Bali is great for a lot of things, including their dark chocolate.
But I was curious… what makes one feel so good after it? Caffeine?
It turns out there is little to no caffeine in chocolate (but try getting the internet to agree with that).
There are, however, other stimulants involved, and I think that’s where the confusion stems.
Caffeine belongs to a group of alkaloids collectively known as Xanthines. Three of these Xanthines are stimulants; caffeine, theobromine and xanthine.
And when you eat chocolate, you’re getting a dose of the latter two.
Image Credit: Wikipedia
If you look at the table above, and note where each of the Xanthines are found, they all come from some of the most popular plant based substances today…
- Yerba Mate (well, popular if you’re on the continent of South America)
It’s no wonder Coca Cola originally took off. Combining a xanthine based stimulant, the kola nut, with another powerful stimulant, the coca leaf, makes for a pretty addictive substance (the recipe for Coca Cola is very different now however).
And all the plants above were used in ceremonies for thousands of years.
Way before people knew about the compounds within them.
They just knew their effects, and used them to reach different levels of consciousness + help with fatigue.