Cacao, Caffeine + Theobromine. The Benefits of Hot Chocolate!

Posted by Monika Meulman on

Did you know that the theobromine in pure cacao is exceptionally healthy for your cardiovascular health and supports your energy levels throughout the day?
Theobromine is a natural compound found in cacao. Dark chocolate bars with a high cacao content, like the delicious dark chocolate bars from Chocosol that we carry at the Healing Muse Apothecary, will have high theobromine content as well.  Even some teas have it!

What is Theobromine? 

Photo by Tetiana Bykovets on Unsplash

“A good example of isomers is caffeine and theobromine. Both have similar effects on the body & cognition because they share the same methyl groups which binds to the adenosine receptors in the brain. But they differ by the fact that caffeine has one more methyl group. That difference causes caffeine to be more effective at stimulating the central nervous system, whereas theobromine is more effective at stimulating the cardiovascular system.”


Then related research into caffeine consumption and reasoning for having coffee, tea or proper dark hot chocolate: 


Photo by Tetiana Bykovets on UnsplashCaffeine actions in the central nervous system (CNS) are fundamental to understand the interest of the intake of caffeine-containing beverages. Beneficial actions range from alertness to reducing the risk of neurodegenerative diseases. Although the highest concentration of caffeine is present in coffee, cocoa also contains this methylxanthine but at doses that probably are not enough to activate neural mechanisms.

However, cocoa has elevated concentrations of a structurally similar component, theobromine. The effects of theobromine have been less studied than those of caffeine but it is known that this molecule exerts some positive effects in different human pathologies.

Photo by Maria Derevianko on UnsplashThe combination of caffeine and theobromine in cocoa may have the expected methylxanthine-derived benefits without the side effects reported for caffeine. Interestingly, the main action mechanism of caffeine and  theobromine consists of blocking adenosine receptors and inhibiting phosphodiesterases.
The present paper takes data of novel studies that point toward alternative modes of action of theobromine. Further research is, however, required to fully understand the health benefits of cocoa consumption.



It is important to note that neither caffeine nor theobromine are addictive substances and also they are not in the list of doping substances provided by the World Anti-Doping Agency 

(see National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2014

 Theobromine is useful in asthma and in other respiratory tract problems such as cough for which no definitive drug has been developed."

“Benefits of the theobromine on cough seem to be related with its anti-inflammatory potential as well as with modulation of airway reactivity“.  


In conclusion: Caffeine and Cocoa are essential consumption drinks in the flu season, especially during a Pandemic 


Thank you 

Thank you very much

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