Does chocolate have caffeine?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “does chocolate have caffeine” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not chocolate contains caffeine. Moreover, we are going to discuss the caffeine content of different types of chocolate and what theobromine is.

Chocolate is perhaps the most famous food on the planet, numerous dishes have chocolate added to them, especially confectionary items and desserts, including cakes, pudding, mousse, chocolate brownies, and chocolate chip treats. When it comes to sweets and candies, many candies are loaded up with or covered with chocolate. Moreover, the chocolate bars (dark chocolate, milk chocolate, etc.) are used as a snack. So if you are wondering whether or not this special treat of yours contains caffeine, we are going to tell you exactly that. 

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

Does chocolate have caffeine?

Yes, chocolate does have caffeine present in its formulation. Different types of chocolate differ in their caffeine content. 

Cocoa, the main ingredient present in the formulation of the chocolate naturally contains caffeine, so it is obvious that the chocolate made out of it also contains caffeine. 

Moreover, you should always remember that the darker the chocolate is, the higher its caffeine content. (1)

What are the effects of caffeine?

Caffeine has psychostimulant properties, resulting in immediate effects on mental performance and potential long-term benefits in reducing the risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. 

Moreover, caffeine has been shown to improve physical performance and plays a crucial role in enhancing the antioxidant properties of coffee. Interestingly, caffeine metabolites themselves also exhibit antioxidant activity. 

Furthermore, caffeine displays an antihyperlipidemic effect, leading to decreased storage of triglycerides and cholesterol. (2)

What is the caffeine content of dark chocolate?

1 ounce of dark chocolate contains about 12 mg of caffeine. The caffeine content of dark chocolate is the highest among all the chocolate variants. It is a rule that the darker the color of chocolate is, the more it will contain the cocoa solids and the more will be its caffeine content. (1)

What is the caffeine content of milk chocolate?

1 ounce of milk chocolate contains about 9 mg of caffeine. Milk chocolate additionally has mild and condensed milk added to it. (1)

What is the caffeine content of white chocolate?

1 ounce of white chocolate contains zero caffeine as no cocoa is used in the formulation of the white chocolate, instead, cocoa butter is used as the main ingredient to make white chocolate. Caffeine is only present in the cocoa solids and not the cocoa butter. (1, 3)

What is chocolate’s nutritional profile?

Dark chocolates typically contain a high proportion of cocoa bean solids, accounting for up to 80% of the total weight, along with cocoa butter. In contrast, milk chocolate comprises cocoa butter, sugar, milk powder, lecithin, and a minimum of 20-25% cocoa.

White chocolate, on the other hand, does not contain cocoa solids; it is primarily composed of cocoa butter, milk, and sugar.

Across all chocolate varieties, cocoa remains the primary ingredient, contributing significantly to its high fat content, making up approximately 40-50% of cocoa butter. 

Within cocoa butter, around 33% is oleic acid, 25% is palmitic acid, and 33% is stearic acid.

In addition to its rich composition, cocoa serves as a valuable source of polyphenols, comprising about 10% of the whole bean’s dry weight. (1)

What is theobromine?

Theobromine is found along with the caffeine in the cocoa, therefore it is also present in the chocolate made out of cocoa. Theobromine is bitter and is responsible for the darker color and the bitter flavor of the dark chocolate.

Theobromine is also a brain stimulator and stimulates the central nervous system. Thus, it helps in making a person alert, active, and also elevates the mood.

Theobromine is present in a large quantity in the cocoa. Cocoa contains more theobromine than it contains caffeine. For instance, 50 grams of dark chocolate contains about 19 mg of caffeine but its theobromine content is high and it contains 250 mg of theobromine. (4)

Can theobromine and caffeine cause negative side effects?

Yes. The main toxic components found in chocolate are methylxanthine alkaloids, specifically theobromine and caffeine. 

In the human body, these methylxanthines are easily metabolized and excreted, with theobromine having a relatively short half-life of 2-3 hours. However, they can act as triggers for migraine attacks.

Theobromine, one of these alkaloids, is also believed to be responsible for causing heartburn. It has the effect of relaxing the esophageal sphincter muscle, which can lead to the backflow of stomach acidic contents into the esophagus, resulting in discomfort. (4-6)

What happens if you consume too much coffee?

Although caffeine initially provides a sense of stimulation, it may eventually lead to crashes, leaving individuals feeling fatigued and drowsy.

Overindulgence in caffeine can result in fatigue, nausea, and even contribute to the development of caffeine-induced anxiety disorder. 

In particular, consuming around 1000 mg of caffeine per day may lead to symptoms such as nervousness, restlessness, jitteriness, and nausea. It is crucial to be mindful of caffeine intake to avoid these adverse health effects. (2, 7)

Other FAQs about Chocolate that you may be interested in.

Can you eat Twix with spacers?

Can you eat Twix with braces?

Can you eat Twix with a peanut allergy?


In this brief guide, we answered the question “does chocolate have caffeine” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not chocolate contains caffeine. Moreover, we discussed the caffeine content of different types of chocolate and what theobromine is.


  1. Montagna MT, Diella G, Triggiano F, Caponio GR, De Giglio O, Caggiano G, Di Ciaula A, Portincasa P. Chocolate, “Food of the Gods”: History, Science, and Human Health. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 16(24):4960; 2019.
  2. Farah, Adriana.  Nutritional and health effects of coffee. 10.19103/AS.2017.0022.14. 2018.
  3. U.S. Department of Agriculture. FoodData Central Search Results. Washington, DC.Candies, white chocolate. 2018.
  4. Finlay F, Guiton S. Chocolate poisoning. BMJ. 331(7517):633. 2005.
  5. Zugravu, C., & Otelea, M. R. Dark Chocolate: To Eat or Not to Eat? A Review. Journal of AOAC International, 102(5), 1388–1396. 2019.
  6. Latif R. Chocolate/cocoa and human health: a review. Neth J Med. 2013 Mar;71(2):63-8.
  7. Willson, C.  The clinical toxicology of caffeine: A review and case study. Toxicology Reports. 2018.

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