Every once in a while, all of us find reasons to have a bar of chocolate but can people eat chocolate at night? Read on to find the answer.
Chocolate makes a popular sweet treat. Whether you are craving a dessert following your dinner or want a snack for late-night munching, chocolate makes one of the first things that come to mind. But is eating chocolate at night a good idea?
Chocolate may be a delicious sweet treat that you love, but it's not always best to eat chocolate at night, especially right before going to bed. Chocolate is rich in caffeine which is a stimulant that can make it hard for you to fall and stay asleep at night and can lead to several other problems.
Chocolate is considered one of the favorite snacks for people around the world. After all, the sweet treat is a source of healthy nutrients and sugar and fat. But many people are confused about what is the best time to eat chocolate? Can people eat chocolate at night? What are some of the side effects of eating chocolate at night?
As a nutritionist with several years of experience in dealing with different types of food, including chocolate, we are in a position to give you a clear picture of whether you can eat chocolate at night. Let's dissect the question and get into the details of whether one can eat chocolate at night.
Can People Eat Chocolate at Night?
Chocolate makes a popular sweet treat. For people with a sweet tooth or those who occasionally crave something, chocolates make a handy and on-the-go dessert. But is eating chocolate at night a good idea? Is it a snack for late-night munching?
Eating chocolate at night, especially before sleeping, is not a good idea.
Chocolate is made from cocoa beans which are a great source of antioxidants like flavonoids and minerals such as iron, magnesium and zinc. However, cocoa powder is also rich in caffeine, which may negatively impact your sleep. Caffeine is a stimulant that enhances your brain activity by increasing the release of chemicals such as adrenaline and cortisol. In turn, your body and brain feel more focused and refreshed.
While chocolate does not contain the same amount of caffeine as in coffee, it is enough to make you lose your sleep. A 100 grams of dark chocolate contains 80 milligrams of caffeine, whereas a 100 grams of milk chocolate contains around 20 milligrams of caffeine. Therefore, it is best to avoid eating it, especially before bed. A good rule of thumb on when to stop eating chocolate (or any large meal) is at least three hours before going to bed as it makes it easier for your body to digest the sugar, fat and caffeine so you can fall and stay asleep better.
What Are Some of the Side Effects of Eating Chocolate at Night?
While it is a good idea to consume chocolate to get some of its benefits, including nutrients and antioxidants, eating chocolate at night, especially before bed, should be a no-no because it comes with several undesirable effects.
Disrupted Sleep Cycle
Consumption of caffeine-rich food at night, especially before sleep, is one of the leading causes of poor sleep or disrupted sleep cycle, leading to insomnia. Caffeine-rich food and drinks, including coffee and chocolate, can stimulate your brain and prevent switching off even when you have gotten to the bed.
To improve your sleep hygiene, it is best to stop consuming caffeine-rich foods or beverages at least three hours before you sleep.
Eating chocolate right before going to bed can give you nightmares because it contains a high amount of sugar, and sugary foods can significantly increase your chances of getting nightmares.
Poor Dental Hygiene
Chocolates are loaded with sugar which is a leading cause of tooth decay, and the problem still persists even when you have brushed your teeth. Foods high in sugar, such as chocolate, contain refined sugar and are best consumed with foods rich in fiber which aids in neutralizing the excessive sugar in the oral cavity.
When you eat chocolate at night, it can lead to acid reflux which causes a burning sensation in the chest and throat when you wake up the next morning.
What is the Best Time to Eat Chocolate?
While eating chocolate at night is not a good idea then, you would wonder what is the best time to eat chocolate. Ideally, if you want to avoid the undesirable effects of chocolate on your body, you should consume it at least three hours before you go to bed. Moreover, also make sure that when you eat chocolate, you should consume it alongside foods that are rich in fiber to minimize the undesirable effects of eating chocolate.
About THE AUTHOR
Lori has been a Culinary Arts instructor for twenty years. She has taught in the public school setting, at the collegiate level and through adult continuing education as well as running several cooking and baking camps for children. She has participated in several cooking, cake & chocolate contests and has been well recognized. She has raised thousands of dollars for charities using the byline “Saving the World one Cupcake at a Time”. Additionally, she has had several articles regarding food published in various magazines.Read More About Lori Gilmore