Here is the story from our founder, Kipkosgei Magut, about chia:
My wife, a nutritionist and nurse practitioner, introduced me to chia in 2008. She made me plant it in our backyard garden. However, I was thinking to myself, “Why is she making me waste all this space planting some random plant?” In 2009 I read the book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, and there it was again, more information about chia. I still didn’t budge. Then came along John London, a Nashville native and legendary bike rider who knew of my running. He kept asking me about the book Born to Run and if I ate chia. This is what triggered me to find out more about this plant. Since then, the rest is history. I have spent countless amounts hours reading about it and all I can say to all of you (athlete or not) out there is eat it when you can!
Below are just but a few benefits we’ve gathered.
Protein plays a vital role in supplying energy to the body and building structurally sound muscles.
The body needs protein because it needs the amino acids that protein contains. It is much more efficient to consume free amino acids than dense protein foods, such as flesh meats that are composed of tightly bonded amino acid chains, since the body must expend a great deal of energy to reduce such protein chains into the individual amino acids it requires (Allen, 2010).
Researchers have found 18 essential amino acids in chia. The human body cannot synthesize essential amino acids and must be obtained by eating foods rich in them. Chia is a great source of these amino acids that help our body regulate blood sugar and promote muscle recovery among other things (Allen, 2010).
Chia contains 40% fiber. Only 5% is soluble and 35% is insoluble. This means fiber in Chia can absorb up to nine times its weight in water. This particular trait is very helpful to endurance athletes who want to train for longer hours and want to stay hydrated. Also, after chia absorbs water, it creates a slippery surrounding on the seed known mucilage. When this mucilage gets into the stomach, it surrounds the food particles and it helps in regulating glucose absorption into the blood stream and thus helping athletes in preventing fatigue that could be caused by rise in blood sugar before workouts (Allen, 2010).
Chia seeds contain significant amounts of phenolic and flavanols antioxidants. Both of these antioxidants provide us with different benefits. Phenolic acids also serve the function of regulating the absorption of glucose and preventing blood sugar spikes. Flavanols on the other hand helps with reducing colonic inflammation and thus promoting better digestion in our bodies (Allen, 2010)
What is the difference?
Omega-3 is a fatty acid that is in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Omega-6 on the other hand is mostly in the form of linoleic acid (LA). ALA is what is mostly contained in the chia seed and LA is what dominates most of the western diet. ALA uses special enzymes in our body to synthesize to DHA and EPA. EPA act through its eicosanoids compounds as an anti-inflammatory (i.e. helps with reducing muscle constriction and blood agglutination). LA on the other hand is a fatty acid component of omega-6 and it provides an opposite result of ALA. Its eicosanoid compound helps to increase mucle constriction and blood agglutination. This is not a necessarily a bad thing as it’s usually potrayed, but it does become a factor if there is not a proper balance between Omega-3 and Omega-6 in our body. According to Ayerza Jr. & Coates (Ayerza JR & Coates, 2005, as cited in US Department of Agriculture, 1997) showed that the average ratio between omega 3 and omega 6 in western diets is 1:10. According to (Candela, Lopez, & Kohen, 2011) the omega 3 to omega 6 ratio of our ancestors has been estimated to be at 1:1.
We chose to use this ingredient because of its naturally occurring electrolytes. On a gram for gram comparison, scientists found out that Moringa leaves have:
• 4 times the calcium of milk,
• 3 times the potassium of bananas
• 2 times the protein of yogurt
• 4 times the vitamin of carrots,
• 7 times the vitamin of oranges
-all the data was shown is based on wet weight (Trees For Life)
TribEndurance uses organic blue agave nectar to sweeten its products. We chose agave nectar versus other sweeteners because of its low glycemic index (GI). What does low GI really mean? Well, before we get into that, we want you to know that at TribEndurance we believe that food is complex and cannot be measured by just one factor e.g. GI. Nevertheless, we know that GI’s can help consumers make decision on which food to eat on particular occasions.
So what is GI?
GI is a numerical index that ranks carbohydrates based on their rate of conversion to glucose. This numerical index is in the range of 0-100, with higher values given to those foods that produce rapid rises in blood sugar. (Self Nutrition Data). Since our product will be used as a pre-workout food, agave functions as a perfect sweetener. Research has shown that endurance athletes can benefit a great deal from eating foods that are low in glycemic index 1-2 hours before their workout instead of high glycemic index foods that gives an athlete a quick sugar rush that leads to fatigue shortly thereafter.