Vitalyte Sports Nutrition Blog

  • Chia Seeds FAQs

    What is Chia?

    Chia is an edible seed that comes from the Salvia hispanica plant, which commonly grows in southern Mexico. Anthropological evidence shows that chia seeds were a staple crop of the Aztec and Mayan empires as long ago as 3500 B.C. The Spanish conquistadors outlawed the cultivation of chia due to its connection to Aztec religion, and the grain faded into obscurity. In recent years, chia has enjoyed a popular resurgence as scientists have discovered amazing health benefits associated with it.

    What are the Chia Seeds Nutrition Facts?

    Chia is one of the ultimate superfoods. A single ounce of chia contains 42 percent of your daily recommended fiber, and more omega-3 fatty acids than salmon. It also contains very healthy doses of electrolytes, antioxidants, and even protein. In fact, chia is a complete protein source, containing all of the essential amino acids, and it contains 3 times more calcium than skim milk.

    What are the Benefits of Chia Seeds?

    Thanks to its myriad nutrients, chia offers a wide variety of health benefits. Chia consumption can help you to meet many of your daily nutrient requirements, and the fiber can help you to keep your appetite under control. The ancient Aztec warriors consumed chia for the energy and endurance that it provides, and you can experience the same energy boost by consuming chia seeds yourself. The ample calcium can help prevent bone disorders like osteoporosis. Chia also promotes heart health and beautiful skin, hair and nails.

    How Do I Consume Chia Seeds?

    You have many options when it comes to chia. You can eat the seeds by themselves or add them to your food or drink, and still derive all of the nutritional benefits. There are chia seed foods, chia seed drinks, chia seed oils and even chia seed bars. Other superfoods, like flax seeds, must be ground up, but chia seeds are beneficial no matter how you consume them. You can even consume chia as a gel, which offers many benefits of its own. Researchers have also found that chia seeds gel has the ability to slow the breakdown of carbohydrates into sugar. Vitalyte's Chia Surge energy gel is a great example of an effective use of chia.

    What are the Benefits of Chia Seeds vs. Flax Seeds?

    Flax seeds are very nutritious as well, but they do not hold a candle to chia seeds. For instance, flax seeds must be ground up in order for their nutrients to be digestible.  By contrast, you do not need to grind up chia seeds in order to obtain the nutritional benefits. Also, chia has much higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants than flax does, and is more nutrient-dense.

    What are Chia Seeds' Side Effects?

    Chia has many nutritional benefits and very few side effects. If you are taking blood thinners, you may want to speak with your doctor before adding chia to your diet, simply because omega-3 fatty acids can thin the blood. Also, the high fiber content may leave some people feeling slightly bloated. You will find though, that the benefits far outweigh the side effects.

  • Are You the Ultimate Athlete?

    Yes you are.

    At Vitalyte we wholeheartedly believe in empowering any and everyone to feel great, be amazing, and live an extraordinary life. As such we came up with the concept of the Modern Athlete. This athlete is a soccer mom, a marathon runner, a yogi, a volleyball player, a walker, you name it. This athlete is anyone who strives to be healthy and does their best to live an active life and here's where we come in. We've spend many a moon in the lab to craft products that empower you to live the life you want to live and that has resulted in, you guessed it, the Ultimate Athlete Package.

    Complete with our original electrolyte replacement formula, tri phase endurance - or pre workout fuel, chia surge gel - the only whole seed chia gel on the market complete with palatanose and beta alanine, and complete recovery - our amazing recovery drink - you've never experienced a workout strategy like this. This system will make you better - plain and simple as that. Feel free to read up on or ask more questions about any of the products in this revolutionary cornucopia of endurance, hydration, stamina and strength but know this: the products in this system are awesome... so if you're not ready to be awesome, steer clear. Jus' saying.

    In love, being awesome, and annihilating competition of any sort,

    Captain Vitalyte

  • Milena’s Top 5 Tips for Training for Your First 5k

    You’ve done it. You are committed. Your race entry has been confirmed. You have your new pair of running shoes and you’re ready to sport your entire LuLu Lemon ensemble on the running trail. But what you really need to know is where do you begin when you are a beginner runner and you are training for your first 5k. Well, here are my Top 5 things to do when you are looking to get fit for that first race. With some preparation and a logical approach, you will be fast on your way to that starting line. So here goes...

