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Top 10 Chocolate Products Highest in Theobromine

Written by Daisy Whitbread, MScN
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Top 10 Chocolate Products Highest in Theobromine

Theobromine is an alkaloid chemical primarily found in the cocoa plant, though also to a lesser extent in tea leaves and the cola nut. Cocoa and chocolate are the main foods high in theobromine.

Theobromine acts somewhat like caffeine in the body, and can be considered a stimulant.

Theobromine widens blood vessels and causes increased urination, and as such, can be used to lower blood pressure. (2) Cocoa and chocolate is also very high in potassium, adding to its potential to help with hypertension (high blood pressure).

Healthy chocolate products high in theobromine include cocoa powder, baking chocolate, and dark chocolate. Less desirable sources include semisweet chocolate, chocolate candy, chocolate wafers, and hot chocolate mixes.

There is no set daily value or adequate intake for theobromine, however, 250mg is a good daily target for adults. An excess of 1000mg may lead to nervousness and headache. (2,3) Also, avoid giving chocolate to dogs and cats. (4) See the warning section for more info.

Below are the top 10 chocolate products highest in theobromine.


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Chocolates High in Theobromine

1 Baking Chocolate (Unsweetened)
Thick dark chocolate squares melting
2 Dark Chocolate (70-85% Cocoa)
Thin dark chocolate squares
3 Dark Chocolate (60-69% Cocoa)
Two squares of dark chocolate
4 Sweet Chocolate Candies
Chocolate candy bars stacked on each other
5 Hot Cocoa
A cup of hot cocoa
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6 Dark Chocolate Coated Coffee Beans
Chocolate coffee beans
7 Cocoa Powder
Cocoa Powder
8 Dark Chocolate (45-59% Cocoa)
Segment of a dark chocolate bar
9 Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Semi-sweet chocolate chips
10 Chocolate Wafers
Stacks of chocolate wafers
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Theobromine Poison Warning

  • 800-1500mg of theobromine in one dose may lead to sweating, trembling and severe headaches. (3)
  • Theobromine is toxic in dogs and cats and can lead to death. Avoid giving pets chocolate. (4)

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Data Sources and References

  1. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28.
  2. Differential contributions of theobromine and caffeine on mood, psychomotor performance and blood pressure.
  3. NIH Toxnet on Theobromine
  4. The British Medical Journal on Chocolate Poisoning.
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