Is chocolate causing your dysphoria?
Coffee and Chocolate are both high in caffeine, the stimulant blocking adenosine receptors, Cacao also contains theobromine, also a nervous system stimulant that possesses the same structural characteristics as caffeine. So does chocolate have the same effect as coffee; is it as addictive, and what are the side effects?
Caffeine is highly water soluble, peaks in the blood 30–40 minutes after ingestion, and has a half-life of 2.5–5 hours, while theobromine is fat soluble, attains peak blood concentrations 2–3 hours after ingestion, and has an estimated half-life of 7 –12 hours. (Drouillard et al. 1978; Lelo et al. 1986; Mumford et al. 1996; Tarka and Cornish 1982)
Caffeine and Theobromine possess similar structural characteristics, both are central nervous system stimulants, and both possess the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and bind to adenosine receptors. So does the presence of theobromine in foods effect mood and vigilance the same way caffeine does?
1 cup of dry, unsweetened cocoa powder contains 198 milligrams of caffeine, or 12 grams per tablespoon. It’s not a lot but for those with caffeine sensitivity, the effects can compound.
In a controlled study theobromine administered in moderate doses may contribute to positive effects of chocolate: mood, alertness, and vigilance. However at higher intakes, the effects became negative, as subjects reported feeling Dysphoric and dissatisfied in specific measurement criteria. The most noteworthy effects of theobromine were on heart rate and blood pressure. (University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23420115
Read the full study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3672386/