Are you one of those who can’t do any physical activity without eating a bar or two of chocolate? Or maybe you have gotten too attached to chocolates to an extent that you now believe they are your secret ingredient for personal growth and success.
Loving chocolates extensively might just be a blessing or a curse when you get to know exactly what they contain and how it affects the human body. People don’t just love chocolate because of its sweet taste, its assumed nutritious value attracts more people to it.
It is hard to see anybody who honestly hates chocolate after tasting it for the first time. People have been eating chocolates for many centuries and it doesn’t seem like that craving will ever diminish as long as cocoa beans don’t go extinct.
Chocolate is produced from dried cocoa seeds, the seeds of a fleshy fruit that grows on the evergreen tropical cacao tree which is very popular in South America and West Africa. The first modern chocolate factory was established in the year 1657 in the city of London.
As awesome and delicious as chocolates may look, they might not be good and healthy for soccer players because they contain high levels of sugar and fats. Chocolates are okay for extra energy and endurance when they are eaten in moderate amounts.
In this article, we will be focusing our attention on chocolates to discover how suitable they are for soccer players’ consumption.
Read more: Can I Drink Red Bull Before a Soccer Game?
Can soccer players eat chocolate?
Soccer players are not prohibited by any law under the sport to avoid chocolates or any chocolate-based product. It would be inhumane to ever propose such a law because nobody deserves to be deprived of the joy that comes with eating chocolates.
There are many variants of chocolate in the market but the dark chocolate variants have more nutritional value known to enhance soccer players’ performance on the soccer pitch. Powerful vital ingredients exist in the composition of dark chocolate.
Through scientific study and research, we were able to demystify the ingredients contained in chocolates and how they affect a player’s body in a unique way.
Below is a list of some of the healthy components existent in dark chocolates and how they positively affect the body of soccer players.
Antioxidants: Antioxidant is a word synonymous with many healthy food variants. But what are antioxidants and what do they have in common with chocolates and soccer players?
In simple terms, antioxidants can be described as substances that defend body cells from harm caused by free radicals. Chocolates contain antioxidants that can protect soccer players from diseases that can upset normal body functions.
Antioxidants can also prevent the regular muscle aches that usually come with playing soccer and they can also hasten the recovery periods of injuries sustained when playing.
Blood Pressure Regulators: Chocolates are also vasodilators apart from being common stimulants. This makes chocolates very good regulators of soccer players’ blood pressure as long as they are eaten in the right amount.
Some medical doctors sometimes recommend chocolates to people having issues with their blood pressure.
Stimulants: You must be familiar with that burst of intense energy that normally engulfs the body after eating chocolates. That’s the stimulating content in chocolates energizing your system.
Research has proven that eating chocolates helps people stay focused and excited. Eating chocolates before playing soccer can help a soccer player jump, dribble, shoot, tackle, and kick balls better on the soccer pitch.
Epicatechins: Cocoa beans have a high content of Epicatechin which increases the oxygen flow in the bloodstream which helps the body function better. It also facilitates the growth and proper formation of body muscles.
Soccer players need properly developed muscles to be able to play better on the soccer pitch. Thus, Epicatechin is very valuable for the sport.
Healthy Macronutrients: Scientific experiments reveal that chocolates contain healthy macronutrients (fat and carbohydrate). These macronutrients are beneficial to soccer players and athletes in general because they are of high caloric value, fiber, and healthy minerals.
Calories: Chocolates are among high-calorie diets which are massively sought after by athletes who need them to generate more energy during sporting events and training. From research, we discovered that average male soccer players require between 21.4 – 27.3 calories per day for each pound of their total body weight.
Adult female soccer players need fewer calories than males. They need between 20.5 – 22.7 calories per day for each pound of their body weight.
Flavonoids: These are natural compounds that exist in cocoa seeds and are very beneficial to the body. They exist mostly in fruits and vegetables and are capable of cleansing the body from harmful toxins, bacteria, viruses, allergies, and even tumors.
Dark chocolate is better for people suffering from a milk allergy or lactose intolerance because they often contain little to no traces of milk, unlike milk chocolates. They have a higher concentration of ground and processed cocoa seeds in them which is why they seem to give you a more intense feeling of energy and happiness when eaten.
Chocolate can be of great help to you if you are into soccer which requires a lot of rigorous sprinting, struggling, standing, diving, etc. A chocolate bar can give you more endurance and enthusiasm when facing difficult activities as the kind found in soccer and other similar contact sports.
