A high intake of milk chocolate in the morning can help burn fat and reduce blood glucose levels in postmenopausal women. This, according to a study led by professor Marta Garaulet of the University of Murcia (UMU) and Dr. Frank Scheer, of the Brigham and Womens Hospital in Boston (USA). UU)

The work is part of the doctoral thesis of the doctoral student of the UMU Teresa Hernández-González. It is the first in humans to study the effects of chocolate on metabolism depending on the time at which it is taken.

Starting Point and Main Findings

Postmenopausal women have a risk factor for obesity and a tendency to accumulate fat in the abdomen. Despite this, the daily intake of chocolate for 14 days did not make them fat.

It was shown that food intake is reduced by 300 kilocalorías if chocolate is consumed in the morning and by 150 kilocalorías if taken at night. These figures in no case compensate for the 542 kilocalorías ingested with chocolate, so the effect of not getting fat was surely due to other factors.

Background to the Investigation

According to Garaulet, we know from previous studies that mealtime is a synchronizer of internal clocks associated with obesity. Consequently, the starting hypothesis was that, depending on the time of intake, chocolate would have a different effect on appetite and other factors related to body weight.

In summary, the study suggests that chocolate in the morning or evening in a narrow window of time may have a different influence on hunger, appetite, substrate oxidation, microbiota and sleep.

Research Analysis

During the study, all participants consumed 100 grams of milk chocolate at the appointed time, which is 542 extra kilocurities over their usual diet. On the other hand, it was also shown to increase the oxidation of carbohydrates by 35%, which means that the body chooses sugars to a greater extent to obtain the necessary energy.

If chocolate is taken in the mornings, in the period of 14 days it is observed that fasting blood glucose is reduced by 4.5%, while fat oxidation increases by 26% and abdominal circumference is reduced by 2%; that is, drinking chocolate in the morning helps to lower blood sugar and promotes the mobilization of body fats.

If taken at night, metabolic changes occur, such as increasing spontaneous physical activity by 7%. In addition, it also increases heat dissipation after meals by 1.3%, so with the same amount of intake less energy accumulates.


One of the first conclusions is that there was no difference in weight or body composition, regardless of what period of the study the women were in.

The conclusions have been obtained after a cross-over and randomized study. It was performed among women who for a period of 14 days drank milk chocolate during the first hour after getting up (morning). Then for another 14 days they took it during the hour before bed (night). They also maintained a third 14-day period in which they did not take chocolate. This was done randomly, and with a week of rest between each experimental condition.

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Thesis ensures that the intake of chocolate benefits women with menopause

Tesis assures that chocolate intake benefits women with menopause. Source: Unsplash. Credits: Tamas Pap @tamasp

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