Cha-cha-cha-chia! Yes, the same seeds that are the subject of those hilarious informercials for Chia Pets are also a superfood.
Chia seeds are an outstanding source of omega-3, dietary fiber, calcium, and iron. What does that mean for someone looking for a low-calorie energy boost during the day?
I started experimenting with Chia seeds a little over 2 years ago when I read an article that Aztec warriors used to eat chia seeds for strength and stamina. What I found was that Chia seeds powder makes for a great low-calorie boost that fuels the body well. The nutrients in the chia seeds add that extra something that puts a spring in my step.
How to make the energy drink Here are my tips for making your own homemade, low-calorie, energy boosting drink.
1) Fill your water bottle with water first
- Note: when you add the Chia seed powder first, it sticks to the bottle a little more which means it takes an extra few seconds to wash the bottle afterwards.
2) Add 1-2 teaspoons of Chia Seed Powder
- Using the Chia Seed Powder (as opposed to the seed not in powder form), makes it easy to drink through a bike water bottle
- Use sprouted chia seeds if possible. The sprouting process maximizes the body’s ability to digest and absorb the nutritional benefits
- Add 1-2 teaspoons of the powder. You can experiment with adding 1-2 tablespoons, but for my palate, 1-2 teaspoons was the right consistency
3) Squeeze in some lemon juice
- I use lemon juice concentrate (which you can find at whole foods), rather than squeezing a fresh lemon every morning.
4) Shake well
5) Drink right away
- This I learned from experience… believe me, you want to make this right before you drink it and not ahead of time. When you make it ahead of time, the seeds begin to create a gel in your water bottle and then it is less enjoyable to drink. The gel is actually a positive thing in your digestive track, and research suggests that it has a positive impact on the way your body processes and breaks down carbohydrates. However, the gel is not as tasty as the seeds.
Other nutritional benefits In addition to being an effective energy boosting drink, because of the healthy fat in the chia seeds, I find myself less hungry. There is a direct correlation between my consumption of healthy fats and my food cravings. I tend to make much better choices for how to fuel my body well when I have started the day with healthy fats (like Chia powder in my water or Flax seeds in my green smoothies).
Plus Chia seeds contain dietary fiber, calcium, magnesium, iron, and other goodies. Lots of good reasons to give this homemade, low-calorie, energy boosting drink a try!