Once the sacramental drug of choice amongst the ancient Mayans and Aztec God-Kings, theobroma cacao, or cocoa, is one of the most versatile health promoting and mood enhancing substances at our disposal. Traditionally drunk as a cold and bitter brew, cacao contains a cocktail of psychotropic alkaloids (yes, some are cannabanoid-like), amines, amino acids, minerals and anti-oxidants. Theobromine, the alkaloid from which cacao gets its scientific name, is largely responsible for many positive health and mood benefits. In its modern incarnation cacao is refined, combined with copious sugar and fat and called chocolate. Delicious as it may be, chocolate nowadays is more iconic of gluttony than it is for promoting vital existence, libido and inspiration.
The resurgence of interest and availability of superfoods means various raw forms of cacao have been readily available for some time. Many of which are great as an anti-oxidant and mineral boost without all the calories in commercial chocolate. However, I’d like to suggest something further: Chocamine a highly concentrated extract of cacao. Chocamine’s reputation as a party product in my opinion far undersells it as a performance enhancing and fat burning compound. The high concentration of theobromine in chocamine acts as a powerful vasodilator (opens up blood vessels and capillaries), improving oxygen and nutrient transport throughout the body. Moreover, the stimulant qualities are much cleaner than coffee and far gentler on the central nervous system. Combined with the positive effect theobromine has on mood and motivation you would be hard pressed to find a better pre-workout formula, cognitive supplement or sexual aid for that matter.
If you want to play around with chocamine for it’s fat burning effects or a simple pre-exercise pick me up try ½ tsp to a 1 tsp on an empty stomach half an hour before activity. Like all things sensitivity varies from person to person, you may need more, maybe less but generally starting with ½ tsp and working up seems to be right for most. This dose will naturally get your endorphin levels up, open up capillaries and help liberate stored body fat. Do this early in the day and you should find your mood and concentration stays elevated for hours. For something a little stronger try combining the same dose with a small espresso and a dash of cinnamon. This is something a natural bodybuilder shared with me a little while back as a trick to suppress appetite whilst dieting. You don’t want to overdo it; one a day just prior to cardio is all you’ll need. If you’re on a reduced carbohydrate diet or craving sweet things you’ll notice this really helps, probably due to effects chocamine has on dopamine levels in the brain.
(HHS Geelong, Vic)