We often assume that chocolate and fitness do not go hand-in-hand. However, that is not the case with two personal trainers of Scarlett Johansson. They believe that chocolate is imperative for a good workout.
Eric and Ryan Johnson, the brothers behind Homage Fitness, are qualified strength and conditioning coaches, who have a great amount of experience in the health and fitness industry. Homage Fitness is a new chain of gyms in private residences across the states designed for top-level fitness along with hospitality.
The brothers say that a bar of high-quality dark chocolate that contains around 70% cocoa helps to release endorphins, neurochemicals that make us feel good. The health benefits of dark chocolate in moderation are well documented.
They realized that their clients anyway drink a lot of coffee, so they wanted to find something that is more natural and organic, which would give them the same benefits. So, they recommend eating dark chocolate before a workout.
In addition, people who eat dark chocolate at least three times a month were found to have a reduced cardiovascular risk when compared with those who do not eat. Likewise, dark chocolate is linked to increased life expectancy because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
Eric explains dark chocolate releases dopamine, a brain chemical that is essential for the optimal functioning of the central nervous system. Dark chocolate is also known to boost blood circulation through its vasodilatation effect, which is useful to increase stamina and build muscles, he continues. Another benefit of dark chocolate is it helps release serotonin, a neurotransmitter that calms the brain.
In fact, many fitness trainers often encourage people to eat dark chocolate prior to a workout for psychological reasons as well.
Ryan says it creates a positive feedback loop in the brain. He further explains that one gets more excited and motivated to hit the gym because dark chocolate creates a sense of positivity.
Ryan continues by saying that you may not last long or feel a bit sick if you get into your workout session on an empty stomach. Consequently, if you overeat and get to your workout, you feel lethargic, heavy and bit bogged down.
So, the brothers found that a piece of dark chocolate does not have much calories to put on weight; rather, it is highly nutritious and offers your body enough strength to workout effectively.
Eric and Ryan do not mean you should eat just one tiny square; they recommend having at least two to three pieces (30-50g) of high-quality dark chocolate.
However, if you are attempting to shed extra pounds and aiming to follow a low-calorie diet, it is important that you will need to check with your daily goals. A 50g of dark chocolate contains somewhere around 300 calories.
Eric says once should definitely consider eating dark chocolate in moderation because its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties outweigh the extra calories. The amount you consume depends on your fitness goals, personal statistics, and physical activity levels.
Make sure you eat good quality chocolate. High-quality stuff is important to reap the benefits of antioxidants present in dark chocolate. Ideally, Eric and Ryan advise eating your dark chocolate 10 to 15 minutes prior to your workout.