Does Chocolate Give You Energy?

When you hit a slump in the afternoon, you might be tempted to drink coffee or try an energy drink. Consider reaching for chocolate instead. It is a natural energy booster that contains caffeine and will increase your endorphins to give you a quick pick-me-up. For optimal benefits, select dark chocolate over milk chocolate, and keep your indulgence to a moderate amount. Just don't overdo it, because chocolate can have a high fat content.

A young woman eating chocolate from a box. Credit: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

The Darker the Better

Eating dark chocolate once or twice per week is actually good for you. Its energizing and mood-boosting powers come from caffeine and other stimulants, including theobromine and tryptophan -- a precursor to serotonin, a compound that helps you feel calm. Dark chocolate increases nitric acid levels to help control blood pressure, and it has antioxidant properties that can neutralize free radicals, which cause cell damage and might contribute to cancer. Even milk chocolate is an antioxidant, though not to the same extent as dark chocolate.

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