Journal Articles

Chia Seed Oil Supplementation Has No Influence on Running Performance

April 02, 2015

Chia Seed Oil Supplementation Has No Influence on Running PerformanceThe FASEB Journal, April 2015, David Nieman1, Nicholas Gillitt2, Mary Pat Meaney1, Dustin Dew1 and Fuxia Jin2

  1. 1NCRC Appalachian State University United States
  2. 2Dole Nutrition Research Laboratory Dole Foods United States

Chia Seed Oil Supplementation Has No Influence on Running Performance


Plasma ALA levels peak about 2 h after ingestion, and 60-85% is utilized by tissues for energy, higher than the 50% shown for other oils. This study determined if consuming 10.5 kcal/kg ALA-rich chia seed oil before and during running to exhaustion improved performance compared to water. Runners (N=24, age 38.0±1.7 y, VO2max 47.9±1.6 ml/kg/min) reported to the lab twice in an overnight fasted state, 2 weeks apart (randomized, crossover). After a blood sample at 8:00 am, subjects ingested 10 ml/kg water with or without 7 kcal/kg chia seed oil, provided a blood sample at 8:30 am, and then ran to exhaustion (70% VO2max). Subjects ingested 3 ml/kg water/15 min during both trials, and 3.5 kcal/kg chia seed oil after 1 h running. Metabolic measures (Cosmed CPET, Rome, Italy) and RPE were measured during the running bouts. Blood samples were collected immediately- and 1-h post-exercise, and analyzed for ALA, glucose, lactate, cortisol, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, TNF-α, and total leukocytes. Despite elevated plasma ALA during the chia seed oil (337%) compared to the water trial (35%) (70.8±8.6, 20.3±1.8 μg/ml, P<0.001), run time to exhaustion did not differ (1.86±0.10, 1.91±0.13 h, P=0.775). No trial differences were found for the respiratory exchange ratio (RER) (0.89±0.01, 0.90±0.01, P=0.210), RPE (P=0.917), plasma glucose (P=0.511), or lactate (P=0.308). Significant increases were measured for total leukocytes, plasma cortisol, and cytokines, with no trial differences. In summary, chia seed oil supplementation (10.5 kcal/kg) before and during high-intensity running, increased plasma ALA but did not enhance run time to exhaustion, or influence RER, cortisol, and inflammation responses compared to water alone. Support, Dole Foods, Inc.

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