Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate is a delicious and nutritious treat that can offer several benefits for cyclists when consumed in moderation. Made from the seed of the cacao tree, dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and nutrients that can support overall health and performance.

Dark chocolate is a type of chocolate that contains a higher percentage of cocoa solids and less sugar compared to milk or white chocolate. It typically contains at least 70% cocoa solids, which are rich in flavanols, a type of antioxidant.

Dark chocolate

List of dark chocolate variants:
  • 70% cocoa dark chocolate
  • 80% cocoa dark chocolate
  • 90% cocoa dark chocolate
  • 100% cocoa dark chocolate (unsweetened)
  • Dark chocolate with nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, etc.)
  • Dark chocolate with dried fruit (cranberries, cherries, etc.)
  • Dark chocolate with sea salt
  • Dark chocolate with espresso or coffee
  • Raw dark chocolate
  • Organic dark chocolate
Benefits for the cyclist:
  • Rich in antioxidants, particularly flavanols, which may help reduce inflammation and improve cardiovascular health
  • Contains magnesium, a mineral important for muscle function and energy production
  • Provides a small amount of caffeine and theobromine, which can offer a mild energy boost
  • May help improve blood flow and lower blood pressure, supporting cardiovascular health
  • Can be a mood-enhancing treat that provides a sense of satisfaction and reward
  • Offers a convenient and portable snack option for cyclists
Energy value:

The calorie content of dark chocolate varies depending on the cocoa percentage and added ingredients. On average, a 1-ounce (28 g) serving of 70-85% cocoa dark chocolate provides 150-175 calories, with 10-15 grams of fat, 10-15 grams of carbohydrates, and 2-3 grams of protein.

When to consume:
  • Before the ride: Enjoying a small square of dark chocolate 30-60 minutes before a ride can provide a mild energy boost and satisfy a sweet craving.
  • After the ride: Consuming dark chocolate as part of a balanced post-ride snack can help replenish energy stores and provide antioxidants for recovery.
  • As a snack: Dark chocolate can be a satisfying and nutritious snack option between meals, in moderation.
Other tips:
  • Choose dark chocolate with a high cocoa percentage (70% or higher) for maximum health benefits.
  • Be mindful of portion sizes, as dark chocolate is still calorie-dense.
  • Opt for dark chocolate with minimal added sugars and ingredients.
  • Pair dark chocolate with nutrient-dense foods like nuts, seeds, or fruit for a balanced snack.
  • Store dark chocolate in a cool, dry place to maintain freshness and flavor.

Dark chocolate is a delicious and nutritious treat that can provide cyclists with antioxidants, magnesium, and a mild energy boost. When consumed in moderation, dark chocolate can be a satisfying addition to a cyclist's diet, supporting overall health and recovery. However, it's essential to choose high-quality dark chocolate with a high cocoa percentage and to be mindful of portion sizes to maintain a balanced diet.