What Happens to Your Body After You Eat a Block of Chocolate?

the chocolate bar
Try not to go overboard with the chocolate. (Image: al62/iStock/GettyImages)

Chocolate can pick you up after a bad day or provide you with a little reward when things are going well — it's a versatile treat. The nutrients in chocolate, including sugar and fat, affect your body as soon as 10 or so minutes after you enjoy a block. However, you might feel a drop in energy after a while as your blood sugar returns to normal.

Types of Chocolate

The two basic types of chocolate are milk chocolate, which contains ample amounts of sugar that sweeten the taste considerably, and dark chocolate, which generally has little sugar added, contributing to dark chocolate’s familiar bitterness.

Note that white chocolate isn’t actually chocolate since it’s created using various oils and contains no cocoa, the chief ingredient in both milk and dark chocolate.

Immediate Effects

When eating either type of chocolate, the immediate sensation is one of either sweetness or bitterness. Immediate gratification comes from your brain producing serotonin, the "happy chemical" that leads to psychological feelings of comfort and satisfaction.

After five to 15 minutes, the sugar in milk chocolate — which is a simple carbohydrate — is converted to blood glucose and is available as a quick energy source. Depending on your level of activity over the next hour or so, the rise in blood sugar means a rise in energy levels; however, after this energy expires, you will “crash,” meaning your blood glucose level will drop.

Further Effects

You might, after 20 minutes, feel a little energy boost because chocolate contains caffeine. However, the drop in blood sugar, as well as the tryptophan in chocolate, causes feelings of lethargy after eating milk chocolate.

After eating dark chocolate, though, you will generally feel hunger subside, due to dark chocolate’s higher fat content; ingested fat causes a quicker sense of satiety, a feeling not generally reported by milk chocolate consumers.

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