Coffee and hot chocolate are two of the most popular beverages in the world. Personally, I love drinking hot chocolate in the winter, as there is something magical about this drink.
While both beverages have a delicious taste, some people find hot chocolate to be a more seasonal beverage; whereas, people consume coffee all year round.
Furthermore, according to information that has been published by Vending Times, coffee consumption in the United States is increasing. During the past five years, the average coffee consumption per person in the United States has increased by an entire kilogram.
Therefore, when looking at coffee or hot chocolate what are a few of the points to keep in mind? In the end, the health benefits of coffee will outweigh the sweet taste of hot chocolate.
Coffee and Hot Chocolate Are Both Common Beverage Choices
Both coffee and hot chocolate are popular beverage options. Coffee is popular for several reasons; however, the biggest reason why people love coffee is that it packs a punch when it comes to caffeine.
There are a lot of people who start drinking coffee during their college years to help them stay awake while studying.
While lots of people on my freshman floor didn’t come to college as coffee drinkers, many of them wound up drinking coffee on a regular basis by the end of the year. At the same time, this caffeine addiction can also be one of coffee's drawbacks.
Hot chocolate is typically associated with the holidays.
Many people picture a cup of hot chocolate cooling on the windowsill as the snow falls outside. While the coffee bean and the cocoa bean are cousins, hot chocolate is much sweeter than coffee.
This is one of the biggest reasons why people love a mug of hot cocoa. On the other hand, this sweet punch is one of its drawbacks.
When it comes to comparing coffee to hot chocolate, it is important to look at both the taste and the health benefits. Which one comes out on top?
The Benefits of Coffee
Many people get an energy boost from drinking coffee. Thanks to its caffeine content, it increases alertness while reducing fatigue. Studies have shown caffeine coffee can increase dopamine levels.
A drink, like an espresso, provides a source of energy and acts as a pick-me up. A certain amount of caffeine also blocks adenosine receptors in the brain. This prevents people from feeling tired.
The caffeine in coffee may help people lose weight. Studies have shown that caffeine can increase the number of calories that people burn by around 10 percent in addition to helping burn fat.
Given that many people in the United States are struggling to lose weight, coffee might help them do so.
On the other hand, there are also a few drawbacks of regular coffee consumption. These include:
- Studies have shown that too much caffeine can raise someone’s blood pressure.
- Furthermore, the high caffeine content in coffee could lead to a caffeine addiction.
- The symptoms of caffeine withdrawal can include irritability and headaches.
- Some people who drink coffee on a regular basis have trouble sleeping at night.
- When caffeine leaves the body, adenosine can flood receptors in the brain, leading to a side-effects best described as a “coffee crash.”
Whether you like ordering espresso, mocha or latte for your Starbucks barista, it's a good idea to monitor caffeine consumption.
The Benefits of Hot Chocolate
Hot chocolate is a beverage closely tied to the winter season. There are several health benefits of drinking hot chocolate as well. These include:
- Hot chocolate, particularly dark hot chocolate is high in antioxidants such as polyphenols. These antioxidants can improve cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, and reduce inflammation throughout the body.
- A hot chocolate mix can also reduce someone’s blood pressure by increasing levels of nitric oxide. This comes from flavanols that are found in cocoa beans.
- Studies have also found the flavanols in cocoa powder can reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes due to lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure levels.
- Hot chocolate is also a sweeter beverage than coffee. Those who don’t like bitter drinks may find hot chocolate more appealing.
These are just a few of the many benefits hot chocolate can provide. On the other hand, there are a few disadvantages of regular hot chocolate consumption as well. These include:
- Hot chocolate is sweeter because it has more sugar and often comes with toppings like marshmallows or whipped cream. If you drink a lot, it could contribute to obesity or diabetes.
- A chocolate drink can stain your teeth.
- A cup of hot cocoa contains less caffeine, which will stave off a caffeine addiction. However, it's not as useful for waking up early.
- If you're lactose-intolerant, a hot drink made from milk chocolate is off the menu (as is a latte).
While hot chocolate is a delicious beverage, drinking it too often might cause you to put on weight or interfere with your daily consumption of sugar. It also still contains some caffeine. So consider a green tea or chai tea as alternatives.
The Final Word on Coffee or Hot Chocolate
Any evaluation of coffee or hot chocolate is subjective. However, coffee is a year-round beverage; whereas, hot chocolate tends to be more seasonal.
This may explain why coffee is more popular than hot chocolate. Some people also prefer the sweet taste of hot chocolate over the bitter taste of coffee.