NOOTROPICS 201: More About The Cocoa Bean

As you know, Chocolate – and it’s source, the Cocoa Bean – contains a multitude of compounds that are good for you. We'll focus on three that have a substantial impact on mood: Theobromine, Phenylethylamine (or PEA), and Anandamide. Extract of Cocoa Bean, which you already know is in AVA, has an abundance of each.

Theobromine’s reputation is well-known in Silicon Valley circles where it is used as an alternative to caffeine. Theobromine provides an energy lift and increases focus. It works in a similar way to caffeine, targeting and blocking the adenosine receptors, which increases alertness. But it lasts longer than caffeine, is easier on the nervous system, and has a more subtle effect.

Although Theobromine can be found in other plants, such as tea (Yerba Mate is a great source of Theobromine, for example) Cocoa Bean contains more than any other source. Because of it’s soothing effect on muscles and the nervous system, Theobromine provides a lift without the jitters.

Next up is Phenethylamine or PEA. PEA stimulates the nervous system and triggers the release of endorphins. PEA also potentiates the activity of dopamine. But PEA is most popular for its ability to mimic the feelings we get when we are falling in love. Levels of PEA in the body increase during periods of romance. In fact, levels of PEA rise in the body during sex and when we achieve orgasm.

Speaking of orgasms, you may have heard that AVA is an orgasm enhancer. And what you’ve heard is correct – and it works for both men and women. But don’t just take our word for it. Pop a AVA, settle in with your beloved – even if your beloved is just you – and give it a try. We promise you won’t be disappointed.

Finally, let’s talk about Anandamide. A neurotransmitter, it is called the “bliss molecule,” named for ananda, the Sanskrit word for joy, bliss, or happiness. It has both anti-anxiety and antidepressant properties because it stimulates neurogenesis, or the formulation of new nerve cells. In fact, Anandamide is linked to the euphoric ‘runner's high’ experienced by athletes – which sounds like the feeling of dancing for hours after taking AVA.

It has been thought for years that many of us craved chocolate because our bodies needed magnesium. However, chocolate contains Anandamide. Because it already exists in the brain, Eating chocolate results in a ‘net gain’ of Anandamide. This results in the feelings of bliss – and may explain the cravings. However, it is a fragile neurotransmitter, and the effect doesn’t last forever. Guess you’ll have to eat more chocolate – or more AVA.

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