Daily chocolate cravings are no longer a bad thing. If you’re an athlete or an exercise fiend, we’ve got some exciting news. You’re supposed to snack on chocolate. And not in that vague antioxidants-are-kinda-good-
A recent study at Deakin University in Australia shows that eating about an ounce and a half of dark chocolate each day can actually help boost athletic performance. Why? Because the flavanols found in cocoa beans bolster blood flow and result in the body needing less oxygen while exercising.
Nine male athletes participated in a series of stationary-bike trials, performing without the influence of dark chocolate and then performing again after two weeks of eating 40 grams a day. Dark-chocolate consumption improved oxygen uptake, lung capacity, time performance and distance traveled—like, by a margin of 17 percent.
So whether you’re looking to shave down your mile time for that half marathon or you just want to spend less time on the treadmill, let a little reward of dark chocolate lead the way.