Why Chocolate is the Best Pre-Workout
Proper nutrition comes in more than one form. There are plenty of ways to fine tune your body and keep your energy levels at their peak. However, there are even more ways to wreak havoc on your insides. Packaged bars with a long list of ingredients, fillers and mysterious alternatives to sugar are often tempting for quick pre-workout fuel. Most “power bars” that you buy in the “health food” aisle of the grocery store are going to leave you feeling gassy, bloated, crampy and sick. The better alternative might surprise you.
Chocolate: Nuff Said
I’m caught snacking on this at the gym on the regular. I’m called out on it too, by trainers and clients. I get the classic “You’re eating chocolate!?” First of all, don’t give a gal a hard time for eating chocolate. You might get smacked, or at least a verbal tongue lashing. I respond with a “You’re darn right I’m eating chocolate. You got a problem with it?” But you lovelies, I’ll explain why.
A quality chocolate bar is only going to contain a few simple ingredients:
This is my current favorite. The ingredient list contains the following: Organic Chocolate, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Cocoa, Organic Raw Cane Sugar, Organic Vanilla Extract.
All real food and only 5 ingredients.
Additionally, as a pre workout snack, it contains a heart healthy, plant based fat. This will help with your endurance. The serving size I recommend (1/2 of the recommended serving size on the package), will also give you about 7-8 carbohydrates, and a few grams or protein and fiber. Ultimately, cocoa provides a mega dose of antioxidants (flavanols and polyphenols). These help cells renew more perfectly, where as a lack of antioxidants in the body can allow free radicals to damage cells causing you to age more rapidly.
The 1/2 serving size that I recommend is roughly 125 satisfying calories. In addition to the chocolate, it makes sense to add some fresh berries or an apple to your pre-workout snack. This will add even more of the goodness (fiber, antioxidants and energizing carbohydrates) to allow your body to perform (brain included) and muscles to recover properly.
You’re also less likely to crave sugar later in the day if you snack on a small portion of dark chocolate.
Avoiding situations like this 😉
My “Next-Level” Chocolate Recipe:
Want to take the power of your chocolate to the next level? Try making it yourself.
Using organic cacao nibs, coconut oil and organic maple syrup, melt them together in a double boiler and pour them into candy molds. Freeze or refrigerate them (and keep them there until time to eat.
I use the following measurements. 1 cup coconut oil, 1/2 cup cacao (powder works too), 1/8 cup maple syrup. This makes about 24 (yes TWENTY-FOUR) servings. If you can’t eat chocolate due to an allergy, aversion or other reason, (first of all, bless your heart) you can use carob powder instead. It’s also delicious!
Now that you’re fueled up: 8MM
Your next suggested 8 Minute Meltdown for this month’s challenge:
Tag me when you’re done!!