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Hot chocolate vs Coffee - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Razmik Sargsyan by Razmik Sargsyan | Last updated on October 26, 2021
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Hot chocolate
vs
Coffee

Summary

Hot chocolate is richer than coffee in vitamin B12, vitamin B2, vitamin D, vitamin A, zinc, iron, phosphorus, and copper.

Coffee contains less saturated fats and no carbohydrates.

Coffee has a beneficial effect on weight loss, cardiovascular health, diabetes, and cancer.

Introduction

In this article, we are going to discuss the similarities and differences between hot chocolate and coffee. Both beverages have been popular for centuries and are loved all over the world.

Classification

The coffee drink is prepared by brewing roasted coffee beans, the seeds of Coffea species berries. The hot chocolate or hot cocoa is made of shaved, melted chocolate or cocoa powder with the addition of heated water or milk. Cocoa powder is obtained from fermented seeds of Theobroma cacao; it is the residue that remains after the preparation of cocoa butter.

Appearance

It is quite easy to distinguish coffee from hot chocolate. The color of the coffee varies from black, dark brown, light brown to beige, depending on the seed type from which it is made, while the color of hot chocolate may be brown or chestnut.

Taste and Use

Based on its variety and preparation method, the taste of the coffee may differ. Coffee is described as a bitter drink with a mildly acidic taste.

Originally the hot chocolate tasted spicy and bitter. Nowadays usually, hot chocolate is consumed with adding sugar or vanilla.

Both drinks are widespread and popular all over the world. The survey shows that 64 % of the US population consumes coffee every day, while only 14 % of responders reported drinking hot chocolate on a daily basis. Both drinks are used mainly as independent beverages, sometimes consumed with some additives.

Varieties

There are four main varieties of coffee:

  • Arabica is popular in North America and has a sweeter and more delicate flavor. This type is also less acidic.
  • Robusta is popular in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. It has a harsh flavor due to the higher content of caffeine.
  • Liberica is the rarest type of coffee with a woody taste.
  • Excelsa is a subtype of the Liberica family.

The main varieties of hot chocolate are:

  • Mayan hot chocolate is served cold and brewed like a beer, the hot variety of Mayan hot chocolate is made with the addition of chili paper.
  • Mumbai hot chocolate contains spices like ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, clove, and peppercorn.
  • Parisian Chocolat Chaud originates from France, with the highest percentage of cocoa (70 %), and is combined with whole milk and cream.
  • Cciocoolata Calda originated in Italy, is similar to the French variety, but with more cream and milk, and involves an extra step of thickening the hot chocolate by adding cornstarch.

Nutrition

Caffeine

Amounts of caffeine are different not only between hot chocolate and coffee but also between different types of coffee. One cup, which is 250 g hot chocolate, contains only 5 mg of caffeine. The situation with coffee is different; different varieties of coffee contain different amounts of caffeine. Here,

  • One serving (236 ml) of decaffeinated brewed coffee contains 2 mg of caffeine,
  • One serving (236 ml) of instant coffee contains 62 mg of caffeine,
  • One serving (29.5 ml) of espresso contains 63 mg of caffeine,
  • One serving (354 ml) of cold brew coffee contains between 153 to 238 mg of caffeine,
  • One serving (236 ml) of brewed coffee contains 95 mg of caffeine.

Calories

There is a drastic difference in calorie content between coffee and hot chocolate, 100 g of hot chocolate contains 77 kcal, while 100 g of coffee contains only 1 kcal.

Proteins and Fats

Hot chocolate is not only rich in calorie content but also richer in protein content.

100 g of hot chocolate contains 3.52 g of protein, while there is only 0.12 g of protein in 100 g of coffee. Hot chocolate and coffee also differ in total lipid content; 100 g of coffee contains 0.02 g of total lipid.

Carbohydrates

Without any additives, coffee contains no carbohydrates, while the total carbohydrate content in hot chocolate is estimated to be 10.7 g per 100 g.

In particular, hot chocolate contains 5 g of sucrose and 4.63 g of lactose, the amount of glucose, fructose, maltose, and galactose estimated to be 0.01 g each.

Vitamins

In the vitamin comparison, the ultimate winner is the hot chocolate.

