Do you need chocolate to get a good workout?

Eating chocolate, or drinking it swirled into milk, has a reputation for helping people recover from a tough workout. Cocoa contains antioxidants as well as a nutrient called epicatechin, which is thought to help widen blood vessels and increase blood flow, an important aspect of health and recovery.

But eating chocolate for better fitness might just be too good to be true; there doesn’t seem to be much that’s special about chocolate as an exercise recovery tool.

What nutrition experts do know, however, is that the best snack to have after a workout is one that combines carbohydrates and protein. “Your muscles need a bit of protein to build and repair, and you need carbs to refuel and replace depleted muscle glycogen,” or sugar, says Nancy Clark, a member of the American College of Sports Medicine.

Chocolate milk does fit the bill: one cup of milk contains around eight grams of protein, and chocolate provides sugar, a carb but so do a lot of other foods. “It’s not the chocolate so much,” says Clark. “You could have strawberry milk, or milk and a banana.” Other recommended recovery foods include a bagel and yogurt, chicken, rice and vegetables or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, Clark says. If you like the taste of chocolate or chocolate milk, enjoy it in moderation. But it’s not the only option—and certainly not the healthiest—for a post-workout snack.

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31 Jul, 2017

Health,  Nutrition tips,  Women

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