Caffeine Free Chocolate: All Pleasure, No Guilt

But the problem here isn’t just the chocolate itself; it’s what’s inside the chocolate that can make or break your tasty treat. Typically, we consider chocolate to be full of sugar (which it usually is when dealing with mass-produced chocolates), but we don’t really think about what else can be lingering in the mixture, and the effects that it can have on our bodies and overall wellbeing. One majorly overlooked side effect? Caffeine content.

 

Caffeine has become a “normal” part of the American diet, thanks to the plethora of fountain drinks and processed foods that coat the shelves of almost every grocery store. We see labels that proudly proclaim their caffeine content, promising to boost energy and sharpen your focus to get you through the day.

 

Caffeine may already be a major part of your daily ritual, but it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of its bodily effects before you gulp down that coffee. And before you bite into your chocolate bar, beware: caffeine almost always lurks in chocolate. But what’s so bad about that anyways?

  

First off, let’s consider what caffeine actually does to your body when you consume it. At its core, caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant that can affect people in many different ways, and not all of them positive. Too much caffeine consumption can lead to the dreaded feeling of the jitters, headaches, adrenal fatigue… And the list goes on. Whether you are either avoiding caffeine altogether, or you’re trying to at least cut back on caffeine amounts, hidden sources of caffeine can throw you right off track and send your body into a downward spiral.

Caffeine Can Be Pretty Sneaky

Some unexpected places that caffeine can hide are in DECAF coffee, ice cream, non-cola soda, protein bars, some pain relievers, and even some multivitamins. Some chocolate manufacturers even put more caffeine into their products, to give consumers a “buzz” after eating it.

 

So the problem is the caffeine, not the chocolate itself? Yes, and no. At the very base of chocolate is cacao, which is a bean-like seed that grows in pods on the cacao fruit tree. Full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other nutrients, cacao is a superfood - until it goes through the many processes that make it into your typical grocery store chocolate bar.

 

Just take a peek at the ingredients. High cacao content? Great! Tons of saturated fat, added sugars, and chemical fillers? Not so great.

How Much Caffeine is in My Chocolate?

Honestly, not too much, as long as the manufacturers didn’t add any extra. Typically, the numbers are: 
  • Dark chocolate: 12 milligrams per ounce
  • Milk chocolate: 9 milligrams per 1.55 ounces
  • White chocolate: no caffeine
Cacao naturally has stimulants in it, so the only way to get a truly caffeine free chocolate taste is to use carob in its place. BUT, if you search for the least-processed version of cacao, you’ll be doing your body and your tastebuds a favor.

 

Here’s why:

Cacao’s naturally occurring stimulant, theobromine, has a way different effect on the body than caffeine does. As mentioned before, caffeine has a direct effect on the central nervous system, which for some people spells trouble.
Theobromine, on the other hand, doesn’t touch the central nervous system. Rather, it serves as a muscle relaxant and cardiac stimulant. Instead of flooding your body with a rapid source of energy, theobromine releases positive effects such as mood boosting and natural energy, but without the jitters and the inevitable crash that caffeine provides.

 

Theobromine is also an excellent source of antioxidants, and even boasts anti-inflammatory properties. Instead of narrowing the blood vessels of the body, Theobromine actually widens them, which can help people who suffer from high blood pressure, hypertension, and cold hands and feet.

 

And when compared to the amount of theobromine in chocolate versus caffeine, you’re in for a sweet surprise; 50 grams of dark chocolate contains 19 milligrams of caffeine, and a whopping 250 milligrams of theobromine (the good stuff).

 

Health benefits like these make for a good excuse to eat chocolate, right?

5 Caffeine Free + Theobromine Rich Goodies

SUTRA Black Cacao Latte

In SUTRA Black, raw cacao is blended with tons of other superfoods to make this drink a healthy powerhouse. Mix it in with steamed nut milk or water for a delicious and nutrient-rich alternative to traditional hot chocolate.

Hu Chocolate Bar

Vegan, gluten-free, paleo, soy-free, and dairy-free, this chocolate bar has it all. With only 3 ingredients, Hu Bars pack a major punch in the flavor department, all while cutting out all of the crap that other chocolate bars use in place of genuine, healthy ingredients.

5 Ingredient Chocolate Fudge

This one is great for kids! Instead of using cacao in the recipe, use carob. With a similar taste to chocolate, carob can be the perfect swap in recipes where caffeine is simply not an option (hello, kids!)

Garden of Life RAW Protein

When life gets busy, meal replacements can be life savers. Garden of Life RAW Organic Meal Chocolate is made with raw cacao as its main ingredient, boasts 20g of protein, no added sugars, and live probiotics to kick start your digestive system.

Thrive Market Organic Cacao

Thrive Markets Organic Cacao Powder is perfect for baking, desserts, and smoothies. All the benefits of raw cacao in a powder to make it THAT much easier to incorporate the amazing antioxidant benefits of cacao into your diet.

 

So there you have it! Guilt clearly doesn’t have to be a part of the equation when it comes to the sweet treat of chocolate.

 

Whether you decide to add cacao powder to some of your favorite desserts, or you want to sip on a tasty warm cacao beverage this evening, you can do it all while resting assured that you’re actually nourishing your body while enjoying something delicious.
Sounds like a win-win situation to us!

About the Author - Lindsay Ware

Beginning during her high school years, Lindsay noticed an immediate dip in energy. Along with fatigue, she also showed signs of lack of concentration, digestive problems, and a weakened immune system. After years of non-conclusive tests at the clinic, Lindsay finally received the correct diagnosis of Celiac Disease from her local Naturopath.

 

After cutting out gluten completely, Lindsay realized how much of a difference changing your diet can make to your overall wellbeing. Instead of drinking 3 coffees a day, Lindsay relies on the natural energies of clean foods to keep her mind sharp and her writing skills flowing.

Thirsty for SUTRA Superfood Lattes?

SUTRA Black
Our Black Cacao Latte blend tastes like chocolate.
SUTRA Gold
Our Gold Turmeric Latte blend tastes like golden milk.
SUTRA Combo
Try both of our Black Cacao Latte and Gold Turmeric Latte blends.