How Adding Chia Seeds To Your Water Could Help With Weight Loss

One of the latest TikTok trends involves adding chia seeds to your water to stay full longer and speed up weight loss. But TikTok is known for its questionable content, so can you really trust these claims? For starters, it's important to know that chia seeds are indeed a superfood. Michigan State University says that Aztec warriors consumed these tiny seeds for their energy-boosting effects. Despite their small size, they're loaded with fiber, antioxidants, and other key nutrients that support overall health.

An ounce of chia seeds provides 138 calories, 4.7 grams of protein, 8.7 grams of fat, and 12 grams of carbs, including 9.8 grams of fiber (per My Food Data). It also delivers high doses of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, selenium, and manganese. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health notes that about 60% of the fat in chia seeds comes from omega-3s. Moreover, this functional food contains all nine essential amino acids, meaning that it's a complete protein.

Clinical evidence suggests that chia seeds may improve blood lipids, reduce inflammation, and improve heart health, according to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Due to their high fiber content, they may also prevent blood sugar spikes and keep your digestive system running smoothly. Plus, they boast a delicious nutty flavor that will leave you craving more. With that being said, here's what you should know about chia seed water and its effect on body weight. 

The truth about chia seed water and weight loss

TikTokers say that drinking chia seed water before meals increases satiety and curbs hunger. Surprisingly, that's not far from the truth. Chia seeds won't melt away fat, but they can improve appetite control and make it easier to cut calories. These tiny seeds can absorb up to 12 times their weight in water, expanding in your stomach. After ingestion, they form a gel-like substance that fills you up quickly, notes the Cleveland Clinic. As a result, you may end up eating less.

Chia seeds also contain soluble fiber, which dissolves into water and increases satiety. This type of fiber slows down digestion and may help prevent blood sugar highs and lows, explains registered dietician Beth Czerwony. Therefore, it keeps you full longer and may help with weight loss. Not everyone agrees with these claims, though.

For example, researcher David Nieman told WebMD that chia seeds are unlikely to reduce body weight or fat mass. Moreover, they may cause constipation when consumed in excess. "If you're eating a lot of fiber and not drinking enough fluid along with it, the chia seeds will start to absorb the fluid in your gut and cause you to have [a] hard stool," warns Czerwony. To stay on the safe side, start with a small amount and work your way up to 1 or 2 tablespoons of seeds per day. Mix them into a glass of water and drink it immediately.