Dark Chocolate Improves Athletic Endurance!

Sound too good to be true? Many of us work out so we can eat chocolate, but new research in The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that dark chocolate can effortlessly enhance your workout. If only Lance Armstrong had known!

It works like this: Dark chocolate contains epicatechin, a plant nutrient found in cocoa, and this epicatechin causes cells to release nitric oxide which in turn widens veins and arteries allowing increased blood flow and cardiac function. It also provides more energy to burn and helps oxygen pass into our cells. It must be dark chocolate, however, which contains much more epicatechin then milk chocolate – the darker the better with as little added sugar as possible. Like your morning coffee, learn to enjoy your chocolate black.

In the study, one group of athletes ate dark chocolate for two weeks while another ate white chocolate – scientists then measured their oxygen uptake. The two groups then switched chocolates and continued for another two weeks before returning to the lab for more tests. The results were definitively enthusiastic. Rejoice, because the athletes performed better after supplementing with dark chocolate – their anaerobic endurance was measurably superior. Poor Lance Armstrong, Maria Sharapova, the entire Russian Olympic Team and any other athlete who used performance enhancing drugs – dark chocolate would have helped them perform better without risking global humiliation.

Although researchers are unsure what the ideal dose should be, you can have fun experimenting with dark chocolate and your athletic performance. Anything above 75 percent cacao should do the trick, but if you’re feeling bold, crank it up to 85 or 90 percent and see were that takes you. But be careful…dark chocolate is powerful stuff.

Dr. H.