    My top tip for running your first race by far is...

    1. Train steady and slow - The build up is key.  You are new to running so you need to take time to acclimate to the sport and give your body time to adapt to its new training.  My rule of thumb is to allow yourself twelve weeks to train for your first 5k.  There are a lot of great resources to help you with your journey.  Try joining a local track club or visit a local running store for information on training groups.  Make sure they know you are a beginner.  Ideally, your running at first should consist of both running and walking and be sure to lace up those shoes 3-4 days a week.

    2. Meet but don’t compete - I highly encourage that you join a running club or group in the initial stages of your running.  You can ask the coach a lot of questions and get great information from more experienced runners.  Plus, it's a great way to meet training buddies.  Take note though, my big rule here is: “Meet but DON’T compete.”  You are there to meet new people and learn about running.  You are not there to compete.  Be careful not to be pulled into how much someone else is running or how fast.  No comparisons.  Remember, this is about your goals and there is only one of you so respect where you are in your fitness and know that eventually, with some steady training, you will be running with the pack.

    3. Hydration and nutrition are key - If you forget these two elements, your training is for not.  Yep, I know you have heard this a thousand times over, but keeping properly hydrated and following a healthy, balanced diet, are critical components to keeping you healthy while you train.  A healthy body can train and tow the line.  An injured body usually stays at home and tries to rationalize that the potato portion in the chocolate covered potato chip counts as one of the five fruit and vegetable servings per day.  Open that bag of decadent treats at the end of your first race to celebrate, not while you are depressed on the couch, nursing an achilles strain.  So, you ask, how do you hydrate?  Make sure to consume enough electrolytes to power yourself through your training.  In terms of nutrition, keep it simple and real.  That means, reduce sugar and high fat foods.  Replace the white flour with nutrient-rich grains such as brown rice, quinoa and amaranth.  Keep the gluten to a minimum to help reduce inflammation.  Make sure your diet contains lots of veggies and a moderate amount of fruit.  Buy local and organic whenever possible to make sure the nutrient yield of the food you are consuming is as rich as can be.  Protein should be lean and be about 35% of your total caloric intake.  Basically that means, about a third of your plate should be protein.  Ummm, and no it doesn’t count if two-thirds of your plate includes an apple pie and the remaining section is a grilled chicken breast.

    4. Don’t be intimidated - This is meant to be fun and empowering.  I know whenever you are learning something new it can be overwhelming and a bit intimidating.  All those pro-looking runners at the Monday evening run, clad in the latest “minima” shoes and wrists adorned with GPS units galore, yes even they were beginners at some point and had to learn.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  It's the only way you learn.

    5. Give yourself some credit - A lot of people forget to stop and tell themselves “good job” when they are picking up something new.  Whether it's a new job, relationship or skill, we tend to be overly critical instead of supportive of ourselves.  Realize you're doing this because you want to life a healthy life.  Yes- this is a lifestyle choice, so be happy that you are giving yourself that gift.  The rewards will flow over into all aspects of your life.  I guarantee it.

    Good luck with your first 5k and look for my next blog in this series for beginner runners.

  • My name is Jamie Brown. I am a Triathlete, AMPUTEE, and DIABETIC.

    Learning to be an endurance athlete with diabetes has always been tough.

    Constantly checking blood sugar has always made me think of an appropriate sports cliché: "NEVER GETTING TOO HIGH OR TOO LOW" will help you be successful. Well, I really have to live that lifestyle.

    Over the past year since I started my journey in this sport, I have been constantly looking for easy hydration and in race products to keep my training strong and races stronger. Since I started using Vitalyte products, I really have seen an increase in my ability to push my own limits... and I'm not just saying that.

    I'm currently training for 2 major races in May. The ITU triathlon in San Diego May 12 and The Paratriathlon National Championships in Austin Texas MAY 29. I have been using Tri-phase endurance, which has totally amped up my energy levels over all. I've been training in Escondido, CA in an attempt to replicate the heat I may encounter in some of my races. On my longer runs, I've been loving Chia-Surge to keep my calories up without feeling full at all. Beyond that,  the electrolyte replacement sticks have kept me hydrated and cool on some of the hotter (90+) days, allowing me to go for over an hour on hilly terrain! I'm more than excited to be a Vitalyte Brand Ambassador so keep an eye out for my blog posts in the months to come! Thank you to Vitalyte for your amazing products!!

