Article Publish Status: FREE
Abstract Title:

Dark chocolate supplementation reduces the oxygen cost of moderate intensity cycling.

Abstract Source:

J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015 ;12:47. Epub 2015 Dec 15. PMID: 26674253

Abstract Author(s):

Rishikesh Kankesh Patel, James Brouner, Owen Spendiff

Article Affiliation:

Rishikesh Kankesh Patel


BACKGROUND: 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.

METHODS: Nine moderately-trained male participants volunteered to undertake baseline (BL) measurements that comprised a cycle [Formula: see text] test followed by cycling at 80 % of their established gas exchange threshold (GET) for 20-min and then immediately followed by a two-minute time-trial (TT). Using a randomised crossover design participants performed two further trials, two weeks apart, with either 40 g of DC or white chocolate (WC) being consumed daily. Oxygenconsumption, RER, heart rate and blood lactate (BLa) were measured during each trial.

RESULTS: DC consumption increased GET and TT performance compared to both BL and WC (P < 0.05). DC consumption increased [Formula: see text] by 6 % compared to BL (P < 0.05), but did not reach statistical significance compared to WC. There were no differences in the moderate-intensity cycling for [Formula: see text], RER, BLa and heart rate between conditions, although, [Formula: see text] and RER exhibited consistently lower trends following DC consumption compared to BL and WC, these did not reach statistical significance.

CONCLUSION: Chronic supplementation with DC resulted in a higher GET and enhanced TT performance. Consequently, ingestion of DC reduced the oxygen cost of moderate intensity exercise and may be an effective ergogenic aid for short-duration moderate intensity exercise.

Study Type : Human Study

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