rich in fiber (over 5 percent soluble fiber), protein (over 20 percent), amino acids, and a range of nutrients, vitamins and minerals (including calcium, B vitamins, zinc, boron, potassium, copper and phosphorus). They are also said to be a stable source of antioxidants.

The new study suggests that chia may be an option for sports nutrition formulators, given its apparent equivalence to Gatorade for carbohydrate loading in performance athletes. Carbohydrate loading is practiced by athletes prior to competition in order to increase their stores of glycogen in the muscles.

Source: 1/21/2011

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