Why cyclists should include chocolate in their diet
If you’re a cyclist and reading this article, then I have good news for you. Chocolates can actually help you ride better and longer. The health benefits of chocolates are incredibly good for cyclists, and you’ll be pleased to find it.
Many studies have reported that cocoa, which is the main ingredient of chocolate, has properties that will make you consider including it in your daily diet.
We all have heard chocolate milk is a great recovery drink after strenuous workouts or activity as it has a combination of antioxidants, carbohydrate, and protein. But, that’s not all — chocolate contains cocoa ﬂavanols.
Flavanols are flavonoids, and when to take before exercise can improve performance, nutritionist Christine Bailey says. Flavonoids are found in plants, and scientists found they aid in disease protection and wound repair.
Consuming foods rich in flavonoids also decreases the chances of developing heart disease, cancer, and stroke.
The research behind the health benefits of chocolates
According to a report published in the British Journal of Nutrition, drinking chocolate milk rich in cocoa ﬂavanols may reduce blood pressure. Other health benefits of chocolates are that it improves blood ﬂow to the muscles, and lower the stress imposed on the heart during a workout.
The study conducted by the University of South Australia in 2012, researchers recruited 21 obese, middle-aged people and divided them into two groups. The first group drank a cocoa ﬂavanol-rich beverage that contained 701mg ﬂavanols, while the second had a low-cocoa ﬂavanol one.
After two hours, the participants cycled for 10 minutes, and their heart rate was kept at 75 percent. The researchers discovered no significant variations in blood pressure before exercise, but there was a difference afterward. And it was significant.
Researchers found the diastolic blood pressure was 68 percent lower in the group that had the high-ﬂavanol beverage. In layman terms, it means their blood pressure was 14 percent lower than usual.
This prompts the researchers to conclude that consuming drinks with high cocoa ﬂavanol content can result in a more efficient and safer workout performance.
Other health benefits of chocolates
Speaking about health benefits of chocolates, you probably heard of caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant found primarily in tea and coffee. Cocoa contains caffeine, too. Caffeine improves athletic performance, in your case, it’s cycling performance. Caffeine also enhances endurance and reduces fatigue.
Typically, a chocolate drink contains around 10mg of caffeine, while a regular milk chocolate bar has approximately 40mg of caffeine. This may seem dismal when compared to your morning espresso or latte, which contains about 100mg of caffeine.
But, that’s not all. It’s not the caffeine. Besides, caffeine, cocoa also contains considerable amounts of theobromine. Theobromine might not be as active as caffeine, but this compound has the same effect as that of caffeine. Plus, theobromine acts as a vasodilator, which means it dilates the blood vessels to carry more blood.
5 health benefits of chocolates you should know
So, this delicious brown stuff really does help your body, but there are more health benefits of chocolates. Here are five health benefits of chocolates you should know:
It enhances your energy production
Cocoa is enriched with vitamin B. Vitamin B is crucial for various metabolic processes, including energy production.
It improves bone and joint health
Chocolate is rich in calcium, magnesium, copper, and zinc. All these minerals play an essential role in the production of bones, cartilage, and collagen.
It helps in muscle recovery and reduces soreness
Besides, flavonoids, cocoa contain antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, which combats free radical damage. As a result, muscle inflammation and soreness are reduced.
It supports your immune system
Your immune system is compromised during strenuous exercise or training sessions, which makes you susceptible to infections. The Flavonoids, vitamins B, C, E, and the minerals of chocolate will support your immune system.
It helps in muscle growth and repair
Amino acids are crucial for athletic activities. Amino acids are essential for muscle growth and recovery. Cocoa has several amino acids that help you with it.
Syiok, now you can have all the chocolates you want. It might no longer be a guilty pleasure 😉
Author: SportsIn Cycling
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