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Is Chocolate All Bad? Or is it a good Pre-Workout Snack?

Ooh, it's 'Chocolate Week' this week Oct 12 - Oct 18!

Great news for chocoholics like me. We don't always have to feel guilty about eating chocolate. There is evidence that adding a moderate amount of dark chocolate to our Pre-Workout or Post-Workout Snack can have a number of benefits.

Increased Aerobic Capacity

Our aerobic capacity is measured based on the maximum or optimum level at which our muscles, lungs, and heart use oxygen during incremental exercise. This is known as VO2 max or in simple words, how efficiently your body organs utilize oxygen. According to research, cacao contains a flavanol – epicatechin – which improves the functions of the mitochondria – the powerhouse of the cells.

Get That Happy Feeling

Am I the only one feeling happy after eating chocolate? Well, there is a reason behind that magic feeling after biting into a piece of chocolate. Cacao contains the hormone serotonin, which regulates our mood. Research confirms that the darker the chocolate, the higher the serotonin production. Being in the right frame of mind can help you make the most of your workout.

Improved Blood Flow

Eating dark chocolate is good for the lining of the arteries; it produces nitric oxide (NO). NO relaxes the arteries and lowers the resistance of blood flow, which reduces blood pressure. Most studies suggest that cacao and dark chocolate are good for blood flow and blood pressure.

Reduced Inflammation

Dark chocolate can help reduce inflammation because it contains antioxidants known as flavonoids.

Therefore, eating dark chocolate before a workout may reduce the inflammation in the muscles and joints and any associated pain. Furthermore, flavonoids are known to improve heart health as well as boost brainpower. A combination of caffeine and carbs, which is found in dark chocolate, is good for muscle recovery post-workout

A Few Things To Remember

Dark chocolate can be a great pre-workout fuel if you eat it in moderation.

  • Consume small portions because chocolate is higher in fats than other sources of carbs.

  • It is difficult for the body to break down fats as compared to carbs for fuel. Have chocolate at least 2 hours before your workout

  • Have no more than 25 to 50 grams; a good way to replenish your glycogen stores after a workout

  • Have dark chocolate with a protein source like a glass of milk – a great combo for muscle recovery

  • Chocolate is not the best for people suffering from acid reflux. Avoid it if you experience heartburn, indigestion, etc.

Now Book Your Next Workout

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