  • Chia Surge: 90s House Pet or Modern Superfood?


    So you want to get the skinny on Chia Surge eh? I don't blame you. When I first heard about the newest Vitalye product, I was skeptical to say the least. Why would I want to consume an awkwardly grassy 90s house-pet trend, I asked myself. The answer proved quite a bit less trendy than I expected.

    Chia seeds are a super food that have been around for, well, forever. Chia was considered as important as maize by the Aztecs in the 16th century - see? -right away the 90s pop jams start to dissipate. You may have heard of chia usage from Born to Run, a wildly popular book about the Mexican Barefoot Runners, otherwise known as the Tarahumara, who consumed Chia seeds as fuel for their distance runs. Anyway, Vitalyte saw the value in this superfood and decided to do something about it.

    The science behind this seeded gel is unlike anything else on the market…. but seriously, it's the world's first and only whole seed chia gel. Complete with Chia seeds and Palatinose for prolonged energy and muscle fuel along with Beta Alanine and BCAA’s to buffer lactic acid and improve muscle performance, this gel is not at all like the others.

    Most chia surge converts, we're finding, are one of two types: Chia Nuts or Gel Addicts. Since this is a no brainer for the chia nuts, we'll focus on the later: the gel obsessors. Why Chia Surge you ask? You know that feeling when someone hands you a coffee or chocolate flavored gel or Gu at mile 8 of your half? Mile 20 of your century? That awkward, gag-inducing choke down of literal gu that you do because you have to? Because there's no other option? You know that crash that drops you down to the point of no return a mere 45 minutes after taking it.. and then you have to take another in order to function and finish? Yea… we were over that.

    Chia Surge is a light, textured formula that's not too sweet and much smoother than other gels on the market. It kicks into your system 8-10 minutes after consumption and gradually builds you up for two hours - sans crash-  thereby keeping you energized and loving life throughout your workout.

    The long and the short of it is that Chia Surge is one of a kind, comes in two flavors: Raspberry and Pineapple Orange- and is worth your while. So turn up those throw back jams, put on those moon shoes and suck in a Chia Surge - you'll be dancing, running, jumping, and rocking out till the break of dawn.

    In love and Chia

    Captain Vitalyte

    Want to learn more? Take a look at nutrition information and/or buy online.

  • I Am A Trail Blazer...


    By Erica Davis

    This year, my college is starting the first ever "Young Alumnist of the Year" award and I am very honored to be very first recipient. They are honoring me because I never gave up and kept both competing and doing my best to inspire people after my injury. I'm also proud to report that I am the 1st female in a wheelchair to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro as well as many regular first place finishes in a multitude of different sports including triathlons, handcycling or in running events with my racing chair.

    I graduated with my B.S. in Exercise Science in 2004 and got my teaching credentials in 2005. Then my injury took place at the end of that year, which was caused what is called Cavernous Hemangioma. This paralyzed me from the chest down. Even though I am not teaching right now, I am mentoring other girls through the Challenged Athlete Foundation who are in wheelchairs and also do volunteer work at a food kitchen weekly.

    This weekend I am heading up to the Pacific Union College campus in Angwin, CA. A few days before the awards, I will be teaching the WSI (water-safety instructor) class to PE majors to show them how to teach someone with challenges like mine or others how important it is for them to learn the different ways we have to adapt. After all, haha, we all have to learn how to swim in a straight line!

    I am so excited to both be going back up to my alma mater and teaching these PE majors so that maybe one day if they have a student or see someone with another physical challenge, they could say, "hey, I can teach you how to swim if you'd like" instead of looking the other way. I'm also, of course, so honored to receive this award and am proud to be the trail blazer I strive to be.

