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Eat chocolate to give your cycling a boost. No, really!

Eat chocolate to give your cycling a boost. No, really!

Chocolate, you’ll be pleased to discover, can be incredibly good for you It’s commonly known that chocolate milk’s combination of antioxidants, protein and carbohydrate makes for a great recovery drink. But chocolate – or rather cocoa flavanols, a specific group of flavonoids – consumed pre-exercise can improve performance too, according to nutritionist Christine Bailey.

Flavonoids are a naturally occurring chemical compound found in plants, where they help with processes such as wound repair and disease protection. Scientists and researchers have established a link between eating foods rich in flavanoids, and decreased risk of illnesses such as heart disease, cancer and stroke. Happily, cocoa is a particularly rich source of flavanoids. The research

According to 2012 research from Australia, consumption of a cocoa flavonol-rich drink may help to lower blood pressure, boost blood flow to the muscles and lessen the demands placed on the heart during exercise.

In the study carried out at the University of South Australia and published in the British Journal of Nutrition , researchers recruited 21 overweight, middle-aged people and split them into two groups. The first consumed a cocoa flavanol-rich beverage containing 701mg flavanols, while the second drank a low-cocoa flavanol beverage.

Two hours later, the participants […]

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