Saturday, June 18, 2022

Power of chemicals

Why do we like chocolate? I found out the hard way some months ago. For health reasons, having made the decision to forego the pleasures of alcohol and caffeine on a regular basis, I turned to a harmless substitute for my coffee habit in the form of a cocoa drink.

I decided on pure cocoa powder used in baking and readily available in grocery stores. The rationale used was to avoid the sugar laden chocolate drinks where the sugar can be quite addictive.

And it worked. I used a teaspoon of cocoa powder in my hot drinks on a regular basis during the day and had no craving for coffee.

Over a period of months, this seemed to be a good way of getting around caffeine, but something happened: I began to wake up in the early morning hours with vague feelings of undefined anxieties

It got worse over time and I finally began to ask myself why people, including me, are so fond of chocolate?.

Some quick online research provided the answer: “Theobromine” (food of the gods) is the primary alkaloid in the cocoa bean and present at ten times the concentration of that in a typical chocolate product.

So, I had simply substituted one alkaloid (Theobromine) for another (Caffeine) with a slow buildup in my tissues. And it literally created a threatening world around me.

The symptoms disappeared two days after I quit the cocoa drink routine and used hot water instead.

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