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Compound In Dark Chocolate Boosts Athletic Endurance

May 3, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
British researchers found that cyclists who substituted dark chocolate for their regular energy snack used less oxygen when cycling at a moderate pace and also covered more distance in a two-minute flat-out time trial. Dark chocolate contains a compound known as epicatechin, which acts on the circulatory system by converting nitrates to nitric oxide, which dilates blood vessels and reduces oxygen consumption. The effect is similar to that provided by beet juice, which is rich in nitrates. Nine amateur cyclists participated in the experiments, which compared the benefits of dark chocolate to white chocolate on athletic endurance.
Rishikesh Kankesh et al., "Dark chocolate supplementation reduces the oxygen cost of moderate intensity cycling. ", Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, May 03, 2016, © Kankesh et al.
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