Could Dark Chocolate Give You Optimal Workouts?


Did you know that the cocoa found in chocolate doesn’t just make you feel good– it also takes away the not-so-good-feelings you may have, too?

It’s true– and, in fact, even us normal folk can experience it’s wide range of health benefits, particularly if hitting the gym is a routine part of your weekly schedule. So if you’re looking to avoid bad joints and weak muscles later in life, or counter the commonly-held misconception that the sore aches you feel after a workout are just something you live with, fear no more: consistent consumption of dark chocolate filled with dark cocoa can help lower soreness post-workout.

In fact, a study showed that two different groups of exercise cyclists rode for an astonishing two-and-a-half hours, with one group eating 100 grams (almost three-and-a-half ounces) of 70 percent dark chocolate a mere two hours prior to cycling. The other group consumed a snack that held the same macromolecules seen in dark chocolate but without any cocoa. Finally, another group didn’t eat anything.

This study design permitted researchers to find out if it was the cocoa itself that lowered inflammatory markers, or something else. They found that the second and third groups both showed greater amounts of inflammatory molecules that create the feeling of pain. At the same time, one full hour after exercise, the group that ate dark chocolate showed levels of inflammatory pain-initiating molecules called isoprostanes that were identical to their pre-workout levels.

In conclusion, filling up on dark chocolate before your workout can help reduce post-workout soreness and pain. But remember, it’s the cocoa itself found in chocolate that offers so many pain-lowering health benefits. So if chocolate is going to be your new favorite pain fighter, recognize what it can do for your body and pick dark chocolate when you can.

Always remember to consult your physician or chiropractor before taking any health advice.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Brad Perkins

This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.