Recent research report that dark chocolate is not only taste good, but it gives the proven Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate. Specifically, it is beneficial for athletes. The health benefits of dark chocolate for athletes might be quite surprising for some of you.
Thus, it is better for us to know the detailed information about the health benefits of dark chocolate for athletes. But before we are going down to our description, let’s take a look at the nutritional information of dark chocolate.
Nutritional Information of Dark Chocolate
Nutrition value is often being the main reason of the health benefits of any diet, including the health benefits of dark chocolate for athletes. Based on the data, in every 100 grams of dark chocolate contains these following values:
- Saturated fat 19 g
- Polyunsaturated fat 1.1 g
- Monounsaturated fat 10 g
- Trans fat 0.1 g
- Cholesterol 8 mg
- Sodium 24 mg
- Potassium 599 mg
- Dietary fiber 7 g
- Sugar 48 g
- Protein 4.9 g
- Caffeine 43 mg
- Vitamin A 1%
- Calcium 5%
- Vitamin C 0%
- Iron 44%
- Vitamin D 0%
- Vitamin B12 3%
- Magnesium 36%
The Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate for Athletes
Related to the nutrition value, we can conclude that dark chocolate is really give health benefits for athletes. So, what are those benefits? We have summarized some of the benefits in the following explanation.
- Boost performance
A research published by Journal of the International Society of sports nutrition showed that dark chocolate snacking could help boost the athletic performance. The research was carried out by comparing dark chocolate and white chocolate snacking for cyclist.
The result showed that cyclists with regular consumption of dark chocolate need less oxygen yet able to cope more distance than those with white chocolate snacking. On the other hand, white chocolate actually can give you the surprising Health Benefits of White Chocolate for you.
- Strengthen heart
Athletes commonly need stamina to perform better. One of the supportive factors for stamina is the healthy and strong heart. As we know, dark chocolate has been remarked as super food for heart as it contains antioxidants.
Flavonoid, antioxidant in cocoa as the main ingredient of dark chocolate is very beneficial for heart health. It is able to strengthen heart and keep the health healthy. In addition, it can also reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack, coronary heart, and stroke.
- Treat muscle inflammation
As we know, dark chocolate is rich in antioxidant contributed by cocoa as the ingredient. The antioxidant is also known as anti-inflammatory property which is effective to reduce inflammation within the body. Athletes are known to work with their strong muscle. However, do you know that athlete also experience post workout muscle sore which result a severe body pain?
In this case, dark chocolate is able to give the health benefits of dark chocolate for athletes as it treats inflamed muscle very well. The beneficial effect is similar with the Benefits of Chocolate Milk After Workout and Health Benefits of Chocolate Drink as post workout drink.
- Good workout snack
Dark chocolate consists of fat, protein, and sugar. The nutrition make a good composition of good workout snack as those nutrients is essential in energizing. As we know, athlete need more energy when they do their practice, exercise or during the performance.
- Control weight
A certain study revealed that cocoa extract in dark chocolate is able to occupy the digestive enzyme to digest fat and carbohydrate properly. The roper digestion will quickly transform the fat and carbohydrate into energy which is needed by athletes.
In addition, some athletes, especially in martial art need to control weight as they should consider their classes. In this case, consuming dark chocolate may give you hand to maintain the weight. However, the correlation between body weight and dark chocolate consumption might be as supportive agent only. Athletes still need to go on low calorie diet if they aim to lose weight.
- Boost thinking power
Not only stamina, athletes also need a good thinking power. As we know, athletes sometimes need to deal with strategies to win. Some games like chess, football, badminton, tennis, and basketball require high thinking power. In this case, dark chocolate is able to offer the brain booster function as it helps athlete to think clearly.
A study proved that countries with highest per capita chocolate consumption are also the most Nobel Prize Winners. As we know, Nobel Prize is only won by those with outstanding thinking power.
- Enlighten mood
When the athletes have their stamina and thinking power, they are able to perform well. However, they need a good mood to enjoy the game. Isn’t it better to enjoy the game than just do and forget the game? Well, by enjoying the game, athletes tend to accept the result of the game light heatedly, whether they win or lose.
And we know that any kinds of chocolate including dark chocolate has caffeine content which is able to release endorphin, the hormone which is able to boost everyone mood. Thus, regular consumption of dark chocolate may effective to boost mood in everyone including athletes.
- Relieve stress
Athletes are considered to be prone to stress. They might overly think about the upcoming games, the past loss, and about their health condition. On the other hand, dark chocolate is not only the healthy food for healthy body. It is also the healthy food for everyone’s mental well-being. A research proved that everyday consumption of an average chocolate bar size is effective to reduce stress. It is because dark chocolate is potential in reducing cortisol or known as the stress hormone.
The other health benefits of dark chocolate for athletes are:
- Lower blood pressure
- Control blood sugar
Recommendation in Getting Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate for Athletes
Since dark chocolate is rich with flavonoids as beneficial antioxidant, it can perform the health benefits of dark chocolate for athletes. However, besides the beneficial nutrition, it also contain small amount of trans fat, relatively high cholesterol, and of course the added sugar.
Therefore, although the regular consumption of dark chocolate is recommended for athletes, they have to limit the daily intake. Researchers recommend that the proper intake of dark chocolate should be around 30 – 60 grams in a day. More than 60 grams, it may give you the unwanted effects such as high blood sugar and weight gain.
Besides dark chocolate, athletes can also employ the other healthy ingredients to improve their performance such as beets. Beets is proven to be able giving the Health Benefits of Beets for Athletes .