It’s the new year, and I’m sure you made some sort of resolution. By any chance, did it include losing weight?
Are you someone who secretly uses chocolate as a motivational booster before and after you hit the gym, the road or the court? It’s time to stop feeling guilty about those pre-workout and post-exercise chocolate cravings, and start to embrace the idea that chocolate might just be your secret weapon against fatigue and soreness.
Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, contains some powerful natural ingredients that have been linked to performance enhancement in athletes. And yes, this has even been studied by scientists and applied to real-life scenarios. What are the attributes that make chocolate so enticing, and appropriate for athletes?
Before you think that this gives you free reign to eat all the chocolate you want, it’s important to know that most research has been done on dark chocolate, rather than milk chocolate varieties. Dark chocolate is higher in cocoa solids, giving you a more intense amount of chocolate-infused workout good stuff. It also contains few or no milk solids, so if you’re struggling with lactose intolerance or a milk allergy, you’ll find it easier for your body to digest.
Whether you’re going to be running, walking, diving, jumping or performing some other physical activity, you can always count on dark chocolate to be your pal. The key, of course, is to eat it in moderation. Before your workout, an ounce or two of premium dark chocolate is enough to give you a kick without burdening your system with an unnecessary amount of sugar or fat.
After your workout, you can feel free to nibble a little more as post-exercise recovery fuel. Again, opt for dark chocolate with the highest concentration of cocoa solids you can find. (And enjoy!)
Let’s face it … this is exciting news for chocoholics who want to stay fit and healthy! Finally, you have a great excuse for carrying your dark chocolate right into the health club without any feelings of regret. If someone looks askance, just refer them to this article … and make sure you offer them a piece of your chocolate!