It is the news I have been waiting for! Well, not exactly waiting for but I am excited about it anyway! I am a sucker for a glass of red wine and big hunk of dark chocolate in the evening, so this information is most welcome. It is no secret that dark chocolate benefits health in many ways. Cocoa, the main ingredient in dark chocolate, contains fiber, nutrients and antioxidants. It has been linked to lowering blood pressure and decreasing the risk of heart disease. But of course we have known all of this for a long time.
How Dark Chocolate Benefits Fitness
So back to the exciting news. It turns out that the benefits of dark chocolate don’t stop at overall health. A recent study suggests that eating dark chocolate benefits fitness too. Eating a moderate portion of dark chocolate before exercise was shown to improve performance. For those interested in the science-y bit, the flavonols in cocoa increase the production of nitric oxide in the body. This means that less oxygen is consumed during exercise. This is similar to the effect of drinking beet juice before a workout. However, for most people (including me) beet juice is considerably less enjoyable than dark chocolate.
Chocolate for Breakfast?
I don’t know about you but I am taking this as an excuse for a little morning snack before my workout. Of course, there is no need to go crazy. Most dark chocolate contains sugar which I try to limit. But if it’s going to help me get the most out of my workout and it tastes great, then why the heck not? In case you’re wondering which dark chocolate I like to munch on, these are the ones that don’t stick around very long in our house:
Brix Extra Dark Chocolate Bar (must be paired with wine!)