Chia Charged



Last summer, we ran a story titled Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia, about the hot new superfood chia, whose benefits were widely touted in the best-selling book, Born To Run, as one of the top fuel sources for endurance athletes. Utilized by the Tarahumara Indians, a tribe of ultra-runners in the Copper Canyons of Mexico, the chia seed is also rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Because of their extreme absorbancy, chia seeds provide sustained energy and help prevent dehydration. They expand up to ten times their original size when soaked in water, forming a gel-like substance that slows the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar and fuels the body longer.

Last fall, at the New York City Marathon Expo, we found a number of new Chia products geared towards runners, most notably Chia Pod from the Australian company, The Chia Co. Enticingly packaged in a clear container, with a handy orange spoon tucked into the lid, Chia Pod consists of 3 ingredients — fruit, coconut milk, and chia seeds. What you see is what you taste. There is no added sugar, so while the banana flavor is sweet, the blueberry is quite tart. Somewhat strange at first, Chia Pods grow on you, with a texture worthy of note. Somewhat gelatinous, the seeds soak up the moisture of the coconut milk and remain as tiny chewable bubbles. They are most definitely a taste sensation.

Chia Pods are quickly gaining in popularity for both athletes and the health conscious. The Chia Co. recently partnered with eleven-time world champion surfer, Kelly Slater, to promote the benefits of chia on a global level, as well as the larger correlation between a healthy diet and wellbeing. Chia Pods are now sold in grocery and natural food stores (we just spotted them at Fresh Direct!), are available in four flavors, and are dairy free and vegan. Each Chia Pod has roughly 150 calories and provides 100% of the recommended daily intake of Omega 3 and 25% of your fiber. They are great as a power breakfast, quick lunch, pre-workout snack or savory desert, and made to eat and run!