Before the start of a soccer match, you can nibble on a chocolate bar for extra energy without stressing the stomach. Likewise, after a soccer match, you can chew on chocolate to help the body in its recovery from depletion and fatigue.
Futsal which is another interesting form of soccer also consumes a lot of energy because a futsal team normally has a lesser number of players than Association football.
The first half periods of soccer matches are always very intense and futsal is not an exception, players normally need to replenish their depleted energy levels during halftime.
Aside from eating fruits and taking energy drinks during the halftime periods, a bar of dark chocolate can help a futsal player recuperate faster than fruits. It might seem like nothing at first but when its effect kicks in, a player becomes more active and plays with extra energy.
Chocolates can be quite addictive sometimes especially among younger people. Therefore, it is important to care about the rest of your dietary needs while getting hooked to chocolates because chocolates don’t have all the necessary nutrients needed for proper growth and development.
The number of chocolates permitted to be eaten per day as a soccer player mostly depends on the intensity of your training. Players with longer and more tedious training can consume higher amounts of chocolates before and after training.
It may sound funny but some people feel guilty after eating chocolates especially when their doctors warned them to stay off them due to a health challenge. This will show you that chocolates are highly irresistible.
Is chocolate good before a soccer game?
Chocolate is a sports-friendly food which makes it a suitable option among the things that can be eaten by a soccer player before a soccer game. A little piece of chocolate can boost a soccer player’s fitness on the pitch.
Chocolates can only become harmful to a soccer player before a soccer match if he or she consumes them in excess above what the body can effectively manage. The sugar and fats in chocolates can cause serious harm to the body organs if they become excessive.
Regardless of how cautious about your health you may be, chocolates shouldn’t be one of those foods you discard and stop eating just because you heard a false story about them.
Soccer can be very demanding because it burns a lot of energy like most contact sports. To keep up with the demands, eating a bar of chocolate 30 to 20 minutes before the commencement of a soccer match can do you a lot of good.
You can eat chocolates with other healthy food variants for added taste and satisfaction. Liquid chocolate can be enjoyed with cornflakes or crunchy pops, cakes, ice cream, cookies, pie, etc.
Being a pro soccer player requires you to be watchful of your daily diet because training alone can’t keep you up there in the ranks without eating the right kinds of food that can improve your body system.
Significant benefits of chocolates to soccer players
Despite a few circulating odd stories about chocolates, we can’t deny the fact that chocolates have some significant benefits in the human body.
Although some soccer players may still be thinking that chocolates are only meant for children, we hope they have a change of heart after discovering the numerous benefits that come with eating chocolates.
1. Helps the Heart
Chocolates are good for the proper heart functioning of soccer players mostly because they dilate the blood vessels which lowers blood pressure and regulates the easy flow of blood to all the organs of the body.
2. Reduces Stress
Due to the demanding nature of the game, soccer players are always in a state of heightened stress levels both during matches and even after matches.
Chocolate can relieve stress because it contains theobromine which is responsible for mental stimulation. Theobromine works just like the caffeine in coffee which aids in mental alertness and relaxation.
3. Controls Inflammation
Inflammation can be caused by injuries or bad health. It is a physical situation where a part or certain parts of the body increase from their normal size and become darker in color.
Eating dark chocolates every day can reduce inflammations on the body thereby speeding up the recovery process of injuries.
Being a great soccer player requires a lot of passion, dedication, hard work, resilience, and natural talents or skills. Did you just notice that good food wasn’t mentioned amongst the requirements to becoming a soccer star even when it is an important factor?
Sportsmen and women often neglect the condition of their daily diets and often focus on just improving their skills through regular exercising and training. It doesn’t occur to them that the human body functions based on the kind of food we consume.
Malnourished people always look sick and fragile not because they have a deadly virus in their systems but because their body lacks the necessary nutrients that would enable it to function as it is supposed to.
Soccer players who dedicate an equal amount of time in planning their daily diets and building their physical health always perform better than those who only focus on acquiring and improving soccer skills. They also hardly fall sick because their immune system is more active.
A good diet can also lower how frequently a soccer player gets injured—and this is an important asset to any team.
Hi there, I’m Jay.
Soccer is everything in my life! My friends and I have created this blog with all our enthusiasm, passion, and understanding after years of playing pro soccer. Hope you will enjoy it!