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Caffeine in 100% cocoa powder?

by (310)
Updated about 13 hours ago
Created December 28, 2011 at 1:12 AM

I'm trying to quit coffee and finding a hot chocolate made with 100% cocoa powder, hot water and coconut milk/whole milk is an excellent substitute, but now I'm concerned I'm still having caffeine because there is probably some caffeine in the cocoa powder.

I'm having this beverage three times a day.

I've read all sorts of information on the caffeine content of cocoa powder. Does anyone have any cold, hard facts to please share?

Cbfcdfc9737800314effea0c340e09fe
0 · February 25, 2014 at 2:40 AM

Saying 68mg is a bit misleading because it sounds like that's how much you'd get from a cup of hot cocoa. 68mg of caffeine is in 28g of cocoa powder, but there are only 5g of cocoa powder per tablespoon. So the actual amount in a cup is about 12mg.

8b9c2dcd3dfc929a0428d3d6dac4918e
60 · February 23, 2014 at 8:28 AM

Tea in general does have the advantage over coffee, in that it contains "theanine" which is a gaba agonist (it relaxes you). Thats why a cup of tea is so good outdoors :) Of course green tea has some crazy benefits. Cacao has some benefits too though. Both pretty medicinal drinks next to digestive system straining coffee.

8b9c2dcd3dfc929a0428d3d6dac4918e
60 · February 23, 2014 at 7:26 AM

Indeed if you wanted to make the beverage more "sleepy", in the evening, a lot more milk would probably help, especially given chocolate has its own trace endocannabinoids, albiet in much lower amounts.

8b9c2dcd3dfc929a0428d3d6dac4918e
60 · February 23, 2014 at 7:13 AM

As much as I love coconut oil, I am not that fond of the milk. But in chocolate it suddenly becomes delicious.

8b9c2dcd3dfc929a0428d3d6dac4918e
60 · February 23, 2014 at 7:08 AM

Generally the fresher a plant, the more actives it has, which suggests the opposite, that fresh whole or raw cacao will be stronger than dried and stored powder.

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310 · December 28, 2011 at 5:56 PM

I don't believe they are different: What is the difference between “cacao” and “cocoa”? Historically, “cacao” and “cocoa” were used interchangeably since “cocoa” is easier to understand. However, technically, “cocoa” should be used in referenced to powder products, while “cacao” should be used when referring to the bean, which yields the cacao components - chocolate liquor, cocoa butter and cocoa powder. http://www.ghirardelli.com/about/faq_chocolate.aspx

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310 · December 28, 2011 at 5:54 PM

Thank you. That is very helpful.

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310 · December 28, 2011 at 5:53 PM

Right. I'm trying to avoid caffeine as much as possible.

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310 · December 28, 2011 at 5:53 PM

I'm confused as to the difference between cacao and cocoa.

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310 · December 28, 2011 at 5:53 PM

Sounds perfect. I assume one can find it sugar free?

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4
20411 · December 28, 2011 at 3:14 PM

That would be even more caffeine!

E9808a9cfe806a22c0bdaff7c010c659
405 · December 28, 2011 at 2:07 AM

Great comment jess !

306aa57660d911781231f8090c2a5619
3808 · December 28, 2011 at 1:40 AM

To put that in context - according to my container of Hersey's Special Dark, one 1 tablespoon is 5 grams, so about 11.5mg of caffeine per tablespoon. Coffee is 100-200mg per serving.

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7 Answers

E9808a9cfe806a22c0bdaff7c010c659
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405 · December 28, 2011 at 1:25 AM

For the exact data I suggest you contact the manufacturer of your product but USDA data is 230 mg of caffeine per 100g of unsweetened, dry cocoa powder.

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310 · December 28, 2011 at 5:54 PM

Thank you. That is very helpful.

E9808a9cfe806a22c0bdaff7c010c659
405 · December 28, 2011 at 2:07 AM

Great comment jess !

306aa57660d911781231f8090c2a5619
3808 · December 28, 2011 at 1:40 AM

To put that in context - according to my container of Hersey's Special Dark, one 1 tablespoon is 5 grams, so about 11.5mg of caffeine per tablespoon. Coffee is 100-200mg per serving.

6fece842bd1bcf5724f458a302a2156e
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1169 · February 23, 2014 at 8:58 AM

As Drael says there are all sorts in there. The Mayans used it for special occasions as a stimulant. It has a dreadful effect on it. It is like taking a drug which I have never done. It will keep me up almost all night. It really has an incredible effect and becomes more and more addictive so I have to eat more and more and more of it (or drink it) to have the same effect each time. I know a lot of people don't have these effects but it is how it affects a lot of us.

I am also intolerant of milk and when I have it it makes my body feel bad too.

Yes so powerful is the effect of 100% cacao on me that sometimes I do succumb. I would try to keep off it if y ou can and go by the basic mantra that if God didn't make it don't eat it. Cacao is not there in forests easy to eat. We went to a chocolate plantation in Panama and bought some raw in a block but it is processed to get to that state. It is not a food our ancestors would haev been plucking off a tree and eating. I would recommend avoiding it if you can.

