Does Chocolate Have Caffeine
Fitness Motivation

Does Chocolate Have Caffeine? Your Cocoa Questions Answered

Is there caffeine in chocolate?


Does chocolate have caffeine? Let’s put it this way, that bedtime cup of cocoa may well be more suited to an afternoon pick me up than a night time beverage.

Chocolate is certainly the ultimate comfort food. Aside from being delicious, it offers some great health benefits too. However, all this does not detract from the fact that a bar of chocolate does contain a fair amount of caffeine.

So does chocolate have enough caffeine to keep us up? how much caffeine is in chocolate? Here we will answer these questions, with few facts about cocoa thrown in.



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Can chocolate keep you awake

The answer to this is; yes and no. There isn’t really a straight answer to this one, although chances are it probably won’t.

While chocolate does contain varying amounts of caffeine, this may not be the culprit behind a bad nights sleep.

Most people consume at least 300 milligrams of caffeine every day. A majority of this will come soft drinks, tea, coffee, with only 2.3 milligrams per day coming from food.

But before you cram that chocolate bar before bedtime, thinking you’re good to go, bare in mind that I did say the answer was yes and no.

Can chocolate keep you awake
does chocolate keep you awake? It can if you are particularly sensitive to caffeine

There are some people who are just more sensitive to caffeine that others. This is particularly true of people who don’t consume coffee or soft drinks on a regular basis.

To those sensitive individuals, eating half a bar or chocolate is the like a sugar rush for adults. So a bar of chocolate will have them fully alert and probably feeling pretty hyper.

There’s also another potential sleep destroyer in chocolate, theobromine. Research shows that this compound is similar to caffeine in nature.

Theobromine is very abundant in chocolate, and could very well be the reason that sleep escapes you after that chocolate bar.

The best thing to do, if you really want to make sure you get some zzz’s, is not to eat chocolate for a least 4 hours before bedtime.


How much caffeine is in chocolate?

Lets get down to the nitty gritty; exactly how much caffeine is in chocolate? The answer very much depends on the type of chocolate you’re eating.

Liquefied cocoa beans creates cocoa butter and cocoa solids. These are both used in the making of chocolate. However, caffeine can be found in cocoa solids, but not in cocoa butter.

The best way to determine the amount of caffeine in chocolate is by how dark it is. A darker chocolate indicates more cocoa solids, which means more caffeine per ounce.

White chocolate, on the other hand, only contains cocoa butter, so it does not contain any caffeine (good news if you want a piece of chocolate before bed).

So how much caffeine does dark chocolate have? According to the US Department of Agriculture there is 12 milligrams of caffeine in dark chocolate per ounce.

In dairy milk chocolate there is 9 milligrams of caffeine per 1.55 ounces.

For those of who love white chocolate, good news on the sleep front, white chocolate contains no caffeine.


How much caffeine in a cup of hot chocolate?

Since any good hot chocolate will contain cocoa solids, hot chocolate does have some caffeine within it.

The precise quantity of caffeine in hot chocolate varies on how the drink is made. For instance, a 16 ounce cup of Starbucks’ hot chocolate has 25 milligrams (mg) of caffeine.

does chocolate contain caffeine, caffeine in hot chocolate
The caffeine in hot chocolate depends on the make and type of chocolate

However, the cocoa mix chocolate most people have at home is less caffeinated. Take, for example, Swiss Miss. Their standard 6 ounce chocolate mix cotains 5 mg of caffeine.


To put hot chocolate’s caffeine content into some context, read on to learn how hot chocolate stacks up against other beverages.


Caffeine in chocolate vs coffee

Research suggests, that a person would need to consume fourteen 1.5-ounce bars of milk chocolate to ingest the equivalent amount of caffeine found in an eight-ounce cup of coffee.

While dark chocolate naturally contains more caffeine than milk chocolate, there isn’t a vast difference.

In order to get the same amount of caffeine as you would find in a standard cup of coffee, you would need to eat four bars of dark chocolate.

Now much as I love my chocolate, that sounds like a lot to me.

Caffeine in chocolate vs coffee
When it comes to caffeine in chocolate vs coffee, coffee wins hands down.


So let’s break this down, in the blue corner we have coffee;

There is 85 milligrams of caffeine in eight ounces of standard brewed coffee

A sixteen-ounce cup of decent coffee or “grande” size – will give you around 200 to 300 milligrams of caffeine.

One-ounce shot of coffee shop espresso has, on average, 75 milligrams of caffeine (a massive buzz crammed into such a small cup).

In the red corner there’s chocolate:

There are 23 miligrams of caffeine in a one ounce square of unsweetened baking chocolate.

A large 3.5-ounce bar of dark chocolate, with around 70-85% cocoa, contains 80 milligrams of caffeine.

For the same size bar of chocolate in plain milk chocolate, you will be ingesting 20 milligrams of caffeine.

As mentioned previously, home made hot cocoa contains between 5 and nine milligrams per eight-ounce cup.

This means that if you are looking for a caffeine kick from chocolate, you’ll need to go for the dark stuff.

However, if you really need to keep awake then coffee kicks chocolate befind on the caffeine front.



What about the caffeine in hot chocolate vs tea?

It’s only fair that since we have pitted coffee and chocolate against each other, the caffeine in hot chocolate vs tea should be explored.

If someone was to drink an 8-ounce cup of homemade cocoa, they would be ingesting 5 milligrams of caffeine.

Not a great deal, I’m sure you’ll agree.

However, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database, 8 ounces of brewed black tea contains 47 milligrams of caffeine.

While not as much caffeine as a strong cup of coffee, this could certainly add up after a few cups.



The bottom line

So does chocolate contain caffeine? The answer is an emphatic yes. But these are minimal amounts and certainly not as much as coffee, tea or other beverages.

Besides, chocolate is so comforting and yummy very few people will stop consuming it just because of small amounts of caffeine (I certainly won’t).

So if you happen to be caffeine sensitive, eat your chocolate in moderation, and definitely not close to bedtime.


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Alex King

From the NYC metro area, I captained a swim team and worked multiple jobs while studying for my BA. Stopped competing after getting injured and began to coach others in athletics and fitness. With 10-year experience in healthcare, nutrition, I am all about providing comprehensive solutions for gaining weight, losing weight and training your stamina for a healthier lifestyle. Favorite things include family, working, video games, and only getting “cardio” through playing sport

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