What is Theobromine?

what is theobromine

Raise your hand if you have any idea what theobromine is and why we care about it.  Stop it, put your hand down.  It’s really unlikely that any of our readers are familiar with this substance.  Theobromine is one of Vaxxen’s new favorite supplements to use in our products.  Fulcrum utilizes Theobromine and if you have been using our Fulcrum product but still didn’t know what theobromine was, shame on you.  You need to spend time researching each and every substance that you put in to your body so that you don’t have some sort of undesired reaction after mixing a couple of supplements.  More importantly, especially if you’re using something from another vendor, you need to be aware of what’s going in to your pre and post workout supplements because “blends” aren’t always as honest as they appear.

Why Theobromine?

Theobromine is often used in conjunction with light doses of caffeine and is sometimes used to replace caffeine entirely [1].  Caffeine effects the central nervous system and can cause heart palpitations for those that are super sensitive.  Theobromine can technically cause these same heart tremors, but it is far more uncommon and no more dangerous.

Much like caffeine, theobromine crosses the blood-brain barrier which means it has the same, if not stronger, effects as caffeine when it comes to alertness, mood, and vigilance.  Using theobromine in your pre workout supplementation will help your body rise to the occasion of the heavy beating you’re about to self-induce at the gym or once you put on your running shoes.

Where Theobromine Comes From

More than likely, you unknowingly ingest theobromine on a regular basis.  Are you a chocolate fan?  Do you drink tea?  Both chocolate and tea are loaded with theobromine.  The common misconception is that both chocolate and tea are loaded with caffeine.  While it’s true that some traces of caffeine are found in most types of tea leaves, no caffeine is found in chocolate unless it’s artificially inserted.  So, in the case of the tea leaves, theobromine compliments the caffeine and vice-versa, leading to the same sudden awakening (and crash) that you’d inherit from coffee ingestion.  In the case of chocolate, the theobromine will provide you with the boost you’re familiar with but to be honest, most of us would get sick from consuming the amount of chocolate we’d need to consume to actually realize the effects!

Theobromine in Fitness

Theobromine is a 100% natural substance.  There has been no study finding theobromine to have negative results or side effects in people who dose regularly.  Those who have preexisting heart conditions and have been urged by physicians to avoid caffeine should also avoid theobromine.  Sticking to the label recommendations for pure theobromine supplementation is a must as you do not wish to cause nausea or unnecessary heart risks.  Much like caffeine, there is no inherent requirement for theobromine consumption.  Using theobromine as a replacement for caffeine has been found to be just as effective in hunger suppression, resulting in weight loss promotion [2].


  1. Eva Martínez-Pinilla,1,* Ainhoa Oñatibia-Astibia,2 and Rafael Franco3
    The relevance of theobromine for the beneficial effects of cocoa consumption
    Front Pharmacol. 2015; 6: 30.
    Published online 2015 Feb 20. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2015.00030
  2. Rafael Franco,1,2,* Ainhoa Oñatibia-Astibia,1 and Eva Martínez-Pinilla1
    Health Benefits of Methylxanthines in Cacao and Chocolate
    Nutrients. 2013 Oct; 5(10): 4159–4173.
    Published online 2013 Oct 18. doi: 10.3390/nu5104159
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *