- Personal trainers who have worked with Scarlett Johansson like to eat dark chocolate before training.
- The Ryan and Eric Johnson brothers say there are many benefits to the routine, including increasing your energy and creating a positive feedback loop.
- Ideally, they say you should eat a third of a high-quality dark chocolate bar 15 minutes before a workout.
Chocolate and fitness are two things that most people do not assume go hand in hand.
For two personal trainers, the chocolate is the key to a good workout.
Ryan and Eric Johnson are the brothers behind Homage Fitness, a new line of private residential gym across Miami, New York and D.C., designed to combine high school education with hospitality.
The brothers, who are certified strengths and fitness coaches, have more than a decade of experience in the fitness industry.
They are also Scarlett Johansson's personal trainer and have worked with her and other actors on films such as "Captain America: Winter Soldier", "Ghost in the Shell" and "Avengers: Infinity War ̵
The most surprising part of their training routines? The duo always eats dark chocolate as a pre-workout snack – and they encourage their customers to do the same.
"We're always looking for a good pre-training supplement but most things you can buy in the stores are full of sugar and caffeine," Eric told INSIDER.
"We already drink too much coffee and most of our customers do it too, so we wanted to find something that was more natural organic and that would give you the same benefits."
The benefits of chocolate in moderation are well documented.
The brothers say that good quality dark chocolate (preferably at least 70% cocoa) has been shown to release endorphins that make us feel good.
Furthermore, a new study found that people eating chocolate three times a month had a reduced risk of heart failure of 13% compared to those who did not. Similarly, as an anti-inflammatory food, chocolate is linked to living longer.
"Dark chocolate releases dopamine and has many benefits like vasodilation, which is basically the pump that humans are looking for when trying to build muscle" continues Eric.
"It also benefits your brain function because it stimulates your brain cells to release that dopamine. And it also releases serotonin that will calm your nervous system."
Science adds, fitness gurus encourage people to get used to eating dark chocolate before training for psychological reasons.
"It creates this positive feedback loop with your brain – now that you get this chocolate before training, you create a positive association with the training and you get more excited to get to the gym … you have something to look forward to," says Ryan
Read more: A personal trainer explains why you shouldn't let yourself be too hungry if you try to lose fat
They add that dark chocolate is also just a great source of essential energy.
"If you just enter your session on an empty stomach, you probably won't be left or you may feel a little sick," Ryan continues.
"But at the same time, if you have too much food, feel you often get a little downcast, heavy and dull. So we found that the little bit of dark chocolate does not have much weight on it, but it is very nutritious so it gives the body a lot of energy while still feeling light in the stomach, so you can jump and move. "
Ryan and Eric don't mean you should just have a small square, either – they actually recommend having about 2-3, about a third of a standard size chocolate bar or 30-50g.
If you try to go Weight loss and thus aiming to be in a calorie deficit, it is worth noting that you have to factor this extra snack into your daily goals: 50g dark chocolate usually contains about 300 calories.
"While the benefits of this nutrient dense snack (as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties alone) outweigh the extra calories, one should certainly explain them, "says Eric.
" Depending on your current training goals, personal statistics (height, weight, body fat percentage, waist size) and activity levels should be a factor in how much you consume to ensure your energy requirements are met. "
 You also need to eat good quality chocolate.
"Don't get dirty stuff," says Eric and Ryan. "We want high quality stuff so you can reap the benefits of the antioxidants that will be there too."
Ideally, the brothers are advised to have your chocolate 10 to 15 minutes before the workout – their preferred approach is to pop up a few squares on the way to the gym and allow it to melt in your mouth.
Sometimes, however, they have not been able to get their chocolate fix in advance, which means that there is only one alternative left.
"Sometimes we eat our chocolate when we warm up in the gym," says Ryan and Eric. "People look at us as if we are crazy!"