Cup of coffee with smoke and coffee beans on black background

A new study adds additional scientific confirmation that combining Cocoa with coffee has numerous cognitive benefits over coffee alone. That’s a combination found in my Bomb Proof Coffee recipe I designed several years ago, and for some, yours truly included, if it’s not Bomb Proof Coffee, it’s just not coffee. For those who want the recipe, the science, etc go HERE. Onto this study…
Cocoa (cacao) Beans On Natural Wooden TableThe study, which was a randomized, placebo-controlled crossover design, found the combination of coffee and cocoa superior  and found  what appears to be some synergistic effects. The added ingredients of Bomb Proof Coffee should be yet additive benefits:

Note: for those who want the non “hard” science version via the study below, here’s a good summary via IFLScience:

One Delicious Combination Will Boost Attention Better Than Any Other Drink, Says Study:

Researchers from Clarkson University and the University of Georgia studied the effects of caffeinated and non-caffeinated brewed cocoa on attention span, motivation to perform cognitive work, and feelings of anxiety, energy, and fatigue. Their results, showed the combination of fatigue-fighting coffee and anxiety-reducing cocoa was the best combination for boosting attention span.”


Acute effects of brewed cocoa consumption on attention, motivation to perform cognitive work and feelings of anxiety, energy and fatigue: a randomized, placebo-controlled crossover experiment



Acute effects of caffeinated and non-caffeinated cocoa on mood, motivation, and cognitive function are not well characterized. The current study examined the acute influence of brewed cocoa, alone and with supplemental caffeine, on attention, motivation to perform cognitive tasks and energy and fatigue mood states.


A randomized, double-blinded, within-subjects crossover trial was conducted with four 473-milliliter brewed beverage treatments: cocoa, caffeinated cocoa (70 milligrams caffeine total), placebo (flavored and colored brewed water) and positive control (placebo plus 66 milligrams caffeine, “caffeine alone”). Participants (n = 24) were low consumers of polyphenols without elevated feelings of energy. Before and three times after beverage consumption, a 26-minute battery was used to assess motivation to perform cognitive tasks, mood and attention (serial subtractions of 3 and 7, the continuous performance task, and the Bakan dual task) with a 10-minute break between each post-consumption battery. The procedure was repeated with each beverage for each participant at least 48 h apart and ±30 min the same time of day. Data were evaluated using Treatment X Time analysis of covariance controlling for hours of prior night’s sleep.


Compared to placebo, cocoa reduced overall false alarm errors progressively across time with 0.92, 1.44 and 2.35 fewer false alarms on average 22–48, 60–86 and 98–124 min post-consumption (η 2 = 0.08, p = 0.019). Caffeinated cocoa: (i) attenuated the anxiety-provoking effects of cognitive testing found after drinking caffeine alone (η 2 = 0.064, p = 0.038), and (ii) increased accuracy (η 2 = 0.085, p = 0.01) and reduced omission errors (η 2 = 0.077, p = 0.016) on the Bakan primary task compared to cocoa alone.


Brewed cocoa can acutely reduce errors associated with attention in the absence of changes in either perceived motivation to perform cognitive tasks or feelings of energy and fatigue. Supplemental caffeine in brewed cocoa can enhance aspects of attention while brewed cocoa can attenuate the anxiety-provoking effects found from drinking caffeine alone.

Full Paper HERE

  1. Les Wies 7 years ago

    Hi Will,
    Would N-Acetyl L-Tyyrosene be better than L-Tyrosene?
    Also, as far as I can tell, raw organic cacao nibs are not Dutch processed – apparently they are fermented but otherwise unprocessed – and so are, presumably, OK. Do you know if this is the case?

    • Author
      Will Brink 7 years ago

      I cover that one under the page with the science, recipe, etc linked above. I suspect N-Acetyl L-Tyyrosene would taste terrible in coffee, so something of a moot issue. But, give it a try and let me know what you find. I have not tried N-Acetyl L-Tyyrosene form in Bomp Proof Coffee.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.



I'm not around right now. But you can send me an email and I'll get back to you soon.


Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?