  • For the Love of the Sport

    image3Ah what we won’t do for love.  Men have constructed monuments to show their undying devotion to the queen of their heart.  Wars have been launched to fight for the beauty at the center of the strife.  Thrones have been forsaken in order to be with the one that was not of royal blood.  I am sure you all have been at the place in your life where you could relate to the pure amore that was strong enough to build the Taj Mahal, launch a war in the name of Aphrodite or give up the Royal Crown. Yes what love can do, and what we won’t do for just a slice of it.  So as a runner at heart, I at the age of 36, was re-introduced to the love of my life, and it took the most serendipitous of events to bring me back to this love affair.

    Last Saturday was the Hollywood Half Marathon.  Vitalyte was the official on-course beverage of this inaugural event.  I was scheduled to race the 13.1 miles and it was going to be my official “comeback race” after having a seven year hiatus from competing.  I hadn’t been feeling very well the two weeks leading up to the event.  I was really troubled by a neck injury I had incurred in a car accident a while back.  Still undecided the day before the race, I was working at the expo and happened to meet Sean Astin.  He was trying to find the packet pick up so he could get his bib number.  I pointed him in the right direction and we started talking running.  Turns out he is a huge running fan and has multiple marathons to his credit.  We immediately became buds and I offered to pace him through the race.  He accepted.  So at the crack of dawn, the  next morning, I met Sean at the starting line for the 6 am start.  We had our game plan, and as his “coach,” it was my job to make sure he made it to the finish line despite a recent achilles injury.  I charted out our plan and told him he had to stick to the pace I set.  So as we headed out of Universal Studios City Walk and onto the streets of Hollywood, “Rudy” himself was skeptical of the easy pace I was setting.  “It’s ok Sean.  Running a race is like money in the bank.  Every mile upfront that you go out steady, buy not too hard, pays you interest that you get to spend towards the end.”  He loved the analogy and took my advice.  As we ran down Sunset Boulevard, I told Sean that this was the most fun I had ever had in a race.  We were snapping photos of us eating our Chia Surge Endurance Gel, waving at people in the crowd who were shouting “Rudy,” and singing happy birthday to the people like Loraine who were running in the race and had a neon green printed sign pinned to the back of her running singlet that said “It’s My Birthday.”  I had never had this perspective of a race before.  The middle of the pack. The place where the runner’s high never dies.

    As Sean and I made the turn up the big hill right off Highland Avenue and downed one more cup of Vitalyte, he made a quick surge and said to me “I’m putting on my headphones for this one.”  At that point we had two miles to go and I knew he was home free.  My brave student had headed my advice and now it was time to enjoy the homestretch.  I learned just as much from running with Sean as he learned running from me.  I learned about his “Run 3rd” organization.  He runs first for himself, second for his wife and children and third for you or whoever needs a little inspirational support.  You simply tweet a dedication to hash tag #run3rd.  What a cool concept.  I learned that the race is not always about the “race.” And I definitely learned that Goonies Never Say Die.

    We ran a great race and Sean ran exactly the time he was hoping for.  As we walked back to the awards area he turned to me and said, “I could definitely go for a chocolate crepe.  What are the odds of getting one of those?”  Well I am not only a great coach, but a really good observer and I noticed that there was a crepe place in the Universal City Walk.  So as Evan, our CEO, Sean and myself sat and ate our post race crepes (only after we drank our Complete Recovery), I confessed to them that this was the best “race” I ever ran.  They seemed surprised and wanted to know why.  “Because,” I said, “we all ran for the love of the sport and I had an amazing slice of it.”

  • A new way to find energy when you need it most

    Nutrition has always been an important component of athletic performance, but only recently have superfoods like chia been utilized in concentrated doses to deliver targeted nutrients to athletes. Chia, known widely as the popular novelty household plant grown to resemble hair on clay heads, is now gaining momentum as a premium nutritional supplement. In fact, it is one of the most nutrient-dense foods in commercial use.

    "Chia seeds were a staple of the ancient Aztec diets. Now they are used in many areas of the world for general health and weight loss. As a potent source of many important nutrients, vitamins and minerals, Chia really is a one-of-a-kind superfood. Chia is great for everyone, including competitive athletes. There are many amazing health benefits of chia seeds," says Evan DeMarco, CEO of Vitalyte Sports Nutrition.

