Omega 3 Chia seed loading as a means of carbohydrate loading

J Strength Cond Res. 2011 Jan;25(1):61-5. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181fef85c.


The purpose of this study was to determine if Omega 3 Chia seed loading is a viable option for enhancing sports performance in events lasting >90 minutes and allow athletes to decrease their dietary intake of sugar while increasing their intake of Omega 3 fatty acids. It has been well documented that a high dietary carbohydrate (CHO) intake for several days before competition is known to increase muscle glycogen stores resulting in performance improvements in events lasting >90 minutes. This study compared performance testing results between 2 different CHO-loading treatments. The traditional CHO-loading treatment served as the control (100% cals from Gatorade). The Omega 3 Chia drink (50% of calories from Greens Plus Omega 3 Chia seeds, 50% Gatorade) served as the Omega 3 Chia loading drink. Both CHO-loading treatments were based on the subject's body weight and were thus isocaloric. Six highly trained male subjects V(O2)max 47.8-84.2 ml · kg(-1); mean (SD) of V(O2)max 70.3 ml · kg(-1) (13.3) performed a 1-hour run at ∼65% of their V(O2)max on a treadmill, followed by a 10k time trial on a track. There were 2 trials in a crossover counterbalanced repeated-measures design with a 2-week washout between testing sessions to allow the participants to recover from the intense exercise and any effects of the treatment. There was no statistical difference (p = 0.83) between Omega 3 Chia loading (mean 10k time = 37 minutes 49 seconds) and CHO loading (mean = 37 minutes 43 seconds). Under our conditions, Omega 3 Chia loading appears a viable option for enhancing performance for endurance events lasting >90 minutes and allows athletes to decrease their dietary intake of sugar while increasing their intake of Omega 3 fatty acids but offered no performance advantages.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Athletes*
  • Athletic Performance*
  • Body Weight
  • Carbohydrate Metabolism
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Isotonic Solutions / administration & dosage
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption / drug effects
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Running*
  • Salvia
  • Seeds / chemistry*
  • Young Adult


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Isotonic Solutions
  • gatorade