Cocoa powder is a source of B Vitamins, magnesium, iron and calcium, potassium and phosphorus. It also contains copper and zinc. What’s the most popular product containing a lot of cocoa powder? Of course chocolate. But despite all the cocoa powder benefits you should to know the measure, because one bar contains about 600 kcal and 43 g fat.
The temptation of an alluring, sweet and delicious chocolate bar that improves mood and is addictive is so strong that many of us try to stay away from this sweetness and remove it from sight. And if the person tries get in shape but reaches for a chocolate bar, it is usually accompanied with a sense of shame.
Milk or white chocolate does not contain a lot of nutrients, but in bitter chocolate there are dozens of vitamins and minerals that make it the most useful for health among sweets. This chocolate contains a very large amount of cocoa powder (more than 50%), so it is preferable, especially for athletes and slimming.
Cocoa powder benefits for sportsmen
Cocoa powder itself is an ideal addition after a workout and a source of energy before running.
A cup of hot cocoa is a source from which we can quickly and easily get energy because it contains simple carbohydrates. But not just because of them. There are also substances that increase concentration and stimulate the nervous system.
A chocolate bar with a high cocoa content supply with more caffeine than a cup of coffee. So do not try to improve your mood with chocolate late at night. The high magnesium content helps fight stress, and more importantly for the athlete, this element improves muscle performance and promotes calcium absorption. The second stimulant – theobromine, has a much weaker effect than caffeine, but has a regenerating effect on the body after exercises.
Polyphenols contained in cocoa beans, destroy free radicals formed as byproducts of metabolism, which are dangerous for healthy cells. Polyphenols act as antioxidants and thus counteract the formation of tumors. In addition, they relax the blood vessels, which improves blood circulation. After a portion of chocolate bar are less tendency to sticking together. Therefore, hot cocoa, among other things, prevents the formation of blood clots.
Of course, cocoa powder at the chemical level affects the mood. But no less important is the psychological aspect. Constant restrictions in diet lead to mood deterioration and motivation loss. The longer a person keep a “chicken – buckwheat” diet, the more he wants delicious – fatty and sweet donuts, a mixture of syrups in a Starbucks cup, or simply homemade pies. And hot cocoa helps in this case. With sweeteners the sports drink can satisfy the psychological need in delicious, and you do not break your nutrition system.
What’s the catch?
First of all – calories, so you should limit the amount of chocolate and cocoa. One cup of hot cocoa during the carbohydrate metabolic window (about 30 minutes after training) or shortly before training – will have a very good effect on the body. But the LARGE cup or the cup just before going to bed – no.
Secondly, chocolate is an allergen. The main allergens are milk and nuts. Even if you do not see them, the product may contain traces of them in certain quantities, as you can read on the package.
What chocolate to buy
The more cocoa powder and less sugar – the better. You can take a few dark chocolate cubes (for example, 3-5) or a cup of hot cocoa once every few days during the shortest workout.
Now everywhere you can buy cocoa powder. A cup of this sports drink has about 150-200 kcal (depending on whether it is cooked on water or milk and on the fat percentage).
Of course cocoa mix is faster and easier to cook, but the home-made sports drink will be tastier and thicker. In addition, you can always be creative and change the recipe depending on your preferences. We offer you an unusual recipe for hot cocoa.
Chili cocoa sports drink
- 40 g cocoa
- 70 ml milk 2%
- 20 g cream 12%
- 1/3 chili pepper
- 1/3 vanilla sticks
A cup of this thick cocoa sports drink contains 6 g of protein, 20.7 g of fat, 22.4 g of carbohydrates and about 300 kcal. To reduce the calories you can add less cocoa, cook on skim milk or not add cream.
Heat milk with cream. Add vanilla and chili, cocoa powder and keep it on fire until smooth. If you leave the hot cocoa for a day, it will be more spicy.
Interesting facts about cocoa powder
It was the Dutch chemist Conrad van Houten who first get crumbly cocoa powder.
Henry Nestle was the first to add condensed milk to the bitter cocoa powder, and with the help of this invention Daniel Peter created milk chocolate, which is widely known and beloved today.
Although bitter chocolate brings many benefits to humans, it is harmful to animals, such as dogs and cats, because their bodies are not able to metabolize theobromine.