While coffee is higher in only vitamin B3, hot chocolate is richer in vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D, vitamins B1, B2, B5, B6, B9, B12, and vitamin K.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
:
1
Coffee
Contains more Vitamin A +∞%
Contains more Vitamin E +200%
Contains more Vitamin D +∞%
Contains more Vitamin C +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +178.6%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +139.5%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +29.1%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +3900%
Contains more Folate +150%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +∞%
Contains more Vitamin K +100%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +43.6%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 11% 1% 34% 1% 10% 42% 3% 20% 10% 4% 62% 1%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 0% 1% 0% 0% 4% 18% 4% 16% 1% 2% 0% 1%
Contains more Vitamin A +∞%
Contains more Vitamin E +200%
Contains more Vitamin D +∞%
Contains more Vitamin C +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +178.6%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +139.5%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +29.1%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +3900%
Contains more Folate +150%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +∞%
Contains more Vitamin K +100%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +43.6%

Minerals

While coffee is lower in sodium, hot chocolate is richer in minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, copper, zinc, and phosphorus.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Contains more Calcium +5600%
Contains more Iron +4100%
Contains more Magnesium +666.7%
Contains more Phosphorus +3400%
Contains more Potassium +302%
Contains more Zinc +3050%
Contains more Copper +5050%
Contains less Sodium -95.5%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 35% 16% 17% 45% 18% 6% 18% 35%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 1% 1% 3% 2% 5% 1% 1% 1%
Contains more Calcium +5600%
Contains more Iron +4100%
Contains more Magnesium +666.7%
Contains more Phosphorus +3400%
Contains more Potassium +302%
Contains more Zinc +3050%
Contains more Copper +5050%
Contains less Sodium -95.5%

Glycemic Index

Since coffee contains no carbohydrates, its glycemic index is estimated to be 0, while the glycemic index of hot chocolate is 51 (1), which falls under the low glycemic index range.

Acidity

Both beverages are alkaline. The PRAL value of coffee is estimated to be -1, and the PRAL value of hot chocolate is slightly more, equal to -0.6. The PRAL shows the capacity of the food to produce acids or bases inside the organism.

Weight Loss

A study performed in 2018 evaluated the effect of caffeine on weight loss. In general, caffeine intake is correlated with weight, BMI, and body fat reduction mainly due to the fact that caffeine induces energy dissipation by inducing cellular mechanisms in skeletal muscles and in the central nervous system, which generates special nervous system activity, consequently leading to weight loss (2).

Another study shows that coffee, besides its stimulating effect on the nervous system, leads to weight loss due to the appetite-suppressing effect. Moreover, the study shows that individuals who combined exercising with regular coffee intake had significantly higher results in weight loss (3).

Health Impact

In this section, we are going to discuss the health impact of coffee and hot chocolate on human organisms.

Cardiovascular Health

The study that evaluated the relationship between coffee consumption and the development of cardiovascular diseases shows that even high coffee consumption was not connected with CVD risk; moreover, moderate intake (3 - 5 per day) has a beneficiary effect and lowers the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases (4).

One study evaluated the effect of cocoa on the cardiovascular system and found that different mechanisms of action are in control. Notably, in the case of cocoa, the beneficiary agents are the flavanols and procyanidins, which stand as antioxidants and inducers of antioxidant mechanisms in humans, leading to protective effects against cardiovascular diseases (5).

Diabetes

Researchers found that individuals who consumed not less than 4 and not more than 7 cups of coffee per day had a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes (6).

Another study shows that regular coffee intake is also related to improvement in glucose metabolism, thus having a protective effect on type 2 diabetes (7).

The flavonols contained in cocoa have beneficiary effects by involvement in various mechanisms such as regulation of carbohydrate absorption in the gut, insulin sensitivity improvement by regulating glucose transporters and main insulin signaling pathways, and demonstration of lipid-lowering effects, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities (8).

Cancer

Together with all the benefits of coffee highlighted above, it is shown that coffee also demonstrates cancer-reducing activity. In particular, it reduces oral, pharynx, colon, liver, prostate endometrial cancer, and melanoma. However, there is a relationship between coffee intake and the development of lung cancer, although these correlations have to be further evaluated (9).

The majority of bioactive compounds in cocoa are similar to wine, green tea, and soy. Thus, having flavonoids known for their antioxidant capacity to the maximum extent, cocoa is suggested to exhibit anticancer and protective activity. However, more data and studies are required (10).

References

  1. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/114/5/1625/6320814
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30335479/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26554757/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3945962/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2797556/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22497654/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6544578/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5745494/
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5036059/
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19838930/
Article author photo Razmik Sargsyan
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: October 26, 2021

Infographic

Hot chocolate vs Coffee infographic
Infographic link

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the most right column. It shows the amounts side by side, making it easier to realize the amount of difference.
Hot chocolate Coffee
Rich in minerals ok
Lower in price ok
Rich in vitamins ok
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Cholesterol ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in glycemic index ok

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Hot chocolate Coffee Opinion
Net carbs 9.74g 0g Hot chocolate
Protein 3.52g 0.12g Hot chocolate
Fats 2.34g 0.02g Hot chocolate
Carbs 10.74g 0g Hot chocolate
Calories 77kcal 1kcal Hot chocolate
Starch g g
Fructose 0.01g 0g Hot chocolate
Sugar 9.66g 0g Coffee
Fiber 1g 0g Hot chocolate
Calcium 114mg 2mg Hot chocolate
Iron 0.42mg 0.01mg Hot chocolate
Magnesium 23mg 3mg Hot chocolate
Phosphorus 105mg 3mg Hot chocolate
Potassium 197mg 49mg Hot chocolate
Sodium 44mg 2mg Coffee
Zinc 0.63mg 0.02mg Hot chocolate
Copper 0.103mg 0.002mg Hot chocolate
Vitamin A 176IU 0IU Hot chocolate
Vitamin E 0.03mg 0.01mg Hot chocolate
Vitamin D 45IU 0IU Hot chocolate
Vitamin D 1.1µg 0µg Hot chocolate
Vitamin C 0.2mg 0mg Hot chocolate
Vitamin B1 0.039mg 0.014mg Hot chocolate
Vitamin B2 0.182mg 0.076mg Hot chocolate
Vitamin B3 0.133mg 0.191mg Coffee
Vitamin B5 0.328mg 0.254mg Hot chocolate
Vitamin B6 0.04mg 0.001mg Hot chocolate
Folate 5µg 2µg Hot chocolate
Vitamin B12 0.49µg 0µg Hot chocolate
Vitamin K 0.2µg 0.1µg Hot chocolate
Tryptophan 0.037mg 0mg Hot chocolate
Threonine 0.095mg 0.001mg Hot chocolate
Isoleucine 0.169mg 0.002mg Hot chocolate
Leucine 0.305mg 0.005mg Hot chocolate
Lysine 0.215mg 0.001mg Hot chocolate
Methionine 0.076mg 0mg Hot chocolate
Phenylalanine 0.15mg 0.003mg Hot chocolate
Valine 0.201mg 0.003mg Hot chocolate
Histidine 0.067mg 0.002mg Hot chocolate
Cholesterol 8mg 0mg Coffee
Trans Fat 0.078g 0g Coffee
Saturated Fat 1.431g 0.002g Coffee
Monounsaturated Fat 0.677g 0.015g Hot chocolate
Polyunsaturated fat 0.084g 0.001g Hot chocolate

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Hot chocolate Coffee
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low glycemic index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores

The summary score is calculated by summing up the daily values contained in 300 grams of the product. Obviously the more the food fulfills human daily needs, the more the summary score is.
Vitamin Summary Score
16
Hot chocolate
4
Coffee
Mineral Summary Score
23
Hot chocolate
1
Coffee

Macronutrients Comparison

Macronutrient comparison charts compare the amount of protein, total fats, and total carbohydrates in 300 grams of the food. The displayed values show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of food.
Protein
21%
Hot chocolate
1%
Coffee
Carbohydrates
11%
Hot chocolate
0%
Coffee
Fats
11%
Hot chocolate
0%
Coffee

Comparison summary

Which food is richer in minerals?
Hot chocolate
Hot chocolate is relatively richer in minerals
Which food is cheaper?
Hot chocolate
Hot chocolate is cheaper (difference - $1)
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Hot chocolate
Hot chocolate is relatively richer in vitamins
Which food is lower in Sugar?
Coffee
Coffee is lower in Sugar (difference - 9.66g)
Which food contains less Sodium?
Coffee
Coffee contains less Sodium (difference - 42mg)
Which food is lower in Cholesterol?
Coffee
Coffee is lower in Cholesterol (difference - 8mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Coffee
Coffee is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 1.429g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Coffee
Coffee is lower in glycemic index (difference - 51)

References

The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact links to the foods presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Hot chocolate - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171277/nutrients
  2. Coffee - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171890/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000 calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.