Does chocolate have caffeine?Jon Giordano
Chocolate is the most romantic gift that we treat ourselves to, and we delight in presenting it to others. We imagine relaxing moments, stolen moments if you will, savoring that sweet bite of pure heaven. But is chocolate actually relaxing, or is it a stimulant? We will dive in to uncover the truth, and will share these pearls of wisdom with you!
Does chocolate have caffeine, and if so, how much?
Caffeine is a naturally occurring stimulant that can be found in coffee, tea, and yes even in chocolate. But let’s put it into perspective: an 8oz cup of regular black coffee averages 95 mg of caffeine – a Starbucks’ cold brew contains 155 mg of caffeine, while an 8 oz cup of black tea has about 48 mg of caffeine (depending on how long you steep the leaves for), and 10 oz of Pepsi contains 32 mg of caffeine.
Now that we know how much caffeine is in other common items that we consume daily, let’s get back to the chocolate. Just how much caffeine is in it? Well, that depends on how dark it is. The caffeine content is tied to the amount of cocoa solids in the chocolate. Dark chocolate always contains a higher ratio of cocoa solids to cocoa butter.
Caffeine occurs naturally only in the cocoa solids; which means white chocolate has no caffeine, milk chocolate contains about 9 mg of caffeine per 1.55 oz, and dark chocolate could have up to 22 mg of caffeine per oz (depending on the coco content).
So, if you ate a 2oz dark chocolate bar in one sitting, it would have about the same caffeine as a cup of strong tea. If you ate a 2oz milk chocolate bar, it would have just 18 mg of caffeine or about half of the caffeine found in a 10 oz Pepsi.
If you are sensitive to caffeine, maybe don’t eat that chocolate bar right before bed. But if you are a regular coffee drinker, you may not even feel that subtle extra caffeine in your chocolate bar.
What might actually be providing more of a stimulant is the other ingredient in cocoa solids – theobromine. It’s what gives dark chocolate its bitter taste, and what is deadly for dogs and cats. But for humans it can aid our alertness and brighten our mood! Theobromine may also have anti-inflammatory effects, and some researchers are also studying it’s other health benefits in humans.