Caffeine has a deep hold on the world. Most people start their day with a cup of coffee — it is the most consumed beverage in the world. And they don’t stop there, lots of people get another boost sometime in the afternoon, too, to address that midday slump.
Caffeine is also pretty addictive. If you’re wondering whether or not caffeine has infiltrated your life, try to go a day or two without it. If you find it really tough and have withdrawal headaches and brain fog, you might be hooked.
Coffee isn’t the only product in the world that contains caffeine, cola and black tea are both high in caffeine, too. The other product known for caffeine content is dark chocolate, which we’re going to take a closer look at today.
How Much Caffeine is In Dark Chocolate?
Caffeine naturally occurs in dark chocolate. Typically the higher the percentage of cocoa solids in dark chocolate, the more caffeine it contains.
To get specific, dark chocolate contains 12 milligrams of caffeine per ounce. The US FDA recommends a maximum intake of 400 milligrams of caffeine per day, so you can do the math. If you are consuming several cups of coffee a day, in addition to a bar of dark chocolate in the afternoon or as dessert after dinner, you may be exceeding the recommended daily dose.
Caffeine and Dark Chocolate
To break it down a little further, caffeine is found in cocoa solids, not in cocoa butter. When chocolate is labeled on the spectrum of dark chocolate, the rule is that the darker the chocolate, the more cocoa solids is has. Therefore, the higher the caffeine content.
So if you are looking for a boost of alertness to get over that afternoon slump, go for extra dark chocolate (70%-90%) because it is extra high in cocoa solids and therefore extra high in caffeine.
If, on the other hand, you are just looking for something sweet but don’t want the effects of caffeine on your system, opt for white chocolate. White chocolate contains lots of cocoa butter but no cocoa solids, and therefore has zero caffeine.
Of course, do be aware that both treats are high in calories and should be eaten in moderation.
Benefits of Dark Chocolate
Most people have heard the exciting news that dark chocolate is actually beneficial for one’s health. One serving of dark chocolate supplies a hearty amount of minerals, approximately:
- 16% of the daily value for magnesium
- 19% for iron
- 25% for manganese
- 30% for copper
Another great benefit of dark chocolate is that the flavanols within provide phytonutrients that support healthy blood pressure and flow and may decrease risk for heart disease. Dark chocolate is also said to help with the regulation of gut flora, which is being studied to have major implications for mental health and overall wellbeing.
Things to Remember…
It’s important to remember that even though there are some health benefits to dark chocolate, your body will also respond to the stimulating effects of caffeine, which may be have some negative effects.
Some people might not notice the physiological reactions that occur in the body when caffeine is ingested, but the effects are real. Caffeine first and foremost acts as a central nervous stimulant. If you drink coffee or consume caffeine on an empty stomach, you might notice that you have the jitters or shakes, or that you are feeling a heightened sense of anxiety.
When caffeine reaches the brain, most people feel an increased sense of alertness, which is why so many people become reliant on it to start their day. It can also help stimulate the bowels, helping keep people regular.
Of course, too much caffeine can have a negative effect on the body, increasing anxiety, causing heartburn, and exacerbate stomach problems like ulcers. It is also important to be aware that dark chocolate also delivers 170 calories and 12 grams of fat, 7 of which are saturated. So consuming dark chocolate every day is not great for an optimal diet.
Like anything, taken in moderation, caffeine can be really beneficial. It is often used before working out because it can increase stamina and the energy boost can give a person a boost in intensity.
Listen to Your Body
The best way to know whether or not you are exceeding your limit with caffeine — either from dark chocolate or coffee — is to listen to your body. If you are feeling jittery or if your heart starts pounding, it’s time to take a look at how much you’re taking in.
New Ideas for Chocolate
In these strange times, we all need a pick me up every now and again. Chocolate is a great way to connect with friends and family, near and far. It’s also a great way to show client and customer appreciation. We see more interesting ways that companies and businesses are using chocolate to reach potential clients at trade shows.
Some companies create custom chocolate business cards or other swag to take to trade shows. There’s no better way to stand out from the crowd than with something like customized chocolate. Especially high quality dark chocolate that can give weary conference or trade show goers a boost of energy during those mid afternoon presentations.
As you can see, chocolate has many uses and functions in daily life. From a delicious snack to an energy booster to a marketing tool. Chocolate knows no bounds! We encourage you to get creative with how and when you use chocolate in your life or business.
And remember, most importantly, to savor each and every bite!