It’s UK Chocolate Week and the great news is that it’s good for cyclists!

You can perform better and recover quicker while satisfying your sweet tooth with dark chocolate, explains nutritionist Will Girling

Pouring dark chocolate

Choc away

Dark chocolate is high in flavanols, which have been shown to increase available nitric oxide in the body. Increases in nitric oxide help reduce oxygen demands on the body.

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Research shows that cyclists consuming 40g of dark chocolate per day for 14 days used less oxygen when cycling at a moderate pace and covered more distance in a two-minute,
flat-out time trial.

Dark chocolate is also high in antioxidants, which are excellent anti-inflammatories and help aid recovery. This makes it perfect for after a race or event, especially one taking place over a few days. It probably isn’t best to eat it after normal training, as taking lots of antioxidants, including things like vitamin C, can reduce the adaptions you gain
from that session.

Taking it on board    

A great way to incorporate dark chocolate into your diet would be to make these tasty truffles:

Ingredients

75g 70 per cent or higher dark chocolate

100g yoghurt

35g whey

For the coating, you could use cocoa, desiccated coconut
or ground flaxseed.

Method

Melt the chocolate and mix in the rest of the ingredients. Leave to set in the fridge. Once set, shape into balls and roll them in the coating.

Nutritional info

If made into 10 truffles (per truffle)

67kcal

3.1g carb

4.5g protein

4.2g fat

Figures based on using full-fat yogurt

www.willgirling.com

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Image: Getty Images/Clive Champion