Exercise Performance: Exercise performance and recovery time are highly dependent on the healthy circulation of oxygen and nutrients to your muscles and organs. Initial studies of cocoa flavanol impact on exercise and recovery are encouraging and have provided a stimulus for additional research in this area. Below are publication summaries of clinical studies assessing the impact of cocoa flavanols on exercise performance:
Dark chocolate supplementation reduces the oxygen cost of moderate intensity cycling.
Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition
BACKGROUND: Dark chocolate (DC) is abundant in flavanols which have been reported to increase the bioavailability and bioactivity of nitric oxide (NO). Increasing NO bioavailability has often demonstrated reduced oxygen cost and performance enhancement during submaximal exercise. METHODS: Nine moderately-trained male participants volunteered to undertake baseline (BL) measurements that comprised a cycle V̇O(2max) test followed… Read more »
Impact of cocoa flavanol consumption on blood pressure responsiveness to exercise.
British Journal of Nutrition
Impaired endothelial vasodilatation may contribute to the exaggerated blood pressure (BP) responses to exercise in individuals who are overweight/obese. The present study investigated whether consumption of cocoa flavanols, which improve endothelium-dependent flow-mediated dilatation (FMD), can modify BP responsiveness to exercise. Twenty-one volunteers (eight females and thirteen males, 54.9 (se 2.2) years, BMI 31.6 (se 0.8)… Read more »