Well, not to be a bandwagon jumper-onner, but I tried chia seeds in the form of Chia Fresca / Iskiate. Yes, I was introduced to iskiate in the book Born to Run, and yes, I tried it due to that book. For the record, I was running barefoot long before I ever even heard of that book. But what’s wrong with learning about new stuff and trying new things? Anyway, enough ranting…
I found Chia seeds at The Healthy Hut in Cochrane, much to my delight. I used the recipe I found in a trail running magazine I received as part of my Powderface42 race package. It said to sweeten the drink with Organic Brown Rice Syrup (which I also found at the Healthy Hut). I don’t think the Tarahumarans had that, but I figured what the hey… Lime is for a rather refreshing flavour.
The recipe is 1c (250ml) water, 1 tbsp Chia, 1tbsp syrup (I just dip the spoon and mix with it) and lime to taste. Chia seeds are a little weird as they gel when they contact water (probably why they were chosen for Chia pets). So the drink comes out slightly jellyish, but it goes down easily (at least for me).
So what’s the advantage? Well, they contain a lot of fibre (5g/ tbsp), which isn’t really good for running activities but good for digestion, calcium, iron, magnesium and various other goodies. But their main benefit is their content of essential fatty acids, omega 6 and omega 3. Chia seeds have anti-inflammatory benefits that can benefit the runner during a workout. The idea is to take iskiate prior to a run, and since it can take up to 4 hours to digest, the benefits of such seeds are slowly released during exercise. This creates an “ibuprofen”-esque reaction in the body, reducing inflammation. Sounds a little too good to be true, but my sore ankles and feet from yesterday’s run have gone away today. Maybe it’s a placebo effect, maybe not. I’m going to try it again tomorrow morning prior to my run and see if it’s effect can help my run. Perhaps those Tarahumarans were on to something.
Next recipe to try out is pinole.