• Chia Seeds - A New Method of Carbohydrate Loading
    Endurance athletes may be able to benefit as much from fats as they do from carbohydrates. A study from the NSCA's Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
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  • Chia Seeds

    Read the full-length article in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

    Research shows that endurance athletes who can store more muscle glycogen will have some advantage over other athletes who exhaust muscle glycogen stores earlier in competitions. 

    Carbohydrate (CHO) loading has been used for many years to enhance athletic performance in events lasting less than 90 min. However, research also supports the benefits of a high-fat diet over a high-CHO diet for enhancing an endurance athlete’s performance. So which method is more effective?

    A study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research hypothesized that omega-3 chia loading could be more beneficial than traditional CHO loading because its high-fat and moderate CHO composition might improve endurance fuel usage. Six highly trained endurance male athletes were recruited to perform a high-intensity workout for two days before testing. The athletes were then required to drink either an omega-3 chia loading drink (experimental) or a CHO loading drink (control) for two days before endurance performance trials. 

    There were no statistical differences (t(5) = 0.232, p = 0.083) between omega-3 chia loading (mean 10k time = 37 min, 49 s) and CHO loading (mean 10k time = 37 min, 43 s). Thus, omega-3 chia loading with additional CHO appears to be an option for CHO loading for endurance events lasting less than 90 min.

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  • Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research

    About the Author:

    NSCA Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research

    The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research is the NSCA's scientific journal. This monthly publication prints original research information important to strength and conditioning practitioners. Many educational institutions, researchers, and professionals retain this journal as a valuable reference.

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  • Disclaimer: The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) encourages the exchange of diverse opinions. The ideas, comments, and materials presented herein do not necessarily reflect the NSCA’s official position on an issue. The NSCA assumes no responsibility for any statements made by authors, whether as fact, opinion, or otherwise. 
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