Dr. Andy’s Desk: Calm Chocolate: How Does it Work?

Dr. Andy’s Desk: Calm Chocolate: How Does it Work?

Before people believe it for themselves, GDC consumers often wonder how a chocolate supplement can help them calm down. Let's take a look.

Breathe in, 1, 2, 3. Breathe out, 1, 2, 3… now don’t you feel more relaxed? There are many ways to help your body calm down during stressful moments, and our calm chocolate is one of them. We developed calm chocolate to help you take the stress out of your day. For me, after a stressful day, 3-4 pieces of calm chocolate help my shoulders relax and my head clear. 


How exactly does our Calm chocolate work its magic?

We use a combination of l-theanine and chamomile flower mixed with fair trade milk chocolate to give you the benefit of a relaxing treat.


 What is L-Theanine?

L-theanine is an amino acid. You may remember hearing about amino acids in a science class growing up, or from any nutritional articles you’ve read. We get most of our amino acids from eating proteins, and amino acids are the building blocks of all of the proteins and many of the cellular functions in our bodies. 

L-theanine is special in that it can actually reach your brain to have it’s impact. Not all substances that we eat can do that. Structurally, L-theanine is very similar to two neurotransmitters (chemicals) that help regulate our brain and behavior: Glutamate, and it’s cousin GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter, meaning it helps calm the brain’s activity, and it is thought that L-Theanine works through similar pathways. 


L-Theanine Effects

In this fashion, l-theanine can help reduce anxiety and stress, and lead to greater amounts of relaxation. L-theanine may also help us focus by calming the brain down, and working through an entirely different chemical pathway to help improve concentration. This effect may be enhanced when combining l-theanine with caffeine. L-theanine is not sedating in it’s effect, but by calming you down, it may also help you fall asleep or get better quality sleep. 


What is Chamomile?

Chamomile is a flower with a long history as an herbal remedy going back 2500 years to ancient Greece. Chamomile is made up of more that one hundred individual components, including a lot of flavonoids - healthy plant based compounds that often have an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effect. Coincidentally, flavonoids are also found in chocolate. It is through these flavonoids that chamomile likely has its impact.


Chamomile Flower Effects

These compounds can bind to brain cell receptors called benzodiazepines, which (like GABA receptors noted above) can induce a relaxing, calming effect. It is through these pathways that chamomile works to reduce anxiety and stress. This is why chamomile has been helping humans for so long.

So now that you understand how our Calm chocolate works, go ahead and enjoy a tasty treat that gives you the additional benefit of helping you relax, and easing the stress and tension of your day!