    Using an innovative blend of amino acids, beta alanine and the hydration-boosting superfood chia, professional sports nutritionists at Vitalyte Sports Nutrition have created Chia Surge, a revolutionary energy gel designed to provide maximum nutrients at critical points when athletes need them most. The first commercial chia-based energy gel in the world, it improves athletic performance by boosting energy, buffering lactic acid and speeding recovery.

    Chia contains more than eight times the omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, and is extremely high in protein, both essential to healthy muscle function. Rich in dietary fiber, chia also contains essential minerals such as phosphorus, manganese, calcium, potassium and sodium. Chia seeds also slow down the rate at which carbs are digested, converted to sugar and then delivered to the body, which makes them an especially amazing nutritional addition for diabetics. Everyone though, can benefit from adding a healthy dose of chia to their diet.

    Modern medical science has shown time and again that proper nutrition is a vital component of injury prevention for athletes, especially when participating in strenuous events such as marathons or triathlons. Nutrient-dense, easily digestible foods are the fastest and most effective way to deliver energy on the spot.

    "We are incredibly excited to be launching this groundbreaking product," says DeMarco. "Chia represents one of the greatest superfoods on the planet and we are very proud to be innovators in this field."

    Vitalyte's Chia Surge delivers critical nutrients and energy in the form of an energy gel, designed for use by athletes in need of fuel at critical moments during performance. Boiling nutrition down to a science and discovering the virtues of chia has improved the safety of athletes who may risk dehydration, low salt, bloating or low blood sugar during endurance events. These serious conditions usually result from the over- or under-consumption of water which upsets the balance of electrolytes, replenishing calories with foods that are not easily digestible, or don't replenish enough calories for sustained energy.

    "Chia seeds slow down the rate at which carbohydrates are digested and then assimilated into the body," says DeMarco. "Because they absorb up to 10 times their weight in water, they create a time release system of steady sustained energy instead of immediate spikes in blood sugar. When you combine chia with palatinose like we did in Chia Surge, along with beta alanine and branched chain amino acids, you have an amazing gel that tastes great, buffers lactic acid to improve performance, and delivers energy to hungry muscles for extended periods of time. And at only 75 calories per pack, Chia Surge is the perfect addition to any exercise plan, regardless of duration or intensity."

    Many athletes are now using highly developed nutrition systems to improve their performance and decrease the risk of injury or dehydration during races. It is expected that with the "all-natural" movement in full swing, superfoods like chia will take center stage in the world of supplements and nutritional breakthroughs. Chia Surge is available for purchase on Vitalyte's website,, and at outdoor specialty store REI

  • Chia Surge Gel Beats the New York Marathon

    Ten years ago I ran the New York Marathon.  Because I was in the elite field, my own personal water bottles were placed on a special table at every 5k mark of the race.  There were 20 bottles on the table.  Each bottle belonging to an athlete.  It was customary the day before the race to gather in the elite athlete hospitality suite for a version of World Class Athletes Arts and Crafts 101.  The coordinator of the marathon would bring into the suite a huge plastic box filled with markers, colored tape, ribbons, pipe cleaners and all the other goods you would find in a kindergarten classroom.

    The top marathoners in the world when then gather around and decorate their water bottles.  Not only was it a fun break from the media tension and pre-race nerves, but it served afunctional purpose by making it easier for each runner to identify their uniquely designed bottle the following day when they would be blazing by the water table at 5:35-5:45 mile pace.  I don’t know what each person put in their bottle...some electrolyte solution perhaps or even the old standby that legendary marathoner Grete Waitz used, defizzed Coke.  I knew I would need more calories than sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium mixed with sugar could offer.  Don’t get me wrong, my body would desperately need the firing power of the electrolytes but what would get me through the 26.2 would be fuel.  So I wrapped several chewable candies in tinfoil and taped them to the side of my bottle that was draped in bows and blue and black tape (to match the colors of my racing attire of course).

    Everyone wondered what in the heck was in the tiny packages.  At each five kilometer mark, I would down my drink and then unwrap my candy and chomp away as I whizzed through the five boroughs.  I wound up finishing 9th overall.  Not so bad.  This time I avoided an IV, unlike the year before.  My little concoction worked quite well.  Everyone wondered why I didn’t just take one of the gels offered along the course.  My stomach would not let me.  The hard to digest, prepackaged gut killers did not like me and vice versa.

