Milk Chocolate Boosts Brain Power and Reaction Time

Chocolate has been shown in a new study to boost brain power while completing a battery of computerized neuropsychological tests. Chocolate Milk may even be more beneficial. While bearing down on attention-requiring work, such as spreadsheets, imputed interest calculations, your own stock indexing algorithm, programming, or perhaps, programming a new and improved reaction time exercise using javascript or the wondrous actionscript - it might be a good idea to eat m&m's or hershey bars and wash it down with a draught of chocolate milk. Afterwards, you'll need to lift weights and take a brisk walk to avoid the result of excess nutrients (fat).

"Chocolate contains many substances that act as stimulants, such as theobromine, phenethylamine, and caffeine," Dr. Bryan Raudenbush from Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia noted in comments to Reuters Health.

"These substances by themselves have previously been found to increase alertness and attention and what we have found is that by consuming chocolate you can get the stimulating effects, which then lead to increased mental performance."

To study the effects of various chocolate types on brain power, Raudenbush and colleagues had a group of volunteers consume, on four separate occasions, 85 grams of milk chocolate; 85 grams of dark chocolate; 85 grams of carob; and nothing (the control condition).

After a 15-minute digestive period, participants completed a variety of computer-based neuropsychological tests designed to assess cognitive performance including memory, attention span, reaction time, and problem solving.

"Composite scores for verbal and visual memory were significantly higher for milk chocolate than the other conditions," Raudenbush told Reuters Health. And consumption of milk and dark chocolate was associated with improved impulse control and reaction time....


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