I only drink water unless I go off the rails. with hot chocolate and I always regret the latter.

8b9c2dcd3dfc929a0428d3d6dac4918e
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60 · February 23, 2014 at 7:06 AM

There are other stimulants in cacao.

Phenethylamine, which is in fact stronger than caffiene, and used as an extract in workout blends, and theobromine, which is similar to caffiene but has mood boosting properties. There are also trace amounts of endocannibinoids, the

N-acylethanolamines, PEA, and OEA (don't be alarmed, tea has endocannibinoid compounds, and these are in such small amounts, its questionable they have any effect _at all_)

There is a small, but insignificant amount of caffiene in cacao. However, in my past experience with the ultra concentrated extract "chocamine" (which is about 50x as concentrated as cacao), and with isolated PEA, and other substances suggest that the dominant substance in chocolate is theobromine (mainly), followed by an influence of phenethylamine, which are indeed stimulant, but in fact better, more central stimulants than caffiene or coffee (less nervey and wide awake, more actual useable energy.)

However, in regular chocolate, I can basically only really ever feel mood or noticable stimulant effects from very very large amounts of dark chocolate (like a whole bar of super dark chocolate), and then only really just....suggesting that overall the concentration is generally not that high.

I would guess that, simply using dried (not fresh or raw) cocao, which is a pretty weak form of the plant, in essentially small amounts, in a beverage would provide no real noteable stimulation to the body.

Thusly, unless you are suffering from adrenal fatigue or something, I wouldn't worry about it. It should not give you insomnia or be particularly addictive, unlike caffiene drinks IMO.

Interesting, side note- milk.....milk and breat milk have trace amounts of the endocannibinoid "OEA", which promotes sleep and hunger in infants. OEA is actually one of the primary substances trigger in overtiredness, and most people will be familiar with the "phase" of its effects from this, a mentally zoned, fuzzy, warm, sleepy feeling, almost pleasant if it werent for the less pleasant chemicals also trigger from overtiredness.

Which, combined with the high level of tryptophan in milk is why the old wives tale of a hot glass of milk to help you sleep comes from!

8b9c2dcd3dfc929a0428d3d6dac4918e
60 · February 23, 2014 at 7:26 AM

Indeed if you wanted to make the beverage more "sleepy", in the evening, a lot more milk would probably help, especially given chocolate has its own trace endocannabinoids, albiet in much lower amounts.

84276f6b438e1a71b7c4a75e00dbfe8b
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0 · February 23, 2014 at 6:51 AM

In one ounce of cocoa powder there is about 68 mg of caffeine (far less than a cup of coffee. For more info check out: How much caffeine is in cocoa powder?

Cbfcdfc9737800314effea0c340e09fe
0 · February 25, 2014 at 2:40 AM

Saying 68mg is a bit misleading because it sounds like that's how much you'd get from a cup of hot cocoa. 68mg of caffeine is in 28g of cocoa powder, but there are only 5g of cocoa powder per tablespoon. So the actual amount in a cup is about 12mg.

8838443ac82e9f98e4ae9daf80d50eb5
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896 · December 28, 2011 at 4:42 PM

Carob powder is a caffine free alternative to cocoa and coffee. Its fairly cheap too.

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310 · December 28, 2011 at 5:53 PM

Sounds perfect. I assume one can find it sugar free?

Ef2f6c723983d7fe7a06bd57af6adeed
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1720 · December 28, 2011 at 3:12 AM

I've noticed when I eat cocoa powder, it feels like I had caffeine. My heart rate goes up. When I have cacao powder, it feels like it has WAY less caffeine, if any.

If you want caffeine, go cocoa powder, if not, and want more health benefits, go cacao powder.

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310 · December 28, 2011 at 5:56 PM

I don't believe they are different: What is the difference between “cacao” and “cocoa”? Historically, “cacao” and “cocoa” were used interchangeably since “cocoa” is easier to understand. However, technically, “cocoa” should be used in referenced to powder products, while “cacao” should be used when referring to the bean, which yields the cacao components - chocolate liquor, cocoa butter and cocoa powder. http://www.ghirardelli.com/about/faq_chocolate.aspx

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310 · December 28, 2011 at 5:53 PM

I'm confused as to the difference between cacao and cocoa.

7e30dba121ccc0994456f032067a3945
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0 · December 28, 2011 at 3:06 AM

Try good quality leaf green tea. I make it strong and drink it throughout the day. Gives me sustained high level of energy and clarity of mind.

8b9c2dcd3dfc929a0428d3d6dac4918e
60 · February 23, 2014 at 8:28 AM

Tea in general does have the advantage over coffee, in that it contains "theanine" which is a gaba agonist (it relaxes you). Thats why a cup of tea is so good outdoors :) Of course green tea has some crazy benefits. Cacao has some benefits too though. Both pretty medicinal drinks next to digestive system straining coffee.

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310 · December 28, 2011 at 5:53 PM

Right. I'm trying to avoid caffeine as much as possible.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4
20411 · December 28, 2011 at 3:14 PM

That would be even more caffeine!

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