Traditionally referred to as the ‘Aztecs running food’, chia seeds are packed with soluble fibre, protein and omega 3 fats. Omega 3 rich chia seeds may show promise for endurance athletes as a way of carb loading without excess sugars in the diet according to some research (published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 2011). This is an easy recipe to make ahead and portable if you are working out first thing in the morning. For long weekend runs this could be eaten one hour before exercise as a useful fuel but fatty foods are difficult to tolerate before exercise switch the milk to coconut water if using it pre exercise
You can use kefir, coconut milk or other milk alternative in this recipe. For a protein boost, blend a scoop of protein powder before soaking the chia seeds. Using probiotic rich kefir is a great way to support digestive health and immune health.
Papaya contains the enzyme papain, which aids in digestion as well as in the healing of athletic injuries and allergies. It also contains the enzyme chymopapain, which works with papain to lower inflammation and assist in recovery after exercise
Preparation time: 10 minutes plus soaking overnight
40g chia seeds
300ml kefir or almond milk or milk
1 papaya, peeled, deseeded and chopped, about 300g
30g scoop vanilla protein powder
15g desiccated coconut
200g low fat plain yogurt or coconut yogurt
1. Place half of the papaya, protein powder and kefir or coconut milk in a blender or nutri bullet and process until smooth. Stir in the chia seeds and place in the fridge overnight.
2. In the morning stir the chia mixture well. Spoon a little of the chia mixture in the bottom of the two glasses, top with the natural yogurt and remaining papaya. Repeat the layers finishing with papaya and top with the desiccated coconut. You can serve this immediately or place in the fridge until needed. You could also layer it in Tupperware to take with you.
Calories 365kcal, Fat 13.7g, saturates 4.8g, Carbohydrates 26.2g, sugars 17.2g, Fibre 13.4g Protein 27.6g, Salt 0.2g
(Research paper Illian et. al. 2011. Omega 3 Chia seed loading as a means of carbohydrate loading. J Strength Cond Res. 2011 Jan;25(1):61-5.)