Myprotein.com offered me to test one of their products: as a chocoholic, I chose a supplement called “Chocamine” out of curiosity.
“Chocamine is an extract of cocoa which has the same smell, taste and proven health benefits of chocolate without the unnecessary and often unhealthy ingredients (such as fat and sugar).”
Chocamine contains theobromine, theophylline and caffeine (with a high concentration of theobromine in relationship to theophylline and caffeine) and beneficial antioxidants.
Chocamine is supposed to stimulate and deliver cognitive support, without the edginess or jitters associated with other energy products.
What are the ingredients?
“This product is 100% Chocamine with nothing added or taken away.”
How to use it?
Scoop a bit of powder from the bag and mix it into any liquid.
The suggested quantity is no more than 500 mg (around half a teaspoon): “As a dietary supplement we recommend consuming 500 mg, once daily. Add 2 mini scoops (500 mg) to your preferred amount of water and consume immediately. Do not exceed daily recommended amount.”
How much caffeine does Chocamine contain?
Chocamine contains 40 mg caffeine per 500 mg serving. Half a teaspoon is thus the caffeine equivalent of half a coffee.
Here is a helpful graph to assess the caffeine content of different products:
The main boosting component of Chocamine isn’t caffeine, it’s actually theobromine, which is related to caffeine and delivers the same stimulant properties, but without the edginess usually associated with caffeine use.
What’s the difference between theobromine and caffeine?
Theobromine and caffeine are similar in that they are related alkaloids. I found the main difference is that theobromine isn’t as strong as caffeine but lasts longer. And according to Wikipedia: “Theobromine has a lesser impact on the human central nervous system than caffeine. Theobromine stimulates the heart to a greater degree. […] As it is a myocardial stimulant as well as a vasodilator, it increases heartbeat, and also dilates blood vessels, causing a reduced blood pressure.”
How does chocamine differ from 100% cocoa powder?
Chocamine is basically a cocoa extract. Chocamine is for people who want to get theobromine in more concentrated amounts. 1 gram of chocamine contains 120 mg of theobromine, whereas 1 gram of cocoa powder contains between 20 mg and 26 mg of theobromine (depending on the manufacturing process). But yes, in theory you could get the same effect by eating more good quality cocoa powder (preferably raw) or cocoa nibs.
Is it dangerous to take too much theobromine?
Yes, it could be toxic if you eat more than 26 mg per kg of body weight. If you’re a 60 kg woman, an ‘overdose’ would be eating more than 13 g of chocamine (more than a big tablespoon). But according to Wikipedia, it’s way more toxic for dogs than for humans. And as with any food, “the dose makes the poison”.
Taste & texture
Chocamine smells wonderful, but tastes like a sharp, astringent, strong powdery cocoa with a bitter aftertaste (making it hard to overdose, which is a good thing!). As a chocoholic and a big fan of 100% cocoa unsweetened chocolates (like Pralus or Lindt), I really don’t mind the strong flavor. The texture is a bit grainy but the product dissolves well when mixed with liquids.
What kind of effect does it have on me? The feeling is good – alert and energetic, but not totally wired and jittery like caffeine. Concentration is good, my mind feels clear, no ADHD-feelings.
I’ve used it in the morning mixed in unsweetened almond milk. 1 tsp has had a noticeable effect on my mood. I wonder if this is purely a psychological bias or if the dose of antioxidants actually has a “feel-good” effect that brightens my mood. It certainly doesn’t feel the same as drinking a Redbull (which I never drink) or a strong coffee. The “buzz” is much nicer, less intense but lasts longer.
■ The same properties of eating a dark chocolate bar, minus the sugar and fat
■ Energize the body, stimulate the mind, increase mental sharpness
■ Good for energy bursts. After about 15-30 min, you start getting that ‘switched on’ feeling in your head.
■ Good pre-workout
■ If you like anything dark chocolate you’ll like Chocamine despite the astringent taste
■ No sluggish ‘come-down’ like with plain caffeine
■ Help crush dark chocolate cravings!
■ Fun but not something I would use everyday. I think my tolerance would build and the effect would diminish.
■ I imagine you could get a crash at high dose, leading to high tension and adrenal fatigue.
■ Bitter taste if you’re more into milk chocolate than real dark chocolate.
■ You could try to get a similar effect using organic cocoa nibs.
I try to avoid caffeine when I don’t really need it, so I wouldn’t take Chocamine every day and before every workout. The ideal Chocamine supplement would contain only theobromine and antioxidants, but less or no caffeine.
I still keep Chocamine around and toss some in, especially when I feel “meh”. I somehow believe it gets me into a positive productive mindset, a bit like in the movie “Limitless” with Bradley Cooper… And I really need that kind of positive boost sometimes!