    It wasn’t until a few months ago when the CEO of Vitalyte tossed me one of those oh-so-recognizable gel packs.  “Oh no I said.  We aren’t friends, gel and I.”  “This is different,” he said.  “Try it on your next run and let me know.”  Reluctantly I tucked the pink gel pack in my shorts the next morning and headed out for a run.  “I promised him I would try it,” I reluctantly told myself, as my stomach braced itself for the onslaught.  First of all I noticed the taste of the Chia Surge Gel was different than any other gel product I had tried.  It was lighter.  Well the real test would be my stomach.  I continued running and to my surprise and delight, I felt great.  No gurgling or sloshing or nausea.  In fact I felt really good.  I had more energy.  “I think this Chia Surge has got it going on,” I said to myself.  When Evan asked me the next day how I liked it, I told him how surprised I was.  I mean we all knew that chia seeds were the superfood of the century and had amazing nutritional benefit.  But that paired with the other amazing ingredients in Chia Surge Endurance Gel!  Wow, all I could say was, “Where was this ten years ago?”  So now my energy levels are awesome on my runs.  I take a Chia Surge half way through a 5-6 mile run and on a longer run that is between 10-12 miles, I take one at mile 3 and one at mile 7.  Who would’ve known how a little chia could go such a long way.

  • What To Do & What NOT To Do a Week Out From Your Race

    screen-shot-2012-03-26-at-95815-pmOkay so it is a week out from your big race.  You've trained.  You've woken up at God awful hours to meet your running group for the Sunday long run.  You have sweated in places you didn’t even think had sweat glands!  You have put in your dues and now it is time to cash in.

    So make sure all that hard work pays off and you make the most of your training and race day.

    I had a friend who once taught me something invaluable.  She would always say, “First, do no harm.”  That is the stance you need to take the week before a race.  It is NOT time to try that new supercharged, extra cushioned, gel-infused running shoe. It is NOT time to try that new Thai restaurant down the street where every dish on the menu has five out of five chili’s next to it to indicate it’s heat level.  And it is definitely NOT time to tell your sister you’d love nothing more than to take her six year old twins to Disneyland for the day.  No, no and definitely no.

    Ok, so what CAN you do the week before your big race?  Here are my top five.

    1. Taper- Your mileage should be decreased by 25% of your average weekly mileage the week before a race.  You still need to run, but make your runs easy.  The goal is to get out, get the blood pumping and stay loose.  So no racing in your workouts.  Go light and enjoy.
    2. 4852159395_no_beer_answer_1_xlargeHydrate-Let me emphasize this.  Hydrate with a non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated source of liquid.  Vitalyte is my beverage of choice (duh).  Not only does it have the perfect balance of electrolytes to make sure my body gets the right minerals, but it also uses glucose as it’s carbohydrate source.  The glucose actually is the carrier that allows the body to absorb the electrolytes.  Glucose works, hops and barley do not. Embroider that on a pillow.
    3. Eat-Believe it or not people forget to eat when it gets near race day or they get nervous so they don’t eat as much as usual.  I’m not saying go to the nearest Schezuan Buffet and become intimate with the Kung Pao Chicken.  I am saying though stick to easily digestible and nourishing foods that will sustain you.  Things like oatmeal with berries for breakfast or a protein smoothie a few hours before your run will keep you super charged for your weekend race.  Also, don’t forget your Tri Phase.  I couldn't dream about running without it.
    4. Relax-Yep, the hay is in the barn so to speak.  All your work has been done so enjoy this time and take a moment to reward yourself.  Get a light massage or a facial.  Take some time to read a book or whatever relaxes you.  Make sure to get plenty of rest and let those around you know that you need some extra down-time.  Ask your family for their support in creating a restful environment.
    5. screen-shot-2012-03-26-at-95914-pmCelebrate-After the race!  Make sure to spend some time in the beer garden or getting together with your friends (cheers to the hops!).  After all, running is something to enjoy and celebrated with your friends and family.  Take the time to celebrate your hard work!

    Good luck to you all (and myself...) and hope to see you all at the Hollywood Half Marathon next weekend!

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