Flavanols Proven to Improve Performance

Crushing that presentation! A new personal record on that 3-mile run! Boundless energy at the family BBQ!

You know that feeling. You love that feeling! It’s about being your personal best. Flavanols support your hard work and are proven to enhance personal performance. 

Performance benefits, as opposed to health benefits, are those that noticeably impact your day to day. Below are our top picks for science-backed flavanol benefits that help you be your best every day!

Cardiovascular performance

Cardio function impacts physical performance, including exercise and basic activities like walking up the stairs. How? Flavanols improve circulation, and improved blood flow supports exercise performance and recovery.

One study of cyclists by Patel et al. recently demonstrated notable improvements in VO2 max (how much oxygen your body can use during exercise) and a two-minute time trial performance!

Lower stress

It’s no secret that stress impacts our daily productivity, quality of sleep, and mood. But did you know that flavanols positively impact cortisol levels, aka the stress hormone, and how our bodies respond to stress?

A new study published in Antioxidants showed a 29% reduction in cortisol, the hormone our brains trigger in response to stress, following just four weeks of high-flavanol chocolate consumption!

Cognitive Function

Cognitive functioning affects almost everything we do and the proven benefits of cocoa flavanols on cognition are compelling. One recent study by scientists at the University of Birmingham showed that healthy adults, aged 18 to 40, consuming 700mg of cocoa flavanols daily, performed cognitively challenging tasks 11% faster than the placebo group!


There’s a reason Aztec Emperor Montezuma claimed, “This precious drink (cocoa) permits man to walk for a whole day without food.”

Now, cocoa flavanol studies, including a highly referenced trial by Sholey et al published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, have demonstrated reduced mental and physical fatigue in healthy adults. Other studies have shown increased energy in adults with chronic fatigue and those with Multiple Sclerosis.

We generally hear more about the health benefits of cocoa flavanols (vs. performance) including lower blood sugar/pressure/cholesterol and improved memory. These benefits are awesome, but they may not impact how you feel or perform on a daily basis. (When is the last time you woke up feeling like your blood sugar or cholesterol had dropped?)

So enjoy your cocoa flavanols daily and be your best (and healthiest) self at work, the gym and at home!