Chocolate Can Boost Your Workout.

Jennifer Nguyen

Article Summary

In the Health section of the New York Times website, I found an article that was written by Gretchen Reynolds and published on March 23, 2016 known as, “Chocolate Can Boost Your Workout. Really.” This reading suggest that dark chocolate can improve endurance while working out according to a study related to sports nutrition. Because chocolate is made of cocoa, it contains epicatechin. Epicatechin is a plant nutrient that is found in cocoa. Depending on which kind of chocolate is consumed, the amount of epicatechin is will vary. Dark chocolate contains the highest level of epicatechin compared to milk and white chocolate. According to the website, “Epicatechin is known to prompt cells that line blood vessels to release extra nitric oxide, a substance that has multiple effects in the body. Nitric oxide slightly increases vasodilation…improving blood flow and cardiac function” (Reynolds, 2016). It continues to state, “It also gooses muscle cells to take in more blood sugar, providing them with more energy, and it enhances the passage of oxygen into cells” (Reynolds, 2016). The study was performed using eight male recreational cyclists. The scientists gave the four cyclists 40 grams of Dove dark chocolate per day. The other half was given 40 grams of white chocolate. Two weeks later the two groups of cyclists came back to record results then switched to the other chocolate. They then returned to repeating the cycling and oxygen uptake tests. In conclusion, less oxygen was utilized while riding at a moderate pace that “would generally allow them to ride longer or harder before tiring; and they covered more distance during a two-minute, all out time trial, meaning that their anaerobic, sprinting ability had been enhanced” (Reynolds, 2016). After the study, scientists advised the ideal dosage of dark chocolate for athletes is not yet known “and that more than 40 grams is unlikely to be helpful” (Reynolds, 2016).

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Article Critique

The author who wrote, “Chocolate Can Boost Your Workout. Really.” is known as Gretchen Reynolds. After researching The New York Times reference topics, I was able to find information on the writer. I found that Reynolds has been writing about health and fitness for over a decade. She was a reporter for Runner’s World and Bicycling magazines. Besides writing about health and fitness, there was a time she was covering politics and crimes for Chicago magazine. Reynolds was rewarded a National Magazine Award for personal service that appeared in National Geographic Adventure magazine. Additionally, according to her impressive short biography of her works, she is a “frequent contributor to O: The Oprah Magazine and Women's Health. Her 'Phys Ed' column originated in the New York Times sports magazine, Play, and now appears online weekly in the Well blog and in print monthly in the New York Times Magazine” (Reynolds, 2016). Now she is “at work on a book about the frontiers of human fitness” (Reynolds, 2016).

Her excerpt on “Chocolate Can Boost Your Workout. Really.” was sponsored by and published in The New York Times. The New York Times is a well-known popular source of information. This website contains a variety of topics that readers can indulge in to be informed about what is happening around them and their health. The article was well-written chronologically with valuable information that can inform the intended audience. Her writing did not seem bias as she included in her article that scientists do not know the exact amount of dark chocolate to give and that even though the cyclists did perform better, the gains were not huge. The article mentions the cyclists were given a specific amount of chocolate and their results would be performed and recorded every two weeks at Kingston University, located in London. However, advanced and more in depth scientific evidence can be found below:


Gretchen Reynolds. (n.d.). Retrieved April 07, 2016, from

Patel, R. K., Brouner, J., & Spendiff, O. (2015). Dark chocolate supplementation reduces the oxygen cost of moderate intensity cycling.Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 12, 47.

Reynolds, G. (2016, March 23). Chocolate Can Boost Your Workout. Really. Retrieved April 07, 2016, from