Move over, double shot latte. (But, don’t go too far. We still love you.) There’s a new afternoon (or whenever!) pick-me-up that might just replace that PM caffeine buzz, and this one comes in a much smaller package. We are talking about caffeinated chocolates.
These bite-size sweet caffeine-infused snacks are packed with as much caffeine as your favorite coffee drink, but nix the caffeine jitters (for the most part), and high sugar count (again...for the most part—milk chocolate will contain more sugar than dark chocolate, and some caffeinated chocolates have sugary fillers like caramel).
These energy sweets are RD-approved. “[Caffeinated coffee] is a creative way to provide a healthy afternoon pick me up,” says Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN and founder of Real Nutrition. “Coffee and chocolate are both rich in antioxidants and sometimes you want a sweet pick me up post-3 p.m. This bundles it into one tiny snack.”
Like any regular coffee drink, Shapiro says to watch the added sugars and ingredients that don’t serve you when choosing your go-to brand. Opt for brands that use non-synthetic forms of caffeine and ingredients you recognize, she says. Shapiro adds that it's a good idea to do a label check before you munch: “The ingredients in many of these new products are often clean and well-sourced but you should still read the nutrition labels.”
And as with any caffeine, Shapiro recommends to always enjoy with a glass of water. “This will prevent dehydration and will assist with your energy levels, too.”
Here are our faves to stash, or grab on the go.
The best caffeinated chocolates to give a try
Why we love it: No frills, chocolatey goodness with enough caffeine to stave off that afternoon cup of coffee.
In a fun-sized bite, Awake is big on flavor without any ingredients you don’t want. Try a dark chocolate or dark chocolate mint flavor (our senior commerce editor loves the plain milk chocolate and caramel flavors!). Or, opt for a variety pack and sample the goodness of each flavor! Two bites are the equivalent of one cup of coffee, and don’t have any artificial flavors or colors. Bonus? Awake Caffeinated Chocolate is available on Amazon Prime.
Why we love it: Energizing and delicious! Made with green tea for a caffeine boost without the coffee jitters.
These pocket-sized bars from VERB Chocolate are bringing the flavor and energy for when you need it most. Their claim to fame? As much caffeine as an espresso in each mini bar and all plant-based. VERB is going above and beyond the traditional flavors, too. Try a pumpkin spice latte bar to get your fave fall fix or munch on a caramel macchiato with a salty and sweet caramel finish. Cookie butter…vanilla latte….yum! Can’t pick just one? The bestsellers variety pack has all the favorites and best sellers (vanilla latte, chocolate chip banana bread, and cookie butter). They’ve also got s’mores, red velvet, double chocolate, and more on their site.
Why we love it: The name says it all. Pocket Latte doesn’t use any synthetic caffeine! Instead, cocoa butter and 100 percent arabica coffee are blended for a natural all-coffee caffeine combined with delicious chocolate.
Pocket Latte’s mission is to disrupt the synthetic snack industry with products powered by nature, using one of the sixty plant species that produces natural caffeine. No additives needed! Try the cream + sugar, vanilla lavender, dark roast, hazelnut, or a mix of each as a boost or post-lunch pick-me-up.
Why we love it: Although not just chocolate, these bars are a caffeine snack essential. Using ethically sourced ingredients and direct-trade coffee, you can conveniently consume your coffee without grabbing a mug.
With flavors like fudgy mocha and peanut butter mocha (and ingredients like dates, oats, and, yes, roasted coffee beans), you can fuel your workout and beat the afternoon doldrums with one bar.
Why we love it: These are creamy truffles packed with five hours-worth of 150 mg caffeine, which is slightly more than a cup of coffee.
Muv truffles are crafted uses natural caffeine, and they work fast. This variety pack includes mint, coffee, and coconut-flavor. All are delicious, but we love the coconut for a taste of the tropical vacation we’ve been craving.
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