Does Hot Chocolate Have Caffeine?

Caffeine is a highly popular stimulant commonly acquired from the consumption of coffee. Once consumed, caffeine can help to make people feel awake and alert. Generally, a safe amount of caffeine to consume per day is around 200 mg; too much caffeine can have negative effects such as nervousness, heart palpitations, and being incapable of sleeping. Caffeine can be found in numerous products, but what about hot chocolate? Continue reading to find out.

Does Hot Chocolate Have Caffeine?

To put it simply, yes, most hot chocolates contain some caffeine, although not as much as you would find in a cup of coffee. For example, a 16-ounce serving of hot chocolate from Starbucks contains around 25 mg of caffeine, whereas an iced coffee from the same place contains around 165 mg. Hot chocolate which can be store-bought and made at home often contains less caffeine, and the amount of caffeine within the beverage can be decreased further by using cream, soy milk, or plain milk when making the hot chocolate.

Caffeine Content in Other Chocolate Products

Types of Chocolate (serving)

Amount of Caffeine (mg)

Chocolate Milk (8 oz.)


Dark Chocolate (1 oz.)


Hot Chocolate/Hot Cocoa (8 oz.)


Milk Chocolate (1 oz.)


Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (1 cup)


Slim-Fast Chocolate Beverages (one serving)


White Chocolate (1 oz.)


Yoo-Hoo (8 oz.)


Hot Chocolate vs. Hot Drinking Chocolate

Now that an answer has been ascertained to the question – does hot chocolate have caffeine? It is important to not get confused between hot chocolate and hot drinking chocolate.

Hot chocolate
is made from cocoa and chocolate syrup (or sugar) added to milk which has been heated. Hot chocolate often contains less cocoa than hot drinking chocolate, meaning that the caffeine levels are lower in hot chocolate. That being said, if one was to add more cocoa or chocolate syrup to the beverage, then the levels of caffeine would increase. In some brands of hot chocolate, powdered milk is also added so that the beverage can be made with plain hot water.

Whilst hot chocolate is a very popular drink, especially amongst children, one should be more wary of the beverage’s sugar content, as opposed to its caffeine content.

Hot drinking chocolate is often made with cocoa and real chocolate which has been melted, giving the beverage a thick, rich texture, and also making the caffeine levels higher than that of hot chocolate.

Amount of Caffeine in Coffee

As there are numerous factors which can affect the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee, the exact figure can vary from cup-to-cup. That being said, the general guide given in the table below can help you to ascertain, roughly, how much caffeine is in coffee.

Types of Coffee (serving)

Amount of Caffeine (mg)

Drip Brewed Arabica Coffee (6 oz.)


Drip Brewed Robusta Coffee (6 oz.)


Drip Brewed Passiona Excelsa/Arabica Low-Caffeine Coffee Blend (6 oz.)


Drip Brewed Decaf Coffee (8 oz.)


Instant Coffee (8 oz.)


Instant Decaf Coffee (8 oz.)


Dunkin’ Donuts Coffee (16 oz.)


Einstein Bros. Coffee (16 oz.)


Percolated Coffee


Single-Shot Espresso


Double-Shot Espresso


Single-Shot Espresso (Decaf)


Double-Shot Espresso (Decaf)


Nespresso Espresso Capsules


Nespresso Lungo Capsules


How Much Caffeine Can You Have?

It is often suggested that anywhere up to 400 mg of caffeine in one day is generally considered safe for most adults in good health. This equates to around four cups of coffee and far more amount of hot chocolates; although, as mentioned, one should be wary of the high sugar content in hot chocolate.

Though it is okay for adults to have some caffeine, the stimulant is not suitable for children. Adolescent teens should limit their consumption of caffeine to around 100 mg per day. Caffeine can cause unwanted side-effects when one consumes too much, this is true for both children and adults. Besides, if you are taking some medications, best avoid caffeine intake as it may have some interactions.

Hot Chocolate and Pregnancy

Does hot chocolate have caffeine? Yes, it does. Can you have it during pregnancy? Yes, you can but not much. Generally, the amount of caffeine that a pregnant woman can have is less than 200 mg, which is about a cup of caffeinated coffee. With hot chocolate, the amount of caffeine is very low, usually about 25 mg a serving, therefore it is generally considered fine for pregnant women to consume moderate amount of it.

What Effects Will It Have?

As stated above, consuming too much caffeine can have adverse effects. We have correctly answered the question – does hot chocolate have caffeine? Now we must answer the question – what happens when you consume too much caffeine?

Those who drink more than the recommended amount of caffeine in one day may experience the following side effects:

  • Nervousness
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Fast Heartbeat
  • Stomach Upset
  • Muscular tremors
  • Irritability

It is important to remember that not everyone is the same in terms of their tolerance to caffeine. Some individuals may experience one or more of the side-effects listed above after only consuming one caffeinated beverage. There are many reasons as to why this is true, such as the amount of caffeine they are used to drinking; those who rarely drink caffeinated beverages may be more likely to experience side-effects after consuming a small amount of caffeine. Other factors that can affect this include age, body mass, some medications, and certain conditions such as disorders pertaining to anxiety.

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