Theobromine vs Caffeine

Does chocolate naturally contain caffeine? Not really!

The truth is that chocolate, which is made from cacao beans contains just trace amounts of caffeine. What people get confused with and conveniently call it caffeine, is theobromine, a much more mild and even healthy stimulant. Theobromine is a natural stimulant found in cacao beans but it has very different properties from caffeine, and it is worth comparing.

Theobromine is a stimulant, but has a more mild effect and is more long lasting. Thus theobromine doesn’t have a “crash” or cause you to have “withdrawals”. It isn’t even considered to be addictive (although you will find Choffy is because of how it tastes and how it makes you feel when you have it).

Wikipedia has a good list of uses of theobromine in the past, including treatment for circulatory problems, edema, and heart related symptoms.

Some people think that theobromine just turns into caffeine in your body. FALSE! Caffeine actually gets broken down (metabolized) to 10% theobromine and then 90% other stuff.

Also, don’t be concerned that theobromine contains “bromine” because it doesn’t! The name comes from the genus for the cacao tree, Theobroma.

So the next time someone says that chocolate contains caffeine you’ll be ready to enlighten them on theobromine. And make them a cup of Choffy while you’re at it!

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4 Responses to Theobromine vs Caffeine

  1. Jen says:

    I’m not saying I disagree, but even the labels on candy will sometimes give a caffeine content for chocolate. Isn’t it illegal to lie on nutrition labels?

    • Hi Jen, good question! Actually lots of candy manufacturers add caffeine to chocolate. This of course helps sales because of caffeine’s potential to be addictive and they get away with it because of this common misperception that chocolate already has caffeine in it.

  2. Michelle says:

    How many mg of theobromine are there in an 8oz cup of choffy?

  3. Pingback: 15 Things You Should Know About Caffeine (and Why Switch to Choffy) | Choffy – Brewed Chocolate

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