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Dark Chocolate Reduces Oxidative Stress Associated With Vigorous Workouts

April 5, 2011: 04:54 AM EST
A multinational team of researchers who examined the effects of eating dark chocolate before  prolonged exercise found that it improves insulin levels, glucose, and antioxidant status, while warding off oxidative stress that can damage muscles. Eating the chocolate boosted insulin levels before the trial and after cycling, an indication of  “better maintenance of plasma glucose concentration.” However, immune response, which has been shown to drop after vigorous exercise, was not affected. For the study, 14 healthy men ate either 100 grams of polyphenol-rich dark chocolate (70 percent cocoa), an energy bar with equivalent macronutrients or neither before bicycling for 2.5 hours.
G. Davison, et al., "The effect of acute pre-exercise dark chocolate consumption on plasma antioxidant status, oxidative stress and immunoendocrine responses to prolonged exercise", European Journal of Nutrition, April 05, 2011, © Springer
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