Theobromine – A Great Nootropic Alternative to Caffeine

Photo Courtesy of Eddi Van W., on

Photo Courtesy of Eddi Van W., on

Experimenting with Theobromine over the last month, I can confidently say that it’s a great alternative, for mental energy and alertness, to caffeine. 

I went through the dreaded caffeine withdrawal last month. And it was just that, dreaded. This time, unlike other times when I cycled off of the nootropic drug caffeine (because technically, that’s what it is), the withdrawal lasted 4 days.

4 terrible days of headaches, fatigue, and brain fog. On day 4, I was so bent out of shape, that I actually sublingually dosed Adrafinil to get my brain functioning well again. And it worked! So that was great.

But one problem remained: how was I going to get that mental energy and alertness that caffeine brought into play?

I mean sure, I could just take the Cortex nootropic stack, Modafinil, ALCAR, or any number of other nootropic compounds, but I was looking for something comparable and new.

Enter Theobromine

Theobromine falls into “xanthing alkaloid class,” that derives from the cacao plant, and is considered a central nervous stimulant. It’s also one of the major constituents of most pieces of chocolate everyday people eat, which may be responsible partially for some of the “buzz” one might get from eating chocolate, and may contribute to our capacity to get addicted to it.

But what makes it particularly wakefulness and alertness promoting is the fact that like caffeine, it is an adenosine receptor antagonist. This means, that theobromine binds to the neurotransmitter receptor adenosine, does not activate it, but blocks adenosine itself from reaching said receptors, therefore increasing mental alertness. Caffeine has the same mechanism of action, but Theobromine is actually a bit more subtle, and supposedly longer lasting.


Also, similar to the nootropic compound Artichoke Extract, which we put in the first generation of Cortex (Gen 1), Theobromine increases cAMP, which is derived from ATP and improves mental energy function. In terms of brain performance benefits, this makes it a multi-faceted nootropic compound.

My experiences with Theobromine have been super positive. It lasts longer than caffeine, doesn’t give me an anxious feeling, and starts working quite quickly after administration. 

The dose on Theobromine differs between people. Generally, 100-200MG is a good starting point, and then working your way to your sweet spot from there.

The standard dosage, on the bag of Theobromine I snagged from a US vendor (will explain below) is 500MG, but that’d probably be a bit too much for me.

In my experience (and therefore, with my brain), 200 MG orally works quite well, which I can achieve the same response from with 100MG sublingually.

Sublingual administration, or putting the compound under your tongue until it dissolves, guarantees that it reaches your blood a lot quicker, and for some people, the onset will be more pronounced.

What it’s good for

Theobromine is wonderful for writing. I am writing this article as we speak, with Theobromine sparking my neurons to fire faster, making my brain work better.

When I have conversations with people, having dosed with Theobromine, I have the leg up on speed of processing and thus, verbal fluency.

When I’m out in the wild, running my companies, my brain works quicker in reaction to the multitude of daily curveballs that get thrown at me.

Theobromine is good for improving mental energy, for a myriad of tasks. If you’re a mom, waking up in the morning and tending to your children, Theobromine can help give your brain the alertness you need.

If you’re a corporate ladder climber, moving your way up the ranks, and trying to get the very best performance out of yourself, Theobromine can help you do the job right. 

If you’re a college student, and you’re working on an essay, you’re studying, or working on an assignment, Theobromine will give you that extra mental energy and alertness to get the job done quicker.

Where can I get Theobromine? 

Well – many places, but the easiest, if you’re in the US, is a company called Powder City (no affil, conspiracy theorists).

I snagged a 10G bag from these guys for incredibly cheap, and shipping was quite quick, with the lowest priced USPS shipping option.

You can also grab a bag of Theobromine on (no affil), and have it shipped to you relatively quickly.

And guess where else? Well – if you’re into drinking tea, you can find Theobromine in the wonderfully energizing Yerba Mate.

This is a tea made from a plant in Brazil, that is comparable to caffeine, and provides an interestingly energizing brain buzz, that’s quite pleasurable.

And lastly, there is a good quantity of Theobromine in chocolate 🙂

But – all things considered, drinking Yerba Mate, eating chocolate, and orally/sublingually consuming Theobromine, I’ve found it to be most effective taking pure powder.

But is it better than caffeine?

Well – yes and no. And you might rightly be able to kick your caffeine habit for some Theobromine. In my experience, it provides a longer lasting mental energy. It seems to last 6-8 + hours for me, and allows my brain to work just that much faster, when I need it.

It’s particularly effective for cerebral work. Work that you need your brain for, which requires a good amount of mental output.

Compared to caffeine, it’s actually a lot more subtle. It’s pleasantly energizing, but doesn’t JOLT you into robot mode like a few cups of coffee might.

I actually feel like in addition to speeding my brain up, it actually makes things work better. This is why, in conjunction with how it works on Adenosine receptors, I see Theobromine as a nootropic compound.

Have experience with Theobromine?

If you’ve got something to contribute to this article, throw it in the comments section! Link your references if you can, for all of our readers, and I look forward to seeing what you’ve got to say about it.

Thanks for reading! Now go get yourself some Theobromine. See how you fare with it!


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