How To Get Caffeine Health Benefits? Mix It Up With Chocolate!

By Donna Bellevue , Mar 08, 2017 01:14 AM EST

According to a new study, combining chocolate and caffeine my boost health benefits compared to when you take them individually. Both ingredients are good on their own for promoting alertness, but together, they can lead to better attention levels and effectively lower anxiety. The study, published online in BMC Nutrition, finds that coffee and chocolate can both heighten each other's healthy qualities.

Researchers from University of Georgia in the US wanted to observe the acute effects of brewed cocoa intake on attention, motivation to perform cognitive work, and feelings of anxiety, energy and fatigue. They obtained results by testing the effects of cocoa and coffee separately, and then together, on a group of volunteers. Participants were then asked to do a set of cognitive tasks which involve numbers and letter.

They find that caffeine's effect on alertness is heightened in participants who drank it with chocolate. On the other hand, drinking only caffeine didn’t seem to affect volunteers’ concentration, but combining it with cocoa did make volunteers less angry after concentration tasks than those who had just coffee on its own. Researcher Ali Boolani says that cocoa increases cerebral blood flow, which can lead to the increase of cognition and attention, the Daily Times reports.

She adds that caffeine alone can increase anxiety, but cocoa lessens caffeine's anxiety-producing effects. "The results of the tests are definitely promising and show that cocoa and caffeine are good choices for students and anyone else who needs to improve sustained attention," said Boolani. The study gives good reasons why you should get a mocha latte next time you visit the coffee house.

According to the Medical Daily, caffeine and chocolate's health benefits even extend to cardiovascular health. A 2015 study found that higher intake of dark chocolate is associated with lower risk of cardiovascular problems in the future. The study was sponsored by the Hershey Company.

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