Does Cocoa Powder Have Caffeine?

Cocoa powder is an essential item in every pantry. You need to have it handy if you have a sweet tooth and are into making chocolate based desserts. Nothing is more comforting than a cup of hot chocolate in cold winter evenings. The distinctive and intense taste of hot chocolate made with cocoa powder is different from that made with chocolate powder. The question here is whether cocoa powder contain caffeine or not?

Does Cocoa Powder Have Caffeine?

cocoa powderYes, cocoa powder contains caffeine, and the caffeine content varies in different types of cocoa powder. The caffeine content ranges from 0.1% to 0.5%, which depends upon the type of beans used to make the cocoa powder and the degree of fermentation. For instance, the caffeine content in cocoa powder made with well fermented African cocoa beans of good quality is very low. If you do not want to have any caffeine in your diet, you should avoid cocoa powder.

Warning:

Caffeine is a stimulant and can lead to certain side effects if taken in excess. Due to its caffeine content, cocoa powder should not be consumed in large quantities as it can cause sleeplessness, fast and irregular heartbeat, and increased urination.

  • Excessive caffeine can make you more anxious and can aggravate diarrhea. It should not be consumed in large quantities by people having an upset stomach or anxiety disorder.
  • If taken in large quantities by nursing mothers, the infants can become cranky and have abdominal discomfort.
  • If you have acidity or gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), your symptoms can get worse by extra caffeine intake.
  • To have better control of blood sugar levels, avoid taking cocoa powder before any planned surgeries.

What Are the Health Benefits of Cocoa Powder?

Does cocoa powder have caffeine? Now you know the answer, and it is true that caffeine in large quantities can cause some side effects, however, if taken in moderation, there are also many health benefits associated with cocoa powder. 

1.      It Is Rich in Minerals

Cocoa powder is rich in essential minerals like iron, magnesium, zinc and manganese. These play a vital role in maintaining good health and one tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder contains around 3-9% of recommended daily intake of these minerals.

  • Iron is an essential part of hemoglobin which carries oxygen in blood. It is an integral part of red blood cells and strengthens the body’s defense system.
  • Magnesium helps to maintain regular heart rate and plays an important role in producing energy.
  • Zinc is required for a strong immunity and for the production of new cells.
  • Manganese is an antioxidant and is also a part of many enzyme systems.

2.      It Contains Flavonoids

Does cocoa powder have caffeine? Yes, but there are also many benefits associated with it. Most of the health benefits associated with cocoa powder are due to its high content of flavonoids. Flavonoids are antioxidants, and cocoa powder is rich in two types of them: epicatechin and catechin. These flavonoids help to reduce inflammation and relax the blood vessels, which contributes to improved blood flow and decreased blood pressure.

The flavonoids content of unsweetened cocoa powder is higher than that of sweetened variety. One hundred grams of unsweetened cocoa powder has 196 milligrams of catechin which is higher than the catechin content of dark chocolate and sweetened cocoa powder. 

3.      It Has Antidepressant Effects

Cocoa powder is a natural mood elevator.

  • It contains a neurotransmitter called phenethylamine. Phenethylamine acts as an antidepressant and improves the mood.
  • It also boosts the production of endorphins which are the natural happy hormones that can make you feel good. These are released by the body after exercise, sex, laughing and having an exciting experience.
  • What's more, cocoa powder also stimulates serotonin which boosts happiness and makes you happy.

How to Use Cocoa Powder

Does cocoa powder have caffeine? Yes, but the caffeine content is less than that in chocolate. Try these ways to use cocoa powder.

  • To give a deeper and more complex flavor to your baked goods, replace chocolate with cocoa powder. This gives excellent results. All you have to do is reducing the amount of chocolate you are using by 1 oz. and replace with by 1/3 cup of cocoa powder. You can either just sift and mix cocoa powder with flour or mix it in some water to make a paste.
  • If the recipe requires semi-sweet chocolate, you can replace that with cocoa powder as well. Take 1 ½ tablespoons of cocoa powder and mix it with one tablespoon of sugar, two tablespoons of unsalted butter and a tablespoon of boiling water. Mix well and use it to replace one ounce semi-sweet chocolate.
  • You can also use it to replace unsweetened chocolate in your recipes. To replace one ounce of dark or unsweetened chocolate, mix three tablespoons of cocoa powder with one tablespoon of unsalted butter and two tablespoons of boiling water.
  • To make a delicious hot chocolate drink, combine one and a half tablespoons of cocoa powder and 1/8 cup of sugar in a pan. Put one cup of hot water and stir it thoroughly. Keep it on low flame and add a cup of milk when it comes to boil. Keep on mixing it and let it simmer for five minutes on low heat till all the ingredients are well mixed and blended.
  • Cocoa powder can also be used in savory recipes and gives the dishes a very interesting flavor. Add a dash of cocoa powder in your salad dressing, or mix it with vinegar and olive oil, and pour on your spinach salad. To give a twist to your meat dish, make a spicy one by mixing cocoa powder with some cayenne pepper, chili powder and garlic, and use the mixture as a dry rub for chicken, fish or beef. Espresso and ground cloves also work great with cocoa and can be added to the mix.
 
 
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