Monday, July 18, 2005

Chocolates….

I’m the odd one out in my family, they all crave for chocolates, ice – creams, candies, cakes etc. I don’t care much for any of these, my daughter has been spoilt by her grandparents and craves for chocolates at such an young age. Though I try to restrict, nothing works. But of late I notice she has high energy levels after eating them and never like to rest or sleep even around 12 in the night.

I strongly feel the chocolates and sugars are giving her the high energy level to keep playing endlessly. I searched the web for this information and found this article.
Excerpt from the article

There is a persistent urban legend that Chocolate contains caffeine. It would seem that this rumor is based primarily on confusion between two similar alkaloids: caffeine and Theobromine. Theobromine is the active ingredient in Chocolate and it occurs only in Cacao. The two stimulants are related and have similar structures, but are very different chemicals with different properties, effects and origins. There are of course, some Chocolate products that have added caffeine, but it does not occur naturally in Chocolate.

Effects of the two stimulants
Theobromine and caffeine are similarly constructed types of pharmacologically active chemicals metabolized by the liver. Both are stimulants but with very noticeably different effects:

Theobromine
gentle
mild effect
very slow onset
long lasting
50% in bloodstream after 6 to 10 hrs
increases feeling of well being
mild antidepressant
gentle, smooth, sensual stimulation
stimulates cardiovascular system
stimulates muscular system
mild effect on central nervous system
almost no one is allergic
not addictive
no withdrawal symptoms
mild diuretic
stimulates the the kidneys

CAFFEINE
intense
strong effect
fast acting
rapid dissipation
50% in bloodstream after 2 to 5 hrs
increases alertness
increases emotional stress
jagged, nervous stimulation
stimulates cardiovascular system
stimulates respiratory system
strong effect on central nervous system
many people allergic
physically addictive
many proven withdrawal symptoms
extreme diuretic
requires large intake of fluids to balance the diuretic effect

In both cases, smoking cigarettes accelerates the dissipation from the system.
Theobromine is a strong stimulant and was used by the Spanish to keep their armies going while conquering Central and South America. Chocolate (real Chocolate, not candy) can keep you up at night -- especially very young children (but that doesn't mean that it is caffeine). Nursing mothers who eat pure chocolate will find their children happy and wide awake several hours later.

Chocolate does not trigger Caffeine allergies. (Caffeine causes me an almost immediate migraine, while Theobromine, i have discovered eases (but doesn't eliminate, unfortunately) my migraines.) I have found that when i have tasted portions of a pure (70% or greater Cacao) Chocolate bar that is 100% from the Crillo variety i have had immediate, sharp headaches

There are a number of serious health problems associated with caffeine, most of which have not been associated with Theobromine:
• Large quantities of Caffeine have shown decreased sperm counts in rats.
• Well controlled studies have suggested that 2% of miscarriages could be due to Caffeine in coffee.
• Dehydration headaches -- Most headaches (estimates range from 50% to 90%) are caused by dehydration, and one of the primary causes of dehydration in the USA is the large quantity of Caffeine that most people consume. (Caffeine laden drinks like CocaCola and Coffee don't quench your thirst, they actually increase it!)
• Heart trouble
• Stress
There are several minor psycoactive chemicals in Chocolate as well as Theobromine: Phenylethylamine, Theophylline, Tele-methylhistamine Phenyethylamine, affects mood swings by causing an initial emotional high then a short time later an emotional low. It causes blood pressure and blood-sugar levels to rise, resulting in a feeling of alertness and contentment.
It was once thought that Tea contained large amounts of Theophylline, however it turns out that Tea contains significantly more amounts of caffeine than theophylline.

13 Comments:

Blogger TJ said...

chocolates give a lot of energy. i have felt it.
another point, in young age, lot of chocolates means, more prone to teeth cavities. Thus it would always be better to go for other way of keeping children active.

1:38 PM  
Blogger Vivhyd said...

af.. thts a lot of research into this and so much info..hmm.. well it is well known that chocolate increases energy levels and actually seems to make everyone happy.. that explains the anti depressant nature of the chemical.. but as tj says.. too much of it will probably spoil the teeth.. infact the chocolate milk here.. too much of tht and teeth would go for a toss I guess..

6:38 AM  
Blogger Vinesh said...

Oh no dont say this - I'm addicted to chocolate :-(

10:17 AM  
Blogger IBH said...

I dont like chocolate either...but am addicted to coffee :(

1:00 PM  
Blogger Narayanan Venkitu said...

Super research. My younger one has a bad sweet tooth, too hard to control her..but we are managing.

Dark Chocolates are good I've heard. Also your research here totally contradicts what I've heard..and that is Chocalates will make you go to sleep faster ( maybe in smaller quantities).

6:26 PM  
Blogger nin said...

its true....chocolates are the high source of energy....
tomorrow i will buy more...

7:59 AM  
Blogger PVS said...

Chocolates :)) my favourites

5:17 PM  
Blogger Kevin Jackson said...

Well, this is interesting. I did a blog search for coffee caffeine content and found your site. When I get some time I'll come back and find out where coffee caffeine content appears and how it relates - if it even does. Take care - nice work.

9:46 AM  
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