Thursday, August 4, 2011

Why runners should be kookoo for Coco Puffs

Probably too processed to deliver epicatechin - but yummy!
Today's workout (elliptical): 25 minutes

I know that they don't sell Count Chocula at Whole Foods but maybe they should. According to an article in yesterday's NY Times, epicatechin, cacao’s primary nutritional ingredient, has been identified as a factor to measurably improve athletic performance. In a study with mice who were tested using epicatechin against mice that didn't, "The fittest rodents...were those that had combined epicatechin and exercise. They covered about 50 percent more distance than the control animals."

Now mice and people obviously differ but the findings were that epicatechin facilitated the creation of new capillaries and new mitochondria. The study said that the combination of exercise and epicatechin yielded the clearest benefits. This morning I had a small piece of dark chocolate before my elliptical workout and I did well, although there are multiple reasons to explain that. The fact is, epicatechin is a flavonol, and, as the Times puts it, "a class of molecules that are thought to have widespread effects on the body." 

I don't believe in supplements but I do think it makes sense that better nutrition will lead to better performance. If that nutrition comes in the form of dark chocolate, who am I to complain?


  1. Thanks for this post. I eat yogurt with grape nuts and a some frozen fruit almost daily for breakfast or mid morning snack. All I could think about while I was reading this was mixing some coco puffs into some strawberry yogurt, yummmmm yummmmm! ! !

    I can't wait to try it. :-)

  2. You should have done it! I'm not sure Coco Puffs will supply any benefits but if a chocolate bar + workout = better performance it's worth a try...


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