Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Chocolate can enhance endurance performance!?

As a lover of all types of chocolate, I was very excited to read an article published in the July edition of the Journal of Physiology, that chocolate improved endurance performance in humans (and mice).

We all know that chocolate milk as regarded as quality post exercise recoery drink (watch out for all that sugar chocolate milk contains), bu researchers have now discovered that by eating small amounts of dark chocolate on a daily basis, during periods of hard training, assists with not only recovery, but acts as an ergogenic aid (enhances athletic performance) too.

It is all thanks to the Cocoa bean and a chemical called epicatechins.

Cocoa beans contain a chemical called epicatechins which stimulate the growth of mitochondria in the muscles. Remember the mitochondria are the energy producers of the body, so more mitochondria mean more energy produced and available for activity.

As with all things that seem to good to be true, there are a few "guidelines" which need to be adhered to:
  • Consume only Small amounts of dark, chocolate should be consumed (5 grams per day). It can be eaten every day.
  • Avoid eating excessively sweetened chocolate
  • Use chocolate as an "ergogenic aid" only while training and especially during periods of intense activity.
Bring on the Lindt baby!

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