Woot! “A typical cacao bean contains less than 1/20th of the caffeine present in coffee . . .” Caffeine Content
According to Livestrong.com dark chocolate has heart and blood pressure benefits:
Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate
. . . dark chocolate, which is packed with antioxidants known as flavanols. These antioxidants help the body's cells resist damage. Specifically, flavanols are believed to improve vascular health by lowering blood pressure and improving blood flow to the brain and heart. Flavanols can also help blood platelets be less sticky so that they don't form clots as easily. The higher the cacao content, the more flavanols the chocolate will contain. When choosing a dark chocolate, look for a high cacao content with the least amount of sugar or other ingredients that add calories.
According to the Live Well web site by Jillian
Caffeine in Coffee
Eight ounces of generic brewed coffee averages 95 milligrams of caffeine, according to the National Nutrient Database. The range is 102 to 200 milligrams. A 16-ounce cup of coffee -- the “grande” or medium size in most coffee shops -- contains 200 to 300 milligrams of caffeine. A coffee shop’s standard 1-ounce shot of espresso averages 75 milligrams of caffeine, while generic brewed espresso averages 40 milligrams. A 16-ounce vanilla latte contains 150 milligrams of caffeine.
Decaffeinated coffee does contain some caffeine. In a study published in the October 2006 issue of the "Journal of Analytical Toxicology," University of Florida researchers found that 16-ounce cups of brewed regular decaffeinated coffee, a medium coffee at most coffee shops, contained anywhere from 3 to 13.9 milligrams of caffeine.
Caffeine in Chocolate
A 1-ounce square of unsweetened baking chocolate contains 23 milligrams of caffeine. A large 3.5-ounce bar of very dark chocolate, which contains 70 percent to 85 percent cocoa, averages 80 milligrams of caffeine. Regular dark chocolate, with 50 percent to 69 percent cocoa, contains around 70 milligrams in a 3.5-ounce bar. The same amount of plain milk chocolate contains 20 milligrams of caffeine. Hot cocoa averages 9 milligrams of caffeine per 8-ounce cup.
From comments at Jillian’s site.
“Journal of Chromatographic Science, Vol. 46, pp 892-899 (2008)
Standard Reference Material 2384 Baking Chocolate from the National Institute of Standards & Technology (Gaithersburg, MD), 90 % cocoa solids, was determined to have 26 mg/g (2.6% by weight) theobromine and 2.4 mg/g caffeine.
Food Research International, Vol 42, pp 707–716 (2009)
Chocolate with 60% cocoa solids (from a leading Croatian chocolate manufacturer) was determined to have 9 mg/g (0.9% by weight) theobromine and 0.8 mg/g caffeine.
Even taking the lower, latter figure for caffeine content, this translates into 23 mg of caffeine in 1 oz (28.35 g) of chocolate containing 60% cocoa solids (e.g. bittersweet baking chocolate). “
Like everything else on the internet, people disagree on the amount of caffeine in chocolate—some claiming there is none naturally, that it is added.
A. The small amount of caffeine present in chocolate occurs naturally in the cocoa bean, unlike the caffeine in soft caffeine drinks which is added during the manufacturing process.
Here caffeine are some comparisons that may be helpful:
Coffee 8 fl. oz. 65-120 mg
Cola-type soft drinks 12 oz. 30-55 mg
Milk Chocolate 1 oz. 5-10 mg
Dark Chocolate 1.4 oz. 7-50 mg
The amounts of caffeine in specific HERSHEY'S chocolate products are listed on the Chocolate Products Caffeine page.
Maybe I’ll go with this explanation:
“Chocolate derived from cocoa beans is a weak stimulant. It contains two stimulating methylxanthines (a class of alkaloid molecules), a significant amount of theobromine (and theophylline) and a small amount of caffeine. The slight stimulatory effect of chocolate is it seems as much due to the combination of theobromine and theophylline than caffeine.
Generally, caffeine and theobromine have very different effects on different people. Theobromine is relatively mild and helps elevate serotonin levels producing a really nice side effect of feeling good over a longer period of time. Caffeine is a stronger stimulant and acts relatively quickly as a wake-up drug. Compared to the caffeine, the theobromine has about one-quarter the stimulating power.
However, chocolate contains too little of these compounds to create a similar effect to portion equal to coffee. A typical cacao bean contains less than 1/20th of the caffeine present in coffee (from zero to 1000 parts per million of caffeine per bean).”