Are you serious, Leo? An article about chocolate and spearfishing? YES-WE-ARE ladies and gentlemen. But first, lets learn a little bit from a science point of view. We all know free radicals (bad things floating around in our blood) are bad. We all know, chocolate is good. AND we all know… SPEARFISHING IS AWESOME! Well, according to science, if we put chocolate and spearfishing together… you catch big fish (just kidding, well, that’s what we think here at SpearfishingToday! Jeje)! Chocolate and Spearfishing: A Perfect Combination. Let me explain.
There is a fancy term in medicine called Endothelial Dysfunction (ED) (not to be confused with erectile dysfunction haha), which is most important when we are talking about hardening of the arteries (atherscelerosis). Which is most commonly associated in chronic, pathologic disease states (such as hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, smoking, diabetes mellitus and heart failure). These diseases cause diminished release of nitric oxide into the arterial wall either because of impaired synthesis or excessive oxidative degradation. This “hardening” of the arteries can lead to an imbalance in the function of arterial walls to appropriately vasodilate which can lead to plaque formation and the occurrence of atherosclerotic complications (like a heart attack). So you may ask, why is this important?
We also know that when we free dive and get cold, our arteries vasoconstrict, potentially similar to what we see in the diseased state. WHOA, you might be thinking… this is bad! I shouldn’t spearfish, well hold on for one quick second, it will all make sense in just a minute. We have a solution!
There is an important molecule that plays a large role in the function of walls of the arteries called Nitric Oxide (NO). NO is important in relaxing (vasodilation) the arteries so that more blood can flow to the areas that are needed. We all know that increased blood flow means more oxygen, and oxygen is good. What we also know, exercise produces oxidative stress (creation of free radicals). Pertinent to us, free diving creates oxidative stress. The creation of free radicals decreases the amount of NO circulating in our system, which decreases the ability to vasodilate arteries. It has been shown in research there is a reduction in circulating NO after a series of free dives to 20 meters (60.5 feet). That is interesting, right?
Through research, we also know the polyphenols (antioxidants), such as those found in dark chocolate, have shown to help stabilize free radicals which in turn has a positive effect on the lining of our vessels by increasing the amount of circulating NO.
Theunissen et al demonstrated antioxidants contained in dark chocolate scavenge free radicals produced during freediving / breath-hold diving. Ingestion of 30 g of dark chocolate one hour before the dive can thus prevent endothelial dysfunction.
LONG STORY SHORT, well working arteries is good, bad working arteries are… well not good. So what is the medical research world suggesting? We should all consider eating dark chocolate before we go spearfishing. Who is REALLY going to argue with that!?!?!?
Free chocolate on your next Spearfishing trip!!
Here at SpearfishingToday, we have decided if you book a trip mentioning the word “Chocolate,” we’ll be bring dark chocolate for YOU!! Chocolate and Spearfishing: A Perfect Combination.
Chocolate and Spearfishing: A Perfect Combination was last modified: February 9th, 2017 by Leo | Founder & Guide
Leo is the founder of Spearfishing Today and also the official representative of the Mexican Spearfishing Association for the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. He is FII certified, speaks English and Spanish and hunts comfortable up to 100ft. Leo is guiding spearfishing trips only on request in all Spearfishing Today locations in Mexico. He only hunts with a polespear and has a very inspiring opinion about freediving and spearfishing. Nickname: Chanoc. Most memorable catch: 27.99 kilo Cubera Snapper with polespear.
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