Theobromine: Everything You Need To Know

Theobroma Cacao literally translates to ‘Food of the Gods’ and theobromine is one of the many reasons why! Cacao is an important part of Indigeous culture in South America and is used ceremonially due to its energising and euphoric effects. 

Whilst theobromine is classified as a stimulant, unlike caffeine it doesn’t activate the central nervous system. The two alkaloids share a very similar molecular structure, but the extra methyl group in caffeine causes over-stimulation, whereas theobromine can’t cross the blood-brain barrier to interfere with our nerves! 

Instead it opens blood vessels, acting as a vasodilator. This increases blood flow to cells and organs, including the heart and brain. It simultaneously uplifts energy whilst relaxing smooth muscles of the body like the digestive tract. 

As a stimulant caffeine gives the body a sudden short-lived burst of energy, followed by a crash. Although we don’t like to admit it, this is a huge contributor to feelings anxiety which could be lessened if we lowered our intake! Unfortunately, our brains can become “addicted to this vicious cycle, even though it proves time after time to be counter-intuitive.”

Because theobromine doesn’t cross the brain-blood barrier, it isn’t addictive unlike caffeine. Instead it provides a feeling of contented wellbeing, enhancing memory, cognitive performance and creativity. Studies show theobromine also improves sleep quality and since cacao contains high amounts of magnesium it is a great alternative to addictive stimulants which disrupt healthy sleep patterns!

This week we’re partnering with Milk Lab to deliver delicious Sacred Cacao to PWC’s The Outside wellness event. It’s a chance for the community to experience the incredible benefits of cacao. If you want to learn more, see our previous article The Sacred Coffee Alternative.


Shop Sacred Cacao here!

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Article by Laura Roberts
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