Yes, you heard us right world, this is the article you’ve been waiting for all your life to justify your addiction to chocolate – it turns out some scientists reckon it could just make you a better cyclist.
But can it really be true? Can that sweet, sweet brown nectar really turn you into Chris Froome or Sir Bradley Wiggins rather than just making you a bit chubby and gluing you to that La-Z-Boy chair that you bought to lounge in all day after riding?
“Dark chocolate (DC) is abundant in flavanols which have been reported to increase the bioavailability and bioactivity of nitric oxide (NO).
Well, maybe it won’t make you into Brad or Froome, but researchers at Kingston University have indeed found that dark chocolate – yes, it is slightly shitter than the normal stuff, but it’s still chocolate – actually improves a cyclist’s efforts in a two minute time trial if consumed daily.
Understand? So you HAVE to eat a shitload of chocolate every day from now on. It’s also meant to improve your gas exchange threshold for a more consistent performance over a given amount of time – which sounds just as great as it does complicated.
The paper, entitled ‘Dark chocolate supplementation reduces the oxygen cost of moderate intensity cycling’, a short and snappy headline if we ever heard one, reports that “Dark chocolate (DC) is abundant in flavanols which have been reported to increase the bioavailability and bioactivity of nitric oxide (NO). Increasing NO bioavailability has often demonstrated reduced oxygen cost and performance enhancement during submaximal exercise."
Apparently the consumption of DC – which if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know is, altogether now, d-a-r-k c-h-o-c-o-l-a-t-e – was proven to increase the gas exchange threshold and time trial performance compared to baseline measurements and white chocolate.
Basically, put that blender down, chuck out that enormous bag of spinach you bought yesterday which goes out of date in about 12 minutes despite weighing 12kg, and start binging instead. Because now, you’ve well and truly got a wonderful excuse.