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Why every athlete should put cocoa on their meal plan

You should add cocoa to your protein shake more often, we reveal why cocoa is an ideal source of protein and how you can regenerate it faster
Cocoa is now part of your meal plan – not in the form of unhealthy whole milk chocolate, but as cocoa powder (naturally without sugar). Because cocoa powder has pretty good properties, especially for athletes.

Cocoa provides high quality protein

Cocoa (heavily de-oiled) provides 23 grams of protein per 100 grams. After training or as a small meal in between, cocoa optimally complements your diet. Of course, you shouldn’t spoon the powder for it. It tastes very good in your protein shake or mixed in curd cheese. Just try it out. You no longer need to buy finished chocolate-flavored whey.

Happiness hormones are released by cocoa

Happiness is caused by various neurotransmitters, also called happiness hormones. And cocoa contains quite a bit of it, including endorphins and tryptophan. However, endorphins are not only considered to make you happy, which can even trigger intoxicating euphoria, they also ensure that you do not feel any pain in an emergency.

By the way: endorphins strengthen the immune system and reduce the risk of depressive mood. They ensure physical and mental health.

The essential amino acid tryptophan, which your body cannot make itself, also raises the mood. As a building block of the happiness hormone ‘Serotonin’, it has a direct effect on your mood. The better you are supplied with tryptophan, the higher the serotonin level and the better your mood.

Polyphenols lower blood pressure

The cocoa bean contains a variety of phytochemicals, including the polyphenols flavanoids. They have a positive effect on blood pressure and thus protect the blood vessels. Cocoa powder also contains many antioxidants. These are chemical compounds that protect your body cells against free radicals, which can cause mutations in the DNA. The free radicals arise as a by-product of your metabolism, but also through excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, exhaust fumes and UV rays.

Magnesium and calcium for quick regeneration

Cocoa powder contains 483 milligrams of magnesium per 100 grams. This mineral is involved in all metabolic reactions in which the chemical energy storage of the cells (ATP and ADP) play a role. If ATP reacts with water, ADP is formed, among other things – and energy is released. ATP is the most important chemical energy store in your body and if there is too little magnesium in the cells, energy is only made available more slowly. Magnesium also regulates the contraction and relaxation of your muscles – it is therefore particularly important for athletes.

In addition to magnesium, cocoa contains 133 milligrams of calcium per 100 grams, which is necessary, among other things, for bones, teeth and for the transmission of nerve impulses. Incidentally, the skeleton of an adult contains about 1 kilo of calcium – 99 percent of the calcium contained in the body is stored here.

What can you use cocoa for?

Cocoa is available as cocoa powder (without sugar) in the supermarket for baked goods. It’s best to choose heavily oiled powder that contains fewer calories and fat. You can add it to your protein shake and stir in the curd. However, you can also use it for baking and prepare delicious chocolate protein pancakes.

When buying, make sure that the cocoa is free of any additives such as sugar, otherwise you won’t have much of it. In addition, you should always make sure that cocoa and other cocoa-containing products have a Fairtrade seal. Otherwise, many farmers in developing countries who grow cocoa are exploited. Unfortunately, child labor is also not uncommon. A Fairtrade seal ensures that the cocoa is made fairly.

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