How Much Caffeine in Chocolate?
How Much Caffeine in Chocolate?

You must have heard claims that chocolate contains caffeine. However, it is probably not clear to you how much caffeine in chocolate is and whether it is good or bad for your health. 

In general, chocolate contains small amounts of caffeine. Chocolate also contains another closely related ingredient called theobromine in much larger quantities, so the presence of these two related things has been the cause of numerous confusions among chocolate lovers.

Caffeine is a natural alkaloid, found in the leaves, fruits, and nuts of many different plants, including coffee, guarana, tea, and about 60 other plants. Unbelievable, but caffeine is found in various types of plants, and in completely different parts of the world. 

One of those plants is the cocoa tree, where caffeine is found in the seeds. The seeds are similar in size and shape to almonds and grow inside cocoa pods. One pod contains between thirty to forty seeds.

Caffeine protects the cocoa beans. The cocoa tree naturally defends animals in many ways. One of these is tannin, which makes cocoa beans when eaten fresh, very astringent. Because of that, the animal world will eat the sweet, tasty pulp and then spit out the hard cocoa beans. Tannins are not just a weapon of cocoa trees. Cocoa beans are full of theobromine and caffeine. Both of these mild stimulants, for insects and flora, and fauna can be toxic.

Cocoa beans contain between 0.1% and 0.7% caffeine, 0.2% is the most common amount. Caffeine is also present in smaller amounts in the husk surrounding the cocoa beans, usually from 0.5% to 0.3%. For comparison, dry tea leaves have about 3% caffeine, and dry coffee beans have about 1.2% caffeine.

The more of these quality ingredients are used to make chocolate, the more caffeine it will contain. Let’s see how much caffeine in chocolate is.

How much caffeine is in dark chocolate?

Dark chocolate contains more caffeine than any other kind of chocolate – 43mg in 100 grams of dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is made with different percentages of cocoa content.

There is an inverse relationship between dark chocolate and the amount people eat. The darker the chocolate, the less is consumed. Generally, dark chocolate is eaten in small amounts.

Interesting fact – milk chocolate doesn’t contain caffeine (shutterstock.com)

Finally, there is a moderate amount of caffeine in dark chocolate, not nearly as much as in coffee, and no one will eat enough dark chocolate to ingest the same amount of caffeine that can be found in a cup of coffee.

How much caffeine is in milk chocolate?

The caffeine in milk chocolate is traceable and it is usually 20mg in 100 grams of milk chocolate. It is difficult to give the exact amount of caffeine when it comes to this type of chocolate because each producer has their own recipe, and the percentage of chocolate that comes from cocoa beans varies from producer to producer. According to one study, it was determined that milk chocolates contain less than 8.5% or more than 40% of cocoa from cocoa beans (the rest is cocoa butter, milk, sugar, and sometimes vanilla, soy lecithin, and salt).

High amounts of sugar are more likely to cause bad reactions than natural caffeine in milk chocolate.

How much caffeine is in white chocolate?

White chocolate is made from cocoa butter, milk, and sugar. Sometimes a little vanilla is added to round out the flavor. Almost all white chocolates use cocoa butter as their main ingredient. This means that the solid parts of the cocoa beans are removed through filtration. All that remains is the natural fat from cocoa beans (cocoa butter). Since that is all that is left and there is no caffeine in milk, sugar, or vanilla, caffeine is not present in white chocolate.