We can all relate to that great feeling when we get to the office in the morning and our concentration is at its peak and we are on a roll smashing through our emails and tasks right until the inevitable afternoon slump hit us. In many cases, coffee is our first thought and source of energy when we are feeling a little slow new science has demonstrated that chocolate, specifically dark chocolate, can actually be more effective in increasing attention and focus. Raph Freedman founder of Peak Focus shares why chocolate could be the answer to your 3pm slump.
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Although stepping out of the office for a coffee is an outgoing and sociable source of caffeine there are many disadvantages of drinking too much coffee. If you are someone that needs multiple caffeine hits a day, drinking 5 or more cups of coffee everyday could result in side effects such as symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, restlessness, increased heart rate and nervousness. Heightened or similar effects might occur to those who reach for energy drinks as a temporary caffeine hit.
It is important that we are aware and conscious of the ingredients we are putting into our bodies and the long term effects of them just in order to get a quick hit of energy when we are struggling to concentrate. In saying this, what if we told you that keeping some dark chocolate with key ingredients on your desk could be the healthier alternative to assist with concentration, focus and energy when you hit that afternoon slump.
Dark chocolate has been scientifically noted to benefit the awareness of our brains. Dr. Larry Stevens, Professor of Psychological Sciences at Northern Arizona University (NAU) illustrated that dark chocolate “can increase brain characteristics of attention, and it also significantly affects blood pressure levels”. Specifically, it was found that the participants who consumed the dark chocolate were more alert and attentive. Dr Stevens was quick to point out that regular chocolate – high in sugar, milk and other nasties – would not have the same effect as a result of the difference in ingredients and properties.
Dark chocolate on its own we know has benefits however once combined with key ingredients such as L-theanine (an amino acid found in Green Tea) helps produce “alpha waves in the brain that are calm and peaceful”, and its combination with high cocoa chocolate can be “good for your heart, lower blood pressure and help you pay attention”. Some researchers have taken this science a step further, combining substantial amounts of Green Tea Extract with dark chocolate to create serious stimulation and activation of the brain.
Seeking energy through ongoing lifestyle choices such as healthy eating, consistent sleep, regular exercise and constant hydration is essential to our overall wellbeing and concentration however, sometimes you need an all-in-one way to get laser focused or perk-up. A combination of antioxidants and natural caffeine in dark chocolate, can be a powerful way to do that. Combining it with some green tea extract containing L-Theanine, will help keep your energy boost focused and calm, by also aiding in lowering blood pressure. It’s a powerful combination with nothing artificial, which knocks a second coffee or energy drink out of the park! Of course you don’t want to go crazy and start munching on dark chocolate all day, but a small bar in the afternoon could be the best way to stay sharp through the entire afternoon.