Article at a Glance
• Theobromine, naturally found in cacao and select teas, is becoming a popular alternative to caffeine.
• Theobromine can be a longer-lasting, milder, and more pleasant energy source over caffeine and has a whole host of other health benefits.
• Suggestions on how to get more theobromine into your day.
Theobromine is a naturally occurring compound found in cacao and select tea plants. You’ll often hear theobromine mentioned in the same breath as cacao and even chocolate. This is because cacao is often the primary source of this naturally occurring stimulant. Cacao has long been known for its energizing effect and was even served to ancient Mayan chiefs because it was viewed as a gift from the gods. As such, when scientists decided to name the new genus of plant, they called it Theobroma Cacao which means “food of the gods.”
Theobromine is in the same class of stimulants as with caffeine. But theobromine is quite different from caffeine because it offers a longer lasting, more relaxed energy without the spike and crash. Unlike caffeine, theobromine is not a central nervous system stimulant and therefore doesn’t typically make you feel as on edge or jittery. For that same reason, theobromine is non-addictive. The energy from theobromine feels more akin to a good night’s sleep and also gives you a “holistic high” by making you feel more focused.
Theobromine and caffeine are similarly constructed types of pharmacologically active chemicals but with noticeably different effects. Theobromine is gentle, mild, has a slow onset, is long lasting and non-addictive whereas caffeine is intense, strong, fast acting, short lived and can be addictive.
Aside from the longer-lasting, milder, and more pleasant energy source over caffeine, theobromine also helps improve circulation. Theobromine acts to dilate and widen your blood vessels which improves blood flow. This alone results in a whole host of additional benefits. Including the following:
Theobromine can help with brain function and helps to improve focus . In one study, after consuming cacao beverages, participants that were assigned certain tasks showed more interested and demonstrated greater calmness .
Interestingly, despite being a stimulant, theobromine can also help you to sleep at night as it helps to balance brain chemistry.
Theobromine helps to relax your lungs so you can breathe deeper, especially helpful if you have asthma.
Theobromine helps to lower blood pressure due to the easier blood flow and also acts as a diuretic and smooth muscle relaxer  .
Increased flood flow from theobromine also means a greater amount of toxins that are cleaned out of your body. Studies have shown this could also potentially decrease risk of kidney stones, decrease onset effects of dementia, decrease risk of stroke, and help with similar brain diseases or blood vessel related dysfunction .
Yes! The host of theobromine benefits speak for themselves. When it comes to swapping out caffeine for theobromine, your body may thank you. Studies suggest consuming more than 400 mg of caffeine (4 cups of coffee worth) per day can be harmful , and theobromine offers a great swap option .
Roasted, ground, and brewed just like coffee, brewed cacao has the flavor and aroma of pure dark chocolate plus high levels of theobromine. While it brews like coffee, you get the benefits of cacao with 350mg of theobromine and just 15mg of caffeine per 8 oz cup. Brewed cacao also is becoming a popular alternative for coffee due to its significantly lower levels of acidity vs. coffee. Crio Bru brewd cacao is your best bet for great taste and high levels of theobromine. Learn more about the brewed cacao craze [here].
When it comes to natural sources of theobromine, cacao rules the roost. Brewed cacao and multiple servings of cacao powder are a great option to get more theobromine into your day.
Serving size for beverages= 1 cup or 8 oz. For Cacao Powder serving size = 1 tablespoon. For dark chocolate= 1.5 oz
Similar to brewed cacao, cacao powder is an excellent source of theobromine with 131 mg per tablespoon. Add two or three tablespoons of cacao powder into your favorite smoothie and you’re close to the same level of theobromine in brewed cacao. The less processed, the better when it comes to cacao powder. Navitas Organics is a good option.
Though often accompanied by processed cocoa and sugar to boot, these longtime sweet treat favorites still retain reasonable amounts of theobromine (58-65 mg) and trace amounts of caffeine (5 mg).
While a bit more more processed than brewed cacao and cacao powder, dark chocolate still retains high levels of theobromine. A 85% dark chocolate bar has 115 mg per 1.5 oz serving.
The leaf from the Yerba Mate tea also is relatively high in theobromine (33 mg) combined with higher levels of 80 mg) caffeine that gives a more balanced “natural energy cocktail.” Guayaki is the most popular brand.
Guayusa is a type of holly tree native to the Amazon rainforest that when brewed as a tea has both caffeine (70 mg) and Theobromine (40 mg). Runa Guayusa is one popular source.
Black tea has only trace amounts of theobromine (4 mg per 8 oz serving) and your body will likely not even pick up that it’s there.
That’s all there is to it! Try these food and beverage options to get more theobromine into your day and enjoy the “better energy” from a more natural, more honest energy source over caffeineReferences  Scholey, A. B., French, S. J., Morris, P. J., Kennedy, D. O., Milne, A. L., & Haskell, C. F. (2010).
Roasted, ground, and brewed just like coffee, brewed cacao has the amazing flavor and aroma of pure dark chocolate. While it brews like coffee, you get the benefits of cacao- a superfood prized by ancient cultures for its energizing and restorative properties.
Crio Bru’s brewed cacao beverage also has theobromine, a naturally occurring stimulant found in cacao that can be longer lasting, milder, and more pleasant than caffeine. Give it a try. Brew our 100% pure ground cacao in your French press or coffee maker, and your kitchen will have the aroma of pure dark chocolate heaven in no time.
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BREWS LIKE COFFEE | TASTES LIKE HEAVEN
Crio Bru is roasted, ground, and brewed just like coffee, but has the amazing flavor and aroma of pure dark chocolate.
SUPERFOOD PACKED WITH NUTRIENTS
Cacao is loaded with nutrients that can lower your acidity intake, boost your immune system, help you lose weight, and best of all help you feel great, increase focus, reduce stress, and sleep better.
Brewed cacao contains theobromine, a naturally occurring stimulant found in cacao that can be more longer lasting and more pleasant than caffeine.
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