Chocolate – few treats are as irresistible and decadent as this one. It is one of the supreme food temptations for children and for the elderly, for the thin and the fat, and bodybuilders are surely not shielded from it. Is there any real harm in eating a piece of chocolate every now and then? How about a whole tablet, perhaps one every a few days?
Why the bad reputation?
Not only people on a diet, but also those who are following a strict training program (paired with the bodybuilding diet) are afraid of chocolate. There are solid reasons behind this fear, but the negative aspects could be easier to control than you think. Because of the fats in it and the quantity of sugar, you can easily add some weight. Chocolate is one of those foods which can definitely help one pack on pounds. Moreover, it’s quite addictive. Experts say it’s not only because of the sugar contained, but especially because of the serotonin boosting nutrients. Since we mentioned the sugar, one must be aware that a chocolate treat causes a blood sugar spike, since there is no protein or fiber to control that effect. The good news is that cocoa is not an enemy. In fact, it is beneficial in fitness regimens and its qualities should not be ignored.
When working out, this is what chocolate does to you
Chocolate, especially the dark variety, is rich in nutrients that support cardiovascular health (flavonoids), many antioxidants, as well as the calming tryptophan. Regular consumption promotes a quicker recovery. Sportspeople have a better blood flow and enjoy superior muscle performance through the enhanced circulation. As you burn fat, you produce free radicals in your body. These are countered by the antioxidants in your diet. Chocolate is rich in such antioxidants.
The more cocoa in the chocolate, the better! Dark chocolate reduces inflammation, as confirmed by studies on cyclists in the UK. Of course, hard training comes in many ways and a cyclist is radically different from a bodybuilder but still, the results of the study provide important insight.
How to make chocolate better for you?
Simply consuming chocolate isn’t going to do much good when bodybuilding. In fact, it could jeopardize the diet. To make it work in your favor, you can do the following:
- add protein (make home chocolate bars or mix chocolate drinks with protein powder)
- look for sugar-free and low-fat versions
- eat chocolate pudding
- combine it with fruits
There are many ways to enjoy the rich taste of chocolate, sometimes through highly innovative recipes. Some like to create mixtures of cocoa powder and peanut butter, with some added sweetener, also adding a few eggs for extra protein. There are many recipes out there, which are 100% compatible with the health regimen of a bodybuilder, so you can be guilt free when indulging in sweet snacks. It’s understandable to desire some real chocolate once in a while in your life. After all, it’s easy to become bored with the taste of so-called chocolate protein drinks, which are so common.
Try these healthy chocolate delicacies.
Your fitness pal