Chocolate and running performance
Valentine’s Day is coming up and chocolate is everywhere in the stores. Many people love chocolate and how many times have we heard rumors about chocolate and sports performance!
The heart and muscles
One of the interesting molecules in cocoa is epicatechin. In scientific circles, there is an interest in it because the consumption of dark chocolate would decrease the amount of oxygen consumed by the body during a running effort and would therefore allow to provide a more intense effort for longer. Unfortunately, we cannot conclude definitively on these potential effects because the existing studies are contradictory.
The stimulating effect of chocolate comes from theobromine, a compound similar to caffeine. Its stimulant content is estimated at 25 mg for a 30 g square compared to a 125 ml coffee which provides around 100 mg (1). Moderate consumption of dark chocolate before exercise or during prolonged exercise could therefore help maintain an optimal state of alertness and reduce the perception of the intensity of the effort during exercise.
Fat and calories
Despite its ergogenic effects, we must not forget its caloric and saturated fat content. Large amounts should be avoided, especially before a workout, when fat is not welcome, as it can have a negative impact on the digestive system.
Which chocolate to choose?
Among the brands of dark chocolate, we particularly appreciate those of the Theobroma brand. Made with 70% pure cocoa dark chocolate, its saturated fat content is among the lowest (10g). It contains 5 g of fiber, only 11 g of added sugars per serving (40 g) and is rich in iron, an important mineral especially for women runners, with 45% of the recommended daily value per serving. Give it as a gift to your significant other for Valentine’s Day!
Psstttt…Visit our online store, we offer you 10% discount on the purchase of our sports nutrition guides with the promo code: MBDM10.