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Eating dark chocolate as a daily snack could help boost athletic performance, study s

Submitted by: Odio @ 02:44 PM | Tuesday, April 19, 2016 | (url: http://medicalxpr...)

Dark chocolate has already been hailed for its positive effects on cardiovascular health and now a study undertaken at London's Kingston University has found the tasty treat could help give sports enthusiasts an extra edge in their fitness training.
A team led by postgraduate research student Rishikesh Kankesh Patel discovered that dark chocolate provides similar benefits to beetroot juice, now taken regularly by elite athletes after studies showed it can improve performance. "Beetroot juice is rich in nitrates, which are converted to nitric oxide in the body. This dilates blood vessels and reduces oxygen consumption allowing athletes to go further for longer," Mr Patel explained.
The Kingston University team wanted to find out whether dark chocolate could provide a similar boost, as it contains a substance called epicatechin a type of flavanol found in the cacao bean, that also increases nitric oxide production in the body.

To test the theory, Mr Patel carried out a study with a group of nine amateur cyclists. The 23 year old researcher from Stratford, East London, was supervised by sport science field leader Dr Owen Spendiff and senior lecturer in sport analysis James Brouner.
After undergoing initial fitness tests to establish a baseline for comparison, the participants were then split into two groups. The first group was asked to replace one of its normal daily snacks with 40g of a dark chocolate known to be rich in flavanols for a fortnight, while the other participants substituted 40g of white chocolate for one of their daily snacks as a control.

Category: Sports | 16 Comments
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