Study: Dark Chocolate Will Get You Over Your Midday Hump

posted: 05/08/15
by: Discovery.com Staff
Stacked chocolate bars
Larisa Bozhikova/thinkstock

Who doesn't need an excuse to eat more chocolate? A new study from Northern Arizona University pegs chocolate as the key to getting through your afternoon slump.

Researchers identified unsweetened dark chocolate containing at least 60% cacao as being able to lower blood pressure and improve attention. The team also studied the effects of L-theanine, an amino acid commonly found in green tea. In the participants surveyed, dark chocolate containing L-theanine was shown to have an immediate impact on blood pressure levels.

"L-theanine is a really fascinating product that lowers blood pressure and produces what we call alpha waves in the brain that are very calm and peaceful," said study lead author Larry Stevens. "We thought that if chocolate acutely elevates blood pressure, and L-theanine lowers blood pressure, then maybe the L-theanine would counteract the short-term hypertensive effects of chocolate."

L-theanine isn't yet available in commerically produced chocolate, but Stevens hopes that it could be introduced in the near future.

Click here for more from Northern Arizona University

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