Exercising can suck big time but for a growing number of people it is a necessary part of their daily routine. Now supposing they found out that small amounts of dark chocolate could be as good for them as all that exercising?
Well it turns out that scientists have found that could very well be the case and it all has to do with something called mitochondria, which apparently is the tiny powerhouse in our cells that generate energy. It also seems that a plant compound called epicatechin, which is found in chocolate, stimulates the same muscle responses as vigorous exercise.
Dr Moh Malek, from Wayne State University in Detroit, who led the US study on mice, said: ”Mitochondria produce energy which is used by the cells in the body. More mitochondria mean more energy is produced the more work can be performed.
”Aerobic exercise, such as running or cycling, is known to increase the number of mitochondria in muscle cells. Our study has found that epicatechin seems to bring about the same response – particularly in the heart and skeletal muscles.”
In testing a specific type of epicatechin from cocoa was given to mice twice a day for fifteen days while they also underwent 30 minutes of treadmill exercise each day. Researchers found that mice that were only fed epicatechin had the same exercise performance as the mice that ran on the treadmill.
So there you have it. The next time someone gives you a dirty look the next time you are at a store buying up a load of chocolate bars tell them you are doing some heavy training.