Why Chia Is A Great Food For Bodybuilding, Fitness And Health: Both chia and ground flaxseed are very important foods for many because they are such an inexpensive source of those critical omega 3 fatty acids. Because of the low conversion rate, you consume a lot more omega 3 fatty acids when using these seeds than you would with a higher quality source like salmon. Chia and flaxseed are essential to those using keto or low carb nutritional plans because they provide a way to get fiber while providing very few net carbs.
Where To Find Chia
The best place to find food is from local farmers markets as locally produced food is typically superior in freshness, flavor, and health to food found in supermarkets or online. However, if you cannot find it locally or do not have the time to shop, Amazon is the next best thing.
Nutrition of Chia
Is this the best nutritional choice?
When it comes to building muscle, building strength, losing fat, and getting healthy, its all about getting the most nutritional benefits for the fewest possible calories. Getting the most out of every calorie is of the utmost importance is when your daily caloric intake is low either because you are cutting or not doing cardio. Here is a comparison of your food choice to one that I consider to be the gold standard. [chart still under development]
The above chart compares equal calorie portions of your food to one which you might want to consider. The blue bars are your food and the red bars are for the food I am suggesting you might want to consider instead. What you will most likely find is that the food I am suggesting will have more protein, fiber, or Essential Fatty Acids than the one you have chosen. These are essential macronutrients for bodybuilding and good health.
Essential Amino Acid Profile Of Chia
Protein quality and protein quantity ratings
Why Chia got a protein quality rating of 41/100 and a protein quantity rating of 8/100
How protein dense is the food? Chia has a protein density of 13% which means that 13% of the calories are from protein. Skinless grilled chicken breast has a protein density of about 80%, things like egg whites and isolated whey products have protein densities over 90%. With any protein density less than 60%, it becomes a challenge to get enough protein without going over your daily caloric budget and getting fat. If your primary protein source has a protein density of less than 50% then you are going to have to do *significant* amounts of daily cardio to burn off the extra calories if you dont want to increase bodyfat.
What is the amino acid profile of the food? Muscle cant be built unless *all* the essential amino acids are present at the instant they are needed. If doesnt matter how many essential amino acids are in your stomach, if you run out of just one then all protein synthesis stops. This is why amino acid profiles are so important, to make sure that you get the right balance of amino acids so that a maximum of muscle can be built with a minimum of calories. When you compare the amino acid profile of Chia to chicken breast in the above chart, you will see that it is most lacking in lysine, in fact, Chia only has 59% as much of lysine as chicken breast does. Because of this, you need to eat 1.7 times as much protein to get the same muscle building properties as you get from chicken.
How digestible is the food? This is where the science is the weakest. There are a couple ways people have attempted to factor this in - with BV (Biological Value) and with the Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS). Something like whey protein isolate is nearly 100% digestible whereas the protein in some grains is only 50% usable. Chia has a digestability factor of 0.6 where 1.0 is 100% digestable. Typically when foods are high in fiber, the body has a harder time extracting usable protein from the food. Because not all the protein in this food is digestable, you need to eat times more than you would for a fully digestable food like milk.
The best complimentary protein source for Chia
A word is in order about how I come up with this list because the way to calculate the optimal complimentary food is not obvious. First, I look at which one of the essential amino acids the food (Chia in this case) is lowest in when compared to a high quality protein source like chicken breast. In the case of Chia, it is lowest in lysine. Then it gets a bit tricky. If I were just to scour the database for the food that highest amount of lysine per calorie, I would be recommending "add a scoop of protein powder to that" as the best complimentary food for *everything*. Yes, the best complimentary protein to a bucket of sawdust is a scoop of protein powder and actually, you could skip the sawdust :) The point of looking for complimentary foods is to look for raw foods, not processed ones. There are two things that one must balance when looking for the optimal complimentary food: first, how much lysine you get per calorie and second, you want something that is high in lysine relative to the other essential amino adids. The algorithm I wrote looks thru my database of over 5000 foods, optimizes the two requirements, and presents you with a list of fourty foods to choose from: twenty from plant sources and twenty from animal sources.
There is disagreement in the nutritional community about what constitutes "essential" amino acids. What is agreed is that histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine are essential but then the disagreements seem to start. Technically cystenine and tryosine are non essential but many put them in the "conditionally essential" or "essential" category. Also arginine, glycine, glutamine, histidine, proline, and serine are also considered "conditionally essential". For the purposes of this software, I had to make a choice what "essential" means so that I can optimize the complimentary food so I chose the nine definitely essential plus cystenine and tryosine.
Protein Combination Of Chia and Soybeans,mature Seeds,raw
Of all the essential amino acids, lysine is in shortest supply in Chia. Soybeans,mature Seeds,raw is a good compliment becuase it is high in lysine. Chia has 0.058646 grams of lysine for every 29.3833 calories. Soybeans,mature Seeds,raw has 0.074157 grams of lysine for every 12.2225 calories.
The proper mixing ratio of Chia to Soybeans,mature Seeds,raw is 4.3:1 by calories
Combo of two cols to right
Another comment about how I decide what to combine with and how I do it is in order. In this first revision, I only look at the one single essential amino acid that is in shortest supply and then find a complimentary food that is high in that essential amino acid. Obviously, that is not perfect, it would be much better to look at *all* essential amino acids that are in relative short supply in the target food and then search the database for the food that can supply the missing essential amino acid quantities with a minimum of calories. For example, if you look at the protein quality of soy protein concentrate, you see that compared to chicken breast, its lacking most in methionine but also lacking in lysine. Since my software currently only looks at the shortage of methionine it chooses low fat sesame flour as the best complimentary food which fixes the methionine but still leaves a 12% deficit in the lysine. In my next revision, I will improve the algorithm significantly by looking at the lagging three essential amino acids rather than just looking at one.