What better way to round up science week than a tasty treat packed full of endurance boosting goodness to set you up for perfect performance this week.
Dark chocolate is full of heart healthy polyphenols which may also enhance endurance performance by increasing the bioavailability of nitric oxide. Increased nitric oxide dilates blood vessels, increasing the amount of oxygen available to the working muscles allowing athletes to exercise further for longer at very high intensities.
A study published in April in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition examined the effects of feeding either 40g of white chocolate or dark chocolate on VO2max and time trial performance in 9 moderately-trained male cyclists. Results found a 6% increase in VO2max and an improvement in time-trial performance in those that ate the dark chocolate compared to their baseline measurements. Authors concluded that eating dark chocolate may enhance short-duration moderate intensity exercise through increasing the oxygen available to the exercising muscles.
The darkest chocolate contains the most polyphenols, however, its bitter taste may deter people from being a fan, until now! The combination of ingredients in this recipe, particularly with the addition of the coconut cream reduces the dark chocolate’s bitter taste leaving the mixture mouth-wateringly delicious.
These fruit & nut chocolate bites are crunchy squares of tasty goodness with only 5 g of sugar per serving compared to 26g in a regular chocolate fruit & nut bar! Enjoy with a streaming cup of green tea on this cold Sunday afternoon J
- Serves: 20
- Calories: 146 kcal
- Fat: 12 g
- Carbohydrates: 5 g
- Protein: 2 g
- 150g coconut cream
- 200 g dark chocolate
- 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
- 50g dried fruit
- 50g walnuts (or your preferred nut)
- Break the chocolate and place it into a large bowl
- Sit the bowl over a pan of simmering water and allow the chocolate to melt, stirring occasionally. Don't try to melt the chocolate any faster as it will only clump together
- Once it is melted stir in the coconut cream & the oil, mixing thoroughly
- Mix in your preferred nuts & dried fruits
- Pour into a silicon tin
- Place in the freezer for 2-3 h
- Cut into squares
- Store in the fridge in a Tupperware container for 5-7 days