Many people choose to get their morning started by drinking a hot cup of coffee. Caffeine helps you feel alert and ready to take on the day. However, there is also a healthier alternative that offers similar benefits to coffee. This stimulant is known as "theobromine," as it's available in dark chocolate and other supplements. Understanding the differences between caffeine and theobromine is important in helping you decide which is the best choice for you.
Theobromine was initially discovered in cocoa beans in the 1840s. It's also been found in various other items, such as black tea, yerba mate, and different types of tea. However, theobromine is often consumed in dark chocolate, as it provides effects similar to caffeine. Research shows that theobromine and caffeine bind to the central nervous system in a similar fashion, but the binding is subtler for theobromine than caffeine.
A subtler binding means that you won't experience the same type of nervousness associated with drinking too much coffee. You also most likely won't experience the same type of energy crash, which is a major benefit of theobromine. Ultimately, the energy gained from theobromine is less intense and's longer-lasting compared to caffeine. Additional benefits of theobromine include an improvement in blood flow and better breathing if you are suffering from a cough, as it helps to relax smooth muscle tissue. Recent evidence also shows that theobromine can help reduce inflammation due to its antioxidants.
There are supplement brands, such as XEED Labs, that have formulated excellent supplements that give you theobromine-like effects. Xeed Focus for example, combines natural ingredients and stimulants to promote an alert state of mind without causing any of the negative effects that caffeine might give you.
Natural Sources of Caffeine
Caffeine stimulates your heart, muscles, and central nervous system, as it's the most common stimulant available to purchase. Natural caffeine is found in various food sources, such as leaves, nuts, seeds, and numerous plants across South America, East Asia, and Africa. The coffee plant is one of the most well-known sources of caffeine, as it's widely available in soda, tea, and pills.
Benefits of Caffeine
One of the main advantages of caffeine is that it helps to combat drowsiness, which is especially beneficial for waking up early in the morning or trying to stay up late at night. Coffee is one of the most popular morning beverages due to these benefits. How much caffeine in coffee is dependent on a variety of factors, as one cup usually has around 95 mg of caffeine. On the other hand, the amount of caffeine in five-hour energy type drinks can range up to 230 mg of caffeine. All of this caffeine can help to reduce your appetite, as it's a common ingredient in many different weight loss products.
Downside of Caffeine
While natural sources of caffeine offer many benefits, it also has a few downsides. For example, too much caffeine can make you feel nervous or jittery. Drinking too much coffee late in the day can also make it difficult to fall asleep and feel well-rested in the morning. You may also feel more agitated if you drink too much coffee or energy drinks. And studies have shown that caffeine dehydrates the body. Keeping all of these different things in mind is important to avoid consuming too much caffeine.
Should You Switch to Theobromine?
Doing the extra research for comparing natural sources of caffeine compared to theobroma is important in helping you make the healthiest decision for yourself. Theobromine is much less addictive than caffeine, and it doesn't have as many unpleasant side effects unless you consume a large amount. Theobroma cacao is naturally found in tropical regions, as it's a cocoa extract that's one of the key sources of theobromine. Consuming theobromine is especially beneficial for people who don't enjoy the taste of coffee, as it offers similar benefits and tastes more similar to hot chocolate.
Understanding the differences between theobromine vs. caffeine is essential in helping you find the best morning pick me up. These natural stimulant offers many benefits while also providing a few downsides. Most people aren't as familiar with theobromine, as it can provide additional benefits similar to coffee with less of a risk for feeling nervous. Theobromine is also available in supplement form, as it's an excellent option for anyone looking to experience the benefits of natural stimulants without all of the drawbacks of consuming too much caffeine.