Imagine having a piece of chocolate after your workout, not as a reward, but as something that would enhance your weight loss and muscle building. Imagine if that little piece of dark chocolate could help your metabolism run stronger when you're not exercising.
It doesn't have to be your imagination, dark chocolate really can make your workouts better.
The Health And Weight Loss Benefits of Dark Chocolate
Exercise, especially if you're trying to lose weight, is hard.
Dark chocolate is indulgent, rich, and packed with antioxidants and polyphenols that help your body.
Let's take a look at what's in dark chocolate:
- 11 grams of fiber
- 67% RDA of iron
- 58% RDA of magnesium
- 89% RDA of copper
- 98% RDA of manganese
Dark chocolate does a lot to help your body before, during, and after a workout:
- Increases the bodies ability to use oxygen
- Reduces inflammation
- Enhances your natural mood
- Increases strength and endurance
When you feel better about your exercise, you do more. And dark chocolate can help get you there.
Why You Will Feel Better After Exercise When You Eat Some Dark Chocolate
Let's face it, eating chocolate means you're not on a diet. How can you possibly have something so rich and delicious when you're trying to lose weight?
Fortunately, dark chocolate is one of the things that really enhances your weight loss and energy levels.
The polyphenols within dark chocolate help your body utilize oxygen more efficiently. They help stimulate the mitochondria within your cells to function at a higher capacity, giving you more energy. Additionally, for people who tend towards anemic, dark chocolate contains many easily absorbable iron, to help raise your iron levels and oxygen-carrying hemoglobin.
Those polyphenols, particularly the flavonoid resveratrol, are known to help reduce inflammation throughout the body. After you exercise, your joints and tendons may become inflamed due to the hard work and pushing your limits. Reducing that inflammation naturally helps your recovery time.
Exercise produces a lot of oxidative damage in your body, and dark chocolate has one of the most potent antioxidant capacities in all of the food world. A little bit of dark chocolate can offset the oxidative damage from exercise.
And that good feeling you have eating chocolate doesn't just come from the decadent feeling of eating something 'naughty' while you're on a diet, dark chocolate has serotonin and can help increase your natural production of serotonin. This is the feel-good chemical, and when combined with a good workout, it can leave you feeling energized, happy, and ready for your next workout.
Some research shows that eating dark chocolate enhances your strength and endurance. The antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals help your body do the necessary workout.
And although researchers aren't exactly clear why, some studies show that in comparison to white chocolate, fruit, and other healthy snacks, dark chocolate gave some competitors more strength and endurance. More research is needed before we understand why, but if eating a little bit of dark chocolate will provide you with a tiny boost, go for it.
How To Get The Right Amount Of Dark Chocolate To Enhance Your Exercise Routine
Fortunately, you don't need a lot of dark chocolate to get the benefits. It only takes 1 to 2 oz of dark chocolate before your workout.
And the darker the chocolate, the better. We recommend choosing dark chocolate of at least 85% cacao to gain the maximum benefit. This will give you a good mix of polyphenols, antioxidants, fats, and sugars that work perfectly.
You should also try and pair up the dark chocolate with something fat and protein-rich. That'll give you the best mix of carbs, fats, and protein to let your body have lots of long-term energy for your workout and post-recovery.
An ideal snack would be dark chocolate-covered almonds or walnuts, with just a hint of sea salt sprinkled on top. It's practically all of the nutrients your body needs for a great workout.