Did you eat your chocolate today?

Never one to chase the latest trend, nonetheless, this New York Times article did catch my attention…sort of one of those…it can’t hurt sort of things…and why not 🙂

The long and the short of it is:

…scientists at the University of California, San Diego, and other institutions gave middle-aged, sedentary male mice a purified form of cacao’s primary nutritional ingredient, known as epicatechin, and had the mice work out. Epicatechin is a flavonol, a class of molecules that are thought to have widespread effects on the body.

By and large, the animals that had been drinking water were the first to give out during the treadmill test. They became exhausted more quickly than the animals that had received epicatechin. Even the control mice that had lightly exercised grew tired more quickly than the nonexercising mice that had been given epicatechin. The fittest rodents, however, were those that had combined epicatechin and exercise. They covered about 50 percent more distance than the control animals.

…so at least if you’re a mouse, a bit of chocolate each day may be a good thing to enhance your training 🙂

Extrapolated to humans:

And even for those who adore dark chocolate, there is a catch. “A very small amount is probably enough,” Dr. Villarreal said. Extrapolating from his group’s mouse data, he said, five grams of dark chocolate daily, or just a sixth of an ounce — about half of one square of a typical chocolate bar — is probably a reasonable human dose if your aim is to intensify the effects of a workout.

Sadly, “more is not better,” he continued. “More could lessen or even undo” any benefits, he said, by overloading the muscles’ receptors or otherwise skewing the body’s response.

Science experiment of one…don’t see how a little bit of chocolate a day can’t hurt…there is that ‘portion control’ trick to it though…maybe just one dark chocolate covered strawberry each day…sounds like fun to me 🙂

The complete article here:
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/03/how-chocolate-can-help-your-workout/

 

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