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Introduction of Dark Chocolate in Athlete’s Diet

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In preparation for the Tour de France, our athletes need an additional benefit. On the basis of your recent reading of the experimental results in an article (Patel et al., 4), it is apparent that dark chocolate can add sufficient oxygen to the diet during cycling. But it is not clear whether the addition of dark chocolate contributes considerable value to the diet of athletes. This is after the post, which gave details about the crossover experimental design of dark chocolate with white chocolate. Therefore, I intend to provide a clarification of the results you read and, in the process, make it easy to make your decision.

Crossover Design

You might have seen the term crossover design as used to collect the data comparing dark chocolate and white chocolate with baseline. Point of precaution is that this design allows the transition from one treatment to another at different period. Research by Figueiredo Filho et al. caution that this design causes a bias in the interpretation of data in that participants might have the carryover effect (3 & 11), which means they transfer the effects of the previous treatment, such as taking white chocolate, to the next treatment, such as taking dark chocolate. However, this is avoidable through a large washout period to reduce the effect of previous treatment.

P-values and Statistical Significance

In the article you read, you found p-values of 0.071 and 0.037. The first p-value indicates that difference in maximal oxygen consumption between white chocolate and baseline (before taking any type of chocolate) is not statistically significant. The second p-value indicate a statistically significant difference between maximal oxygen consumption for dark chocolate and baseline (before receiving any treatment). Statistical significance means that the difference in the values, for example, at baseline and after taking dark chocolate, is sufficient from a statistical point of view. Therefore, we can conclude that taking dark chocolate promotes oxygen consumption while taking white chocolate marginally promotes oxygen consumption.

Confidence Interval

The article, also, provided the 95% confidence interval data for the population average change in maximum oxygen consumption (over baseline) as 0.21 ml/kg min to 5.05 ml/kg min. 0.21 and 5.05 are values within which the average change in maximum oxygen consumption is. A confidence interval is range between two values at which we are certain that an expected value can be found. Therefore, in the case of data, the author was certain that the average change in maximum oxygen consumption is in between 0.21 and 5.05.

The findings from the article show that dark chocolate can increase oxygen consumption. By adding it in the athlete diet, we have a chance at increasing their oxygen consumption during cycling and consequently increase our chances of winning the Tour de France.

Work Cited

Figueiredo Filho, Dalson Britto, et al. “When Is Statistical Significance Not Significant?” Brazilian Political Science Review, vol. 7, no. 1, 2013, pp. 31–55,

Patel, Rishikesh Kankesh, et al. “Dark Chocolate Supplementation Reduces the Oxygen Cost of Moderate Intensity Cycling.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, vol. 12, no. 1, Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 2015, pp. 1–8, doi:10.1186/s12970-015-0106-7.

August 09, 2021


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