Improve Exercise Performance By Eating Chocolate!

If we had to choose a label for the type of food chocolate was we would probably label it ‘junk’ implying it is of little nutritional value to us. However, dark chocolate (when consumed in appropriate portions) has long been associated with helping to reduce blood pressure  and improving cardiovascular health and new research suggests it can even improve our exercise performance!

A study conducted at San Diego School of Medicine found that subjects who consumed Epicatechin (a flavanoid of cocoa in dark chocolate) saw enhancements in functionality during exercise. Following 3 months of Epicatechin ingestion mitochondrial structure and skeletal muscle function improved significantly. As mitochondria are responsible for the majority of energy required by the muscles during exercise, this is an excellent development in improving capacity for exercise.

Patients suffering from type 2 diabetes and heart problems often have dysfunctional mitochondrial cells which leads to shortness of breath, lack of energy and difficulties even during short duration low-intensity activity. Epicatechin can help to reduce these issues for those suffering from long term ailments allowing them to improve overall health through regular exercise. 

About the Author

Job Role Sports Nutritionist and Social Media Coordinator Qualifications Bsc Sport and Exercise Science Steph has a competitive athletic background which spans 19 years. As a child she performed with the English Youth Ballet and had performed on the West End stage by the age of 10. Her enthusiasm for sport and fitness continued to grow as she did, encouraging her to learn more about nutrition and training. She began using her knowledge and personal experience to help others when she began coaching at the age of 16. From here, she went on to study Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Essex during which time she also received the Most Promising Newcomer Award from her University to mark her outstanding contribution to sport. During her first year of study she was introduced to partner stunt acrobatics and artistic gymnastics. After one year of dedicating herself to a lifestyle revolving around her sport, she was training with the best team in the UK who are currently ranked fifth in the world. Steph has worked in both the private and public sector coaching children and adults from grassroot to elite level as well as providing them with cutting edge advice on how to reach their goals. Steph has received awards for her choreography and has competed nationally and internationally meaning that she can back up her scientific knowledge with a wealth of experience. As our resident Sports Nutritionist, Steph is here to provide the most current and evidence based fitness, health and nutrition information to help you reach your health and fitness goals.
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