Ever wonder why so many people are infatuated with chocolate? It may be more than just the taste.
Excluding Rx or illegal drugs, caffeine and theobromine are the most common central nervous system stimulants you may encounter. In fact, because of their inclusion in many popular products, you may consume far more of them than you would prescription stimulants. Caffeine, the far more common of the two, constitutes an ingredient in soft drinks, tea, coffee, diet pills and other products. Theobromine you will most often consume in chocolate, since it commonly occurs in cacao, the base substance of chocolate. While caffeine and Theobromine may produce similar effects, they are very different when it comes to the effects within your body!
Caffeine stimulates your central nervous system. For this reason, many people use it, particularly in drinks, to wake themselves up and make themselves feel more alert. You also can take it straight as over-the-counter anti-sleep aids. This stimulation of your central nervous system has a side benefit of causing you to feel less hungry. For this reason, manufacturers often include caffeine in weight loss products.
Like caffeine, theobromine can help pick you up, and keep you more alert and awake. Its effects occur in a similar manner to caffeine. Unless chocolate makers specifically add caffeine to chocolate, the candy does not naturally have caffeine in it. The boost you get from eating chocolate comes from theobromine. Eating a small amount of chocolate may refresh you, but eating large amounts may cause side effects as well as weight gain.
Supplementing theobromine without the calories is a better way to go. Theobromine is responsible for the "feel good" effects (relaxation, and even a libido boost in some) in chocolate. It all starts to make sense now doesn't it? It also helps with cramps!
Like caffeine, theobromine crosses the blood-brain barrier and binds to adenosine receptors, suggesting it might share caffeine's beneficial effects on mood and vigilance. Theobromine and caffeine both help to shed excess water, lower appetite, promote wakefulness,both burn fat and improve mood.