Why runners should eat chocolate

No need to deny yourself the good stuff, here's why you should indulge guilt-free the smart way.

by Ruth Emmett
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1. It keeps you trim

After two weeks of 100g daily dark chocolate rations, study subjects at the University of L’Aquila, Italy, showed lower insulin resistance than white-chocolate chompers.

Why do you care? Because insulin resistance hampers your body's ability to regulate blood sugar, potentially leading to weight gain and type 2 diabetes.

2. It lowers your blood pressure

Just 30kcal of dark chocolate per day (two squares of a little Green & Black’s 70% bar) can lower your blood-cuff stats, found a German study at University Hospital of Cologne, Germany. Adults were given a daily dose of dark or white choc for 18 weeks - the white stuff had no effect on blood pressure; those on the antioxidant-rich dark side came back with a three-point drop in systolic blood pressure.

3. It boosts your staying power

From reducing your cholesterol levels to easing inflammation, the antioxidants in chocolate could help tackle your risk factors for heart disease – which in turn means you can exercise safely, for longer. One Harvard University study found apples to be the only food with a higher antioxidant count per 100kcal. As if you needed another reason...

Is your bar choc-full?

Leeds University researchers looked at the total antioxidant content of the nation’s three favourite chocolate flavours. Here’s how the bars stack up in terms of procyanidins, a heart-healthy flavonoid:

White: 0g
 40.6mg per 100g 
93.5mg+ per 100g*

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Discuss this article

I watched a programme that showed how the flavernoids (which is a bit less ambiguous than "antioxidants") were largely lost in the process of turning the beans into a slap of chocolate. Furthermore, the contents of flavernoids varies so much in dark chocolate, depending on the bean.  As a purchaser of chocolate,  one could not keep to a consistent high intake because of no labelling on the product and no one product stemming from the same consistent supply of beans.

I still find the evidence I'm told of to be very conflicting. Safest bet perhaps to carry on with the advice of having it in moderation along side a healthy diet and regular exercise. 

Posted: 17/05/2014 at 14:23

spoil sport :P


Posted: 17/05/2014 at 15:09

Seriously, who loses any sleep over this sort of thing?

Enjoy the stuff but don't eat too much of it. Simple as.

Posted: 17/05/2014 at 21:30

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