Chia – The Tiny but Mighty Endurance Food - 3 Easy Recipes to keep you Fueled

The wonders of this teensy tiny seed are really quite amazing. As one of the main foods used in the Aztec diet over 3500 B.C., this power food has come a long way.1 Today endurance athletes are following in the sandal clad footsteps of the famous Mexican running tribe, the Tarahumaru, and using this super food to help them stay fueled. Since chia seeds are packed with tons of protein, Omega 3 and absorb up to 12 times their weight in water, they are the perfect endurance fuel.2 When mixed with liquid they expand and form a natural gel that can help boost energy levels and prolong hydration. Ditch those sugary gels and energy bars and try these 3 all-natural pre, during and post workout chia recipes for long lasting energy without the bonk.

Pre-Workout – Banana Chia Kitchen Sink Bar:

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Snack on one of these delicious homemade chia bars before hitting the trails to feel fueled and ready to take on those hills:

-       1 ripe mashed banana
-       ½ cup peanut or almond butter
-       2 tablespoons of coconut oil
-       3 tablespoons chia seeds
-       1 cup rolled oats
-       ½ cup vanilla protein powder
-       ¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
-       ¼ cup pecans chopped
-       ¼ cup coconut flakes
-       ¼ cup dried cherries
-       ¼ chopped dates
-       ½ a teaspoon of cinnamon

Heat the nut butter and coconut oil in a pan on low until melted and combined. Mix all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl and pour in the melted nut butter and the mashed banana. The best way to get everything evenly mixed is to use your hands. If the mix feels a little too sticky add in a few more chia seeds or some oats until you have a nice dough like consistency that doesn’t all stick to your hands. Press the mixture into a baking sheet until about ¾ of an inch thick and freeze for 30 minutes. Cut into squares and enjoy.

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Tip: Use whatever nuts or dried fruits that you have lying around the pantry and get creative. Store them in the freezer until you are ready to eat them, this gives them a perfect firm consistency without feeling frozen.

During Workout/Race – Coconut Mango Electrolyte Gel:

Instead of gulping down 200mg of pure sugar every 45 minutes in your next race instead make this delicious natural gel. Fill up a small hand held bottle with the mixture and take small sips to keep your energy levels and electrolytes boosted:

·      1 ripe mango cut into chunks
·      2 tablespoons of chia seeds
·      ½ cup coconut water
·      1 teaspoon of Agave
·      A pinch or two of Sea salt

Soak the chia seeds in the coconut water for at least 30 minutes. While they are soaking chop up the mango and puree with the agave and sea salt in a blender or food processor. Lastly mix the soaked chia seeds with the mango puree and spoon into your hand held bottle. Keep the left overs and the race bottle in the fridge until ready to eat.

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Tip: For a cheap and disposable home-made energy gel bottle go to the toiletry section at Target and get some of the mini travel bottles for about a $1.50 each.

Post Work-Out – Blueberry Vanilla Protein Pudding:

The key to recovering well is giving your body what it needs after a tough workout. Eating a protein rich snack after a workout is one of the easiest tricks in the book and gives your muscles the ability to repair and strengthen themselves. Make this easy chia pudding recipe the night before so you are ready to roll after a busy morning of doing work: 

·      2 Tablespoons of chia seeds
·      1 cup of un-sweetened vanilla almond milk (or milk of your choice)
·      1 tablespoon of your favorite vanilla protein powder
·      1 tablespoon of Macca powder (optional)
·      1 tablespoon of coconut flakes
·      1/2 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries
·      1 teaspoon of Agave (optional)
·      1 blender ball

Combine all the ingredients together in a jar, including a blender ball if you have one and shake well until all the protein powder and chia seeds are un-clumped. Then leave in the fridge overnight (or for at least an hour) so the chia seeds can absorb the liquid and form a pudding consistency.

Tip: Make the mix the night before but add the frozen blueberries before you hit the gym in the morning. The blueberries will keep everything nice and cold while you work out.

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