The cacao bean is a source of cocoa and chocolate and is a powerhouse of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. People used Cacao in ancient times for medicinal and healing purposes. In modern times, researchers have associated it with many health benefits, including alleviating low mood and improving brain cognition and focus.
Raw cacao is the source of cocoa and chocolate, and it contains unique compounds like antioxidants that contribute to its medicinal and relaxing potential.
Cacao drink on its own is loaded with health and performance benefits, but you can also enjoy more benefits with the addition of high-quality biohacker ingredients like mushroom extract.
Discuss with your doctor or nutritionist before making diet changes to ensure you are good to go.
A sweet gist is that you can level up your cacao drink and improve its quality for better health and performance by adding certain ingredients like mushroom extracts.
Read on to learn more about the benefits of cacao drinks and how to biohack your cacao drink recipe for improved effects.
Biohacking: It involves various means of optimizing your biology and environment to improve your health, boost physical performance, and increase creativity and productivity. It can be anything from dietary changes and supplements to using advanced technology to track health data.
Biohacker: Biohackers are people who want to improve their brain and body function by ‘hacking’ their biology and environment.
Benefits of cacao-based drinks
Raw cacao powder used to make cacao drinks has many health benefits. Some of those benefits are discussed below.
Raw cacao contains antioxidants called flavanols (for example, epicatechin and catechin). Flavanol-containing foods and drinks have health benefits, including improved digestive health, heart protection, protective effects for the heart, brain, and immune system, reduced stress, and improved cognitive function.
Researchers conducted a study involving 90 participants to evaluate the effect of daily consumption of flavanol-rich cocoa (from raw cacao beans) drinks for eight weeks on cognitive function in older adults with early memory decline. They found that cognitive performance was improved without relevant side effects.
Cacao also contains caffeine, theobromine (a mild stimulant and bronchodilator), and nutrients.
Nutrients in raw cacao include:
A biohacker’s cacao drink recipe
You can improve the quality of your cacao drink by using this recipe Teemu Arina (co-author of the Biohacker’s Handbook) recommended in the 2022 Biohacker Summit for the cacao bliss feeling and improved brain performance.
Ingredients - Upgraded Ceremonial Cacao Drink
- 2 tbsp Flow Cacao (or cacao powder of your choice).
- 1 tbsp nut butter.
- 1 tbsp Coconut Manna (coconut milk, MCT oil, coconut powder, coconut oil).
- 1 ml KAPPA Lion’s Mane Mushroom extract.
- 1 ml Reishi mushroom tincture .
- 1 ml cordyceps mushroom extract tincture.
- Juniper syrup as the sweetener.
- 200-300 ml hot water.
- Add the cacao powder and the other ingredients to the blender, then add water and blend at full speed for 20-30 seconds.
- Pour into a cup and sprinkle the top with a pinch of vanilla.
A closer look at some ingredients
The Flow cacao powder contains cacao powder, coconut milk powder, coconut sugar, supermaca, reishi extract, lion's mane extract, cordyceps extract, licorice, root powder, vanilla extract powder, chocamine (theobromine extract), curcumin, Ceylon cinnamon, cardamom, sunflower lecithin, and sea salt.
Teemu Arina explained that one cup of this cacao is like drinking five cups of regular cacao powder. These nutrients are helpful to the brain.
Flow cacao is suitable for keto or low-carb diets due to its low carbohydrate content.
KAPPA Lion’s Mane Mushroom extract
This mushroom extract is a nootropic that improves mental performance in healthy individuals and can boost memory, focus, and creativity. It contains hericenones and erinacines, which are nerve growth factors that stimulate brain activity.
The other ingredients also have beneficial effects to improve the quality of your cacao drink.
Cacao has been used since ancient times for its health benefits. It is rich in antioxidants, theobromine, and nutrients like iron and potassium. The unique compounds in cacao make it a suitable drink for relaxation, increased awareness, better creativity, and reduced stress. You can improve the quality of your cacao drink for better health and cognitive performance with natural ingredients from the biohacker’s recipe recommended in this piece.
- AHA Journals. Benefits in Cognitive Function, Blood Pressure, and Insulin Resistance Through Cocoa Flavanol Consumption in Elderly Subjects With Mild Cognitive Impairment.
- SpringerLink. Flavanols: digestion, absorption, and bioactivity.
- Frontiers. The relevance of theobromine for the beneficial effects of cocoa consumption.
- Taylor & Francis Online. Hericenones and erinacines: stimulators of nerve growth factor (NGF) biosynthesis in Hericium Erinaceus