Dark chocolate contains stimulants that are known to enhance energy, libido, arousal, and erection levels in both men and women.
It boosts serotonin levels which in turn promotes the healthy function of the vascular system. For an extended period, dark chocolate consumption has been shown to increase artery compliance and widen blood vessels leading to increased circulation.
The cacao in dark chocolate is rich in calcium and antioxidants which, together with exercise and a healthy diet, can increase blood flow to the penis thereby improving erectile function.
Dark chocolate, specifically the type rich in cocoa solids, contains flavonoids that inhibit different types of dopamine receptors. The science is not conclusive about how this form of action might affect sexual performance. However, one study suggests it could be synergistic with Viagra or similar prescription medications for erectile dysfunction. More research is needed on long-term effects before drawing any conclusions.
Dark chocolate is unique in that it has a combination of stimulants and antioxidants which not only increases blood flow but also enhances mental focus and energizes the sensory system to heighten sexual arousal.
The most commonly cited effect of dark chocolate seems to be that cocoa in dark chocolate inhibits nitric oxide synthase (NOS) in endothelial cells, and since nitric oxide is necessary for vasodilation, this might explain both improved erections and improved blood pressure after eating dark chocolate.
A study of 6,000 men found that those with erectile dysfunction had statistically significantly higher levels of measures indicative of cardiovascular disease. More precisely, these men had lower levels of vitamin C in their blood.
Now, this does not mean chocolate is the problem nor the solution to your issue; rather, it means you should see a doctor about all this! A diet high in sugar and processed food is thought to have detrimental effects on erectile function by disrupting nitric oxide production in body tissue. Eating natural foods instead is one way to help bring back fun time between the sheets again.
What is dark chocolate?
Dark chocolate is a specific type of chocolate that has had more cocoa butter added to the recipe’s ingredients than what you find in many chocolate bars. And if your question is why, it’s because it delivers a deeper, richer flavor as well as an extra jolt of antioxidants and flavonoids (flavors like coffee and vanilla).
Combined with some dense research on health benefits linked to cocoa consumption, dark chocolate has become the darling of the food trend world. If we’re talking about percentiles… 100% — 99% would be “semi-sweet” and all the way down to zero (or artificial) would be “bittersweet.” Some people do still like sweetened or milk chocolates, though.
Dark chocolate is made from at least a percentage of cocoa liquor, which can be as low as 20% or as high as 80%. The remaining components are cocoa butter and sugar.
It’s not uncommon for labels to indicate cocoa mass, meaning solid minus liquid fats. The higher the number in this category indicates a more pure product with fewer added ingredients to sweeten it. For dark chocolate, this will usually be much lower than 50% — if you see a high percentage of this information on a label then there must be filler-like flavorings or other flavor enhancers like vanilla included in the chocolate mix.
Health benefits of dark chocolate:
With no sugar to spike blood sugar, dark chocolate is also a good choice for athletes looking for post-activity fuel. Dark chocolate’s high level of antioxidants has been shown in some studies to improve athletic performance. And because it stimulates the release of endorphins — the body’s natural pain killers — dark chocolate can also prepare an athlete to scale new heights.
The cocoa within dark chocolate contains theobromine, which delivers a chemical compound similar to caffeine without all the unpleasant side effects like jitteriness or insomnia. Theobromine offsets any possible negatives caused by caffeine and provides health benefits of its own. Those with heart conditions are encouraged not to exceed their recommended dose because too much can increase blood pressure.
Dark chocolate contains many substances that help to promote health, including cocoa solids, which is the cocoa component that gives dark chocolate its bitter flavor. This means that if you’re looking for a burst of antioxidants and other nutrient powerhouses, dark chocolate is one of the best choices available.
Research has shown how certain antioxidants found in cocoa may reduce the risk of heart disease by lessening damage to arteries due to toxic cholesterol deposits. Cocoa also helps increase energy levels and decreases heart rate — basically giving people more “get up and go.” Cocoa contains small amounts of magnesium which can act as an antidepressant, thereby promoting feelings of happiness.
One study, which involved 11 individuals with type 2 diabetes, found that a daily intake of 117.5 grams of dark chocolate for 16 weeks increased insulin sensitivity compared to a control group who were not consuming dark chocolate. This is the equivalent of about 1 bar of dark chocolate per day.
Calorie restriction induces a reduction in the insulin signaling pathways (both through IGF-I and insulin), and this reduction in insulin signaling pathways is thought to be one of the primary mechanisms through which calorie restriction acts to increase lifespan. So, lower calorie consumption should result in decreased glucose levels as well as decreased levels on those ever-important “insulin signaling pathways.
Dark chocolate may not be beneficial for people who have a sensitivity to caffeine or methylxanthines. Caffeine content is typically low in dark chocolate so it is unlikely that someone with an allergy would have any adverse effects from consuming it.
Though individuals with heart disease should proceed with caution because of how cocoa affects cholesterol levels and may increase serotonin which contributes to high blood pressure and other cardiovascular conditions such as stroke or coronary artery disease.
It’s important to be aware of the nutrition facts when deciding on a chocolate bar. The more sugar an item contains, the less of it will offer any positives. High-sugar items can actually give you more energy initially before your body is left crashing. That said, caffeine also causes an insulin spike in some people that can lead to fatigue and ultimately create or worsen insomnia issues for them.