Home Health Dark Chocolate: A Boost For Athletes’ Performance?

Dark Chocolate: A Boost For Athletes’ Performance?

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Chocolate, like beetroot, appears to boost performance. Image credit: University of Kingston, London, UK

Too o sporty to indulge in chocolate? Think again, says research published in The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. The findings suggest that a little dark chocolate may improve performance in fitness training.

Beetroot juice is popular among elite athletes as a tool for enhancing performance, due to its high nitrate content.

The nitrates in beetroot juice are converted to nitric oxide in the body, causing blood vessels to dilate and reducing oxygen consumption, helping athletes to maintain their pace for longer.

The Mayo Clinic point out that chocolate and cocoa may play a role in reducing the risk of heart disease.

The flavanols present in cocoa beans have antioxidant effects that reduce the cell damage involved in heart disease. They can also help to lower blood pressure and improve vascular function.

However, Mayo Clinic warn that not all the benefits of chocolate have been confirmed. Chocolate should be consumed in moderation, they say, because the added fats and sugars can lead to weight gain and other health problems.