Bodybuilding has been an activity that people have enjoyed for years, and it has been represented by several people in the sport area as well as the entertainment field. Some bodybuilders have cross over from the sports stage to the acting stage, being the names of Steve Reeves, Sergio Oliva and Arnold Schwarzenegger some of the most recognized of them.
Observing the workout these people did during their times of bodybuilding gives a clue of the hard work and a good alimentation diet should be taken into account. Following the examples of the athletes mentioned above, people involve in this sport assume that a good level of protein is necessary to build muscles and achieve the level Reeves, Olivia, and Schwarzenegger got at their peak of their respective body building stage of their careers.
One of the main sources of protein that is commonly recommended is protein powder shakes; others recommend the use of meat or vegan sources to obtain a good level of this element. But a delicious treat that most people love is an amazingly unexpected source of proteins. This delicious sweet and addictive snack has been present from the times of the American Conquest made by the Spaniards at the middle of the 16th century. And many people know it as Chocolate.
A research discovered that taking chocolate, whether in a bar or as a beverage, could help reduce your waistline, lower your cholesterol, and improve your sleep. This is caused by the fact that chocolate is good source of bioactive compounds, normally associated with positive health results.
One of the components found especially in dark chocolate is epicatechin. This component has been shown to improve performance and health, since it is a very powerful antioxidant linking it to the reduction of stroke and some diseases like diabetes. Another benefit from this element is the widening of blood vessels, translating it into the increase of blood carry through arteries which in turns improves workout performance.
Epicatechin promote muscle growth due to the stimulation of producing follistatin, interrupting the production of myostatin – a protein regulating the muscles growth. Chocolate would substitute the usage of steroids to interrupt myostatin, avoiding the secondary and harmful effects those steroids could cause in the athlete’s body.
Another key element to build muscles is insulin. The substance forces glucose out of the blood stream which activates protein synthesis. The excess of insulin can lead to insulin resistance and thus stop the elimination of glucose form the blood. Chocolate, through epicatechin, growths glucose removal and avoids insulin sensitivity and this is reflected in a faster recovery of muscles and the improvement of glucose sensitivity in muscle cells.
Other factors that can improve a bodybuilder’s workout associated with chocolate are:
- The improvement of heart health; making the athlete work harder due to a stronger heart.
- The enhancement of recovery time especially after consuming chocolate milk.
Additionally to the muscle growth increments, chocolate also help to protect against UV rays, and the reduction of cravings that could ruin the bodybuilder’s workout at the moment of eating undesirable food. Plus, chocolate has proved to be very effective with memory tests after periods of three months.
So if bodybuilding is the main goal of a person, the taking of chocolate should be included in the daily food consumption and it would not only be reflected in the muscle growth but in health as general.