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Table 1 The effect of CF supplementation on exercise-induced oxidative stress

From: The effects of cocoa flavanols on indices of muscle recovery and exercise performance: a narrative review

Reference

Participants

Nutritional intervention

Supplementation period

Exercise stimulus

Measure(s)

Key outcome(s)

Allgrove et al. [42]

20 healthy males

Age 22 ± 4 years

Mass 74.6 ± 8 kg

O2max 53.1 ± 7.0 ml·kg−1

Power output 300 ± 30 W

CF: 80 g dark chocolate a day for 14 days, 197.4 mg CF per dose (EPI: 77.4 mg, CAT: 31.2 mg)

CON: 56.8 g iso-CHO-fat control chocolate, 0 mg CF

Each day for 14 days, with a half dose 2 h pre-exercise

Cycling at 60% O2max for 1.5 h, intensity raised to 90% every 10 min for 30 s

5 min post cycling there was a time to exhaustion trial at 90% O2max

(i) F2-isoprostanes

(ii) Oxidised LDLs

(iii) Plasma uric acid

(iv) TEAC

(v) Plasma vitamin C

(i) significantly ↓ in CF group

(ii) significantly ↓ across each time point in CF group

(iii) ↑ post-exercise in both treatments

(iv) ↔ between groups

(v) ↔ between groups

Davison et al. [47]

14 healthy males

Age 22 ± 1 years

Mass 71.6 ± 1.6 kg

O2max 53.1 ± 1.9 ml·kg−1 min−1

Power output 300 ± 12 W

CF: 100 g dark chocolate 246.8 mg CF (EPI: 96.8 mg, CAT: 39.1 mg)

CON: isomacronutrient control, 0 mg CF

None: water

Acute dose 2 h pre-exercise

Cycling at ~ 60% O2max for 2.5 h

(i) F2-isoprostanes

(ii) Plasma Vitamin C

(iii) TEAC

(i) ↓ CF group vs CON

(ii) ↔ between groups

(iii) ↑ pre-exercise CF vs CON

de Carvalho et al. [49]

13 trained males

Age 21 ± 2 years

Stature 180 ± 0.05 cm

Mass 87.02 ± 8.03 kg

CF: CHO + protein cocoa beverage, 306 mg CF per beverage

CON: cocoa based CHO + protein beverage, 0 mg CF

7 days, beverage consumed twice daily

Five sets of 20 drop jumps from 0.6 m, 10 s between jumps and 2 min interset rest

Urinary F2-isoprostanes

 ↔ between groups

Decroix et al. [43]

12 well-trained males

Age 30 ± 3 years

Stature 177.9 ± 8.8 cm

Mass 72.8 ± 7.8 kg

O2max 63.0 ± 3.5 ml·kg−1 min−1

CF: cocoa drink, 900 mg CF (EPI: 185 mg, CAT: 20 mg)

CON: placebo, 15 mg CF (EPI: 0 mg, CAT: 0 mg)

Acute dose 1.5 pre-exercise

Two 30 min time trials 60 min apart, performed at a ~ 75% peak power output

(i) Uric acid

(ii) MDA

(iii) TEAC

(i) ↑ in CF vs CON

(ii) ↔ between group

(iii) ↑ in CF vs CON

Decroix et al. [45]

14 well-trained males

Age 31 ± 3 years

Stature 180 ± 5 cm

Mass 73 ± 7 kg

O2max 62.9 ± 5.8 ml·kg−1 min−1

Peak Power Output 366 ± 45 W

CF: Capsule, 530 mg CF (EPI: 100 mg, CAT: 21 mg)

CON: 1,764 mg maltodextrin

Consumed daily for six days and then a seventh on the day of testing

20 min steady state cycling at 45% peak power output

20 min time trial beginning at 75% peak power output

Completed in normoxic and hypoxic environments

(i) TEAC

(ii) Uric acid

(iii) MDA

(i) ↔ 

(ii) ↔ 

(iii) CF blunted ↑ in both N and H

Fraga et al. [41]

28 trained males

Age 18 ± 1 years

Mass 74 ± 1 kg

CF: 105 g chocolate confectionery, 168 mg CF (EPI + CAT: 39 mg)

CON: 105 g cocoa butter chocolate, < 5 mg CF

Sub-chronic, 14 day consumption

Soccer training sessions twice per week and one match per week

(i) MDA

(ii) Urate

(iii) Oxo8dG

(iv) TRAP

(v) α-tocopherol

(vi) lycopene

vii) β-carotene

(viii) coenzyme Q-10

(i) Post CF ↓ by 12%

CON ↑ by 10%

(ii) ↓ by 11% in CF

(iii-viii) ↔ between groups

Morgan et al. [48]

10 active males

Age 23 ± 3 years

Stature 184 ± 59 cm

Mass 85.3 ± 12.0 kg

Single leg 1RM 90.4 ± 19.0 kg

CF: 330 ml cacao juice, 74 mg CF (EPI: 8 mg, CAT: 43 mg)

CON: 330 ml CHO and flavour matched placebo, 0 mg CF

10 days supplementation (7 days pre-exercise, 3 days post)

10 sets of 10 single leg knee extensions at ~ 80% 1RM

Protein carbonylation

Protein carbonylation not elevated following exercise protocol

Taub et al. [50]

17 sedentary (9 males 8 females) participants

CF:

Age 50 ± 3

Stature 168 ± 3

Mass 78.8 ± 5.6

O2max 22.9 ± 1.9 ml·kg−1 min−1

CON:

Age 50 ± 2

Stature 175 ± 5

Mass 92.2 ± 9.7

O2max 24 ± 1.7 ml·kg−1 min−1

CF: 20 g dark chocolate, 175.2 mg CF (EPI: 26 mg, CAT: 4.6)

CON: 20 g placebo chocolate

Chronic (3 months daily intake)

Cycling exercise including O2max

(i) GSH:GSSG ratio

(ii) Protein carbonylation

(i) significant ↑ in CF group vs CON

(ii) significant ↓ in CF group vs CON

Wiswedel et al. [44]

20 untrained males

Age ~ 20–25

CF: cocoa drink, 185 mg CF

CON: cocoa drink 14 mg CF

Acute, 2 h pre cycling exercise

Cycling at 75 W increasing to 150 W for 10 min

(i) F2-isoprostanes

(ii) MDA

(iii) α-tocopherol

(iv) ascorbate

(v) TAC

(i) CON small ↑ 2 and 4 h post-consumption, CF did not

Significant difference CF vs CON 2 and 4 h post-intake following exercise

(ii–v) ↔ between groups

  1. CF, cocoa flavanols; EPI, epicatechin; CAT, catechin; CON, control;CHO, carbohydrate; TEAC, Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity; MDA, malonaldehyde; LDL, low density lipoprotein; Oxo8dG, 8-Oxo-2’-deoxyguanosine; 1RM, one rep max; GSH:GSSG, reduced glutathione: oxidised glutathione ratio; TAC, total antioxidant capacity; TRAP, total relative antioxidant potency; ↑, increase; ↓, decrease; ↔ , no significant effect/change