We know tea and coffee aren’t too easy on the bladder, but what about hot chocolate? Is hot chocolate a diuretic?
Hot chocolate is a favorite around the world because of how yummy and comforting it is as a warm drink, and chocolate does have its benefits. But what else can it do?
Pure chocolate contains the chemicals caffeine and theobromine which makes it a diuretic. While regular hot chocolate will not have as much of either of these two chemicals due to other ingredients being added in, if you consume hot chocolate in large amounts, it will affect your bladder.
Hot chocolate can be a great bedtime drink, but you don’t want to have anything which makes you have to get out of bed every now and then. How much of a diuretic effect can hot chocolate really have on you?
We looked into the different components of chocolate – and thus, hot chocolate – and assessed how much of a contribution each has, in our research.
Is Chocolate a Diuretic?
Most people do know that chocolate has some small doses of caffeine included, but most actually don’t realize that it has a diuretic effect on them. After all, you don’t go rushing to the toilet every few minutes after having one chocolate bar, do you?
This is because the small amount in question is actually so small that it only accounts for about 25% of the total caffeine in a cup of coffee. So, the diuretic effect chocolate has on you will be pretty much unnoticeable, and you’d assume your toilet visit is just your regular toilet visit that is completely unrelated to the chocolate itself.
However, if you eat a lot of chocolate, then you will be consuming much larger amounts of caffeine than you would otherwise, and would naturally need the toilet more. On top of that, the type of chocolate you eat can also make a difference, as well as your hot chocolate recipe.
Can Hot Chocolate Make You Need the Toilet?
The type of chocolate you use and how much of it can affect how much of a diuretic affect your hot chocolate has on you.
For example, white chocolate has no caffeine at all, and would thus not act as a diuretic. If your hot chocolate consists of white chocolate only, the only thing that can make you need the toilet is the actual beverage, and not necessarily the chocolate. But let’s be real, we don’t want white hot chocolate, do we?
On the flip side, dark hot chocolate can be completely different. Dark chocolate has a much greater cocoa component and thus, more caffeine. When it comes to eating dark chocolate, we only have it in small quantities because it is bitter and is usually filled in smaller portions. This means that it doesn’t contribute to your bladder too much.
However, with hot chocolate, things change a bit. If you’re only adding a small amount of dark chocolate to your drink, you’re probably fine, and won’t notice a diuretic effect, but with beverages, that’s usually not it.
If you don’t add enough chocolate, you’re left with mostly milk, and you don’t want hotmilk, you want hot chocolate! So, by adding greater amounts of dark chocolate, you end up with more caffeine in your drink than you would otherwise. Unlike chocolate bars, the problem of the chocolate being bitter is easily avoided by adding a spoon or two of sugar.
Is Hot Chocolate a Diuretic?
So, which is it?
You might think, well regular hot chocolate would be even more of a diuretic than the white or dark, since it’s not bitter and it has caffeine. This may be true with chocolate bars – since it’s a lot easier to eat a bunch of milk chocolate bars in one go, than to eat a bunch of dark chocolate ones. But with hot chocolate, it’s usually the opposite!
Any diuretic effect from your hot chocolate is, of course, attributed to the chocolate part of your drink. The cocoa in the chocolate contains caffeine, and thus, it leaves you needing the toilet.
Or it would, if there was enough of it!
The amount of cocoa used in most hot chocolate recipes is actually so small that the amount of caffeine is also greatly reduced. As a result, while your chocolate will still have an effect, it’s actually a very low one.
To put it in perspective, hot chocolate – if you use regular cocoa or milk chocolate, and not dark chocolate bars – will usually contain about 5 mg of caffeine for each cup. On the other hand, one cup of black tea will have about 47mg of caffeine per cup, while coffee will have about 90 mg, and one can of Red Bull (or any other similar energy drink) will have 80mg.
In comparison to these drinks, 5mg is barely anything! But we’re not really looking at the property of being a diuretic relative to other diuretics – we just want to know whether you’ll be rushing to the toilet after a cup of hot chocolate or not.
In all likelihood, you will. With a regular cup, you will likely not realize it though, since the diuretic effect of the chocolate will be so unnoticeable. On the other hand, if you like your hot chocolate to be very strong and potent, and use only the richest dark chocolate available, you’d probably see the effect more clearly.
You’d also see it a lot clearly if you happen to have a lot of hot chocolate in one go, but then frequent toilet visits would be expected if you drink too much at a time. In that case, you’d probably attribute your overactive bladder to the high amount of liquid, rather than the chocolate in that liquid.
So, hot chocolate is a diuretic, but if you’re sticking to the regular recipes you find online, it wouldn’t be a very strong one.
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