Caffeine in Chocolate vs Coffee, Tea, And More

Caffeine In Chocolate

Is There Hidden Caffeine In Chocolate?

Caffeine hidden in chocolate is probably the most commonly consumed source of hidden caffeine. And it is not an insignificant amount of caffeine either.

1 ounce of dark chocolate can have 24mg of caffeine. Milk chocolate about 12mg an ounce.

Even hot chocolate, a favorite choice to give children, has about 25mg of caffeine (the equitant of about ¼ cup of coffee). And 50 grams of sugar (the equivalent of the sugar in about 2 ½ Snickers bars).

In fact, it is just as important to remember the sugar content as the is  the caffeine in chocolate. Because they will both serve as stimulates.

That’s why Diet Coke has 46 mg of caffeine (and no sugar) but a Classic Coke has only 34mg of caffeine but 39mg of sugar. Sugar and caffeine work in conjunction to stimulate you.

The same is true of chocolate.  

Chocolate itself is bitter. Without sugar, chocolate would not be considered to taste good at all. Don’t believe me? Try eating some “bakers’ chocolate”. This is chocolate used specially for cooking so bakers have the option to control the amount of sugar in the total recipe. You won’t like it. 

Caffeine In Chocolate Varieties

caffeine in chocolate

US Department of Agriculture provides baseline measures of average caffeine content:

70-85% dark chocolate has 80mg caffeine per 3.5-ounce  chocolate bar.

60-69% dark chocolate has 84mg caffeine per 3.5-ounce  chocolate bar.

45-59% dark chocolate has 43mg caffeine per 3.5-ounce  chocolate bar.

Milk chocolate 20mg caffeine per 3.5-ounce chocolate bar.

 

Despite the name, white chocolate is not really chocolate, and has zero caffeine.  White chocolate is primarily a combination of sugar, cocoa butter, milk products and vanilla. It contains no chocolate solids (cocoa butter is the fat removed from the cocoa bean and does not contain the bean itself which gives it the chocolate flavor – and the hidden caffeine). 

Caffeine In Chocolate Vs Coffee

caffeine in chocolate vs coffee
Caffeine In Chocolate Vs Coffee

Research indicates that moderate consumption of coffee can help prevent the development of type 2 diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. The studies also indicated that moderate coffee intake reduced the risk of stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.

 

But’s it not all good news. For pregnant women, people suffering from anxiety disorders and persons with low calcium intake, that same moderate (or high) intake of coffee triggered negative study results. 

So if you overconsume, coffee or tea better-for-you benefits won’t apply. Let’s take that same example above and compare chocolate to coffee on an equal basis.

 

There are about 95mg of caffeine in an 8 oz coffee. That works about to almost 12mg of caffeine per ounce of standard drip coffee. Here you can see that the darker the coffee, the more caffeine.

With only milk chocolate actually providing less caffeine than coffee.

 

Caffeine Per Ounce

Sugar Per Ounce

Average Drip Coffee

11.8mg Caffeine

0

70-85% dark chocolate

22mg Caffeine

7g (approx. 1.6 teaspoons)

60-69% dark chocolate

24mg Caffeine

8g (approx. 1.9 teaspoons)

45-59% dark chocolate

12mg Caffeine

14g (approx. 3.3 teaspoons)

Milk chocolate

6mg Caffeine

15g (approx. 3.5 teaspoons)

The Caffeine In Chocolate Can Be Misleading

Serving sizes tend to skew our perception of how much we are consuming. Or rather, portion sizes make us overconsume and not know it.

The smallest coffee (tall) at national chains is 10oz. The most popular size is Grande (16 oz) and if you are an overachiever and prefer your coffee large that would equal a venti size (20 oz).

Tall =  +/- 118mg caffeine

Grande = +/- 188mg caffeine

Venti = +/- 236mg caffeine

Because we consume so much coffee in a sitting, we see more of a caffeine punch in a cup than we do a bar of chocolate.

This is actually a clever marketing ploy. Drink more caffeine, get hooked faster. Come back for more of their product the very next day. Brilliant really. And evil.

And these numbers are really just approximations.

There is no way to really know how much caffeine is in your cup of coffee. Because the caffeine in each cup is based on the beans they used to brew it and how long it brews. Brew it stronger, get more caffeine. 

Caffeine In Chocolate Vs. Tea

Tea averages 6mg of caffeine per ounce. About the same as milk chocolate making these the lowest caffeine choices.

 

 

Caffeine Per Ounce

Sugar Per Ounce

Average Black Tea

6mg Caffeine

0

70-85% dark chocolate

22mg Caffeine

7g (approx. 1.6 teaspoons)

60-69% dark chocolate

24mg Caffeine

8g (approx. 1.9 teaspoons)

45-59% dark chocolate

12mg Caffeine

14g (approx. 3.3 teaspoons)

Milk chocolate

6mg Caffeine

15g (approx. 3.5 teaspoons)

How Much Caffeine Is In Chocolate Ice Cream

how much caffeine is in chocolate
Caffeine In Chocolate Ice Cream

Even chocolate ice cream has some caffeine. Although it averages only 2mg of caffeine per 3.5 oz scoop, it is still there. It is actually hidden sources of caffeine like this that often add up and can be the reason you can’t sleep at night when you haven’t even had a cup of coffee!

The Hidden Caffeine Chocolate Vs Coffee Problem

When trying to cut back on caffeine it is often these hidden sources that are likely to make you fail. Because they keep you consuming more caffeine than you think you are and ensure you never get below the level that let’s you reset your caffeine habit.

Even decaf can be a problem because there are some brands of decaf that have more caffeine than another brand’s regular.

If you want to cut back on caffeine, make sure you look for all the hidden sources of caffeine and make low-caffeine decisions whenever you can. 

Reducing Caffeine Can Be Easy

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Faster and easier than anything you tried before. 

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