The Season of [Chocolate] Love

Hot Chocolate

Ah, the Season of Love has arrived, and if you live in the Nashville area you’ll likely be running the Hot Chocolate 5K or 15K on Valentine’s Day.  So with heart rates risen, what better way to keep them high with an additional sugar and caffeine rush with post race chocolate-dipped everything…and of course, the drinkable kind, too!  Instead of hitting you with tips and tricks to lay off the chocolate this weekend, how’s this instead…?

More caffeine, please!
As if us runners don’t thrive on coffee enough, what’s a little more caffeine?!  Sugar isn’t the only thing contributing to that rush you get from a piece of chocolate.  One ounce of dark chocolate has about 20 mg of caffeine.  And come on — We know you’ll be eating more than an ounce!  It’s Valentine’s Day, after all!

Cue the Heart Health!
The flavonoids found in chocolate (specifically, dark) have been shown to help reduce the risk of heart attack.  I’ll take an ounce for that!

Choco-lytes
While lacking the sodium (eh, you’ll get enough elsewhere), the darker the chocolate, the higher the electrolyte profile.  So while your muscles may thank you, you likely won’t forget the toughness of that long run!  You can also thank that darker chocolate for better cognitive memory, too!

Sunny Skin
My most vain fear — looking weathered from years of running outside!  Eek!  Luckily, those aforementioned flavanols increase blood flow to the skin and cut that redness factor in half while still keeping those cheeks plump!

And some history…
Chocolate was first recorded to have been drank, not eaten, by the Mayans eons ago.  It wasn’t until 1847 that it was first eaten by some famous English (that’s the original English) folks!

The New Apple Pie
According to NPR, hot chocolate may be more American than Apple Pie! (Say what?! Can I just drizzle chocolate on my apple pie instead?) Or maybe it’s February and apple pie is on the back burner until June?!

Okay, maybe I did only sneak in great things about dark chocolate, but hey.  I DO have SOME dignity to hold on to! But I will leave you with a spin on the classic Swiss Miss hot chocolate!

Daphne’s Hot Chocolate
So maybe I am giving in to the new “apple pie” — but ONLY momentarily!  Here ya go :)

Ingredients
Organic cacao powder (Or Ovaltine)
Powdered Milk
Food Processed Pure Cane Sugar (or Powdered Sugar)
Cremora plain powdered coffee creamer (Or Coffee Mate)
Cinnamon to taste
Pinch of Salt

Directions Eyeball it.  Yep, eyeball everything!  Be creative and suit it to your own tastebuds.  Just make sure you use more cacao and powdered milk than the other ingredients.  Daphne also recommends mixing as you go, as it can get a bit tough to evenly disperse. Use 1/3 cup of hot chocolate mix for every 8-10 oz of water.

Enjoy! :):)

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