Playing around in my kitchen today I made this delicious hot chocolate and just had to share it with you, along with why each ingredient could benefit you!
Cacao – Organic, raw cacao contains many phytonutrients including high amounts of magnesium, sulfur and phenylethylamine which provide benefits such as focus and alertness. Cacao is also higher in antioxidants than wine, tea, blueberries and goji berries. Unfortunately, what most of us consider “chocolate” contains no cacao at all! Because of cacao’s high magnesium content, it is a great food for athletes! Magnesium is they key to muscle and nerve function, including keeping the heart rhythm steady.
Cocoa – Technically speaking, cocoa and cacao are the same thing, but some cocoa can be much more processed and can include added sugar, so make sure you look for an unsweetened version. Cocoa powder undergoes a higher temperature during processing compared to cacao so it has lost some of the nutritional value that cacao powder has.
Collagen – Hydrolyzed collagen provides a quick absorbing protein that contains important amino acids used by the body to build connective tissue structures. When we lose collagen, our tendons and ligaments start moving with less ease which can lead to stiffness and swelling in the joints. Collagen is effective for treating osteoarthritis and other joint problems. Because it is hydrolyzed, collagen dissolves in hot or cold liquids.
Maca – Maca is loaded with energy-producing, protein-building amino acids that fuel the body and assist with recovery after a strenuous workout. With its incredible nutrient profile, supplement savvy athletes use maca to improve their energy level without over-stimulating their body. Read more about Maca here.
Hemp hearts – Hemp hearts are packed with omegas, protein, vitamins, minerals and fibre. Hemp seeds actually contain all 20 amino acids, including the 9 essential amino acids our bodies cannot produce. Because of their ideal ratio of omega 3 to 6 fats, hemp hearts naturally reduce inflammation.
Raw honey – A great natural sweetener, raw honey is loaded with vitamins and minerals, contains antioxidants and supports the growth of good bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. Honey can be anti-inflammatory and aids in recovery because it is a rapidly digesting carbohydrate. Read more about raw honey here.
Goji berries – Goji or wolfberries have been studied for their ability to generate feelings of well-being, help build stronger musculoskeletal systems and improve cardiovascular health. Since they are high in antioxidants, goji berries offer immune system support which is very important for athletes.
1 cup boiled water
½ cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
1 Tbsp. raw cacao powder
1 Tbsp. unsweetened, Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. collagen
1 tsp maca powder
½ Tbsp. hemp hearts
1 tsp raw honey
½ Tbsp. goji berries
Add all ingredient to blender. Blend until fully mixed and frothy. Pour into a mug and this delicious hot chocolate.