Food Facts

Why are people addicted to chocolate?

Chocolate contains ingredients that give you a pleasure sensation. It has over 380 chemicals; of these, 3 mainly create the pleasure you experience when you consume it. The first one is phenylalanine, which is one of the building blocks for dopamine, which is a mood enhancer. It also creates endorphins, chemical compounds that produce a state of euphoria. Phenylalanine can also increase noradrenaline, a neurotransmitter that helps you to feel awake. 

Next is theobromine, which has a similar chemistry to caffeine. Theobromine is a stimulant that increases mental clarity, is a diuretic, and a vasodilator. The problem is, if you liver damage, perhaps a fatty liver or cirrhosis, your body can’t clear theobromine (or caffeine, for that matter) as quickly as it needs to. If you eat chocolate late in the day, it may disrupt your sleep because the stimulant stays in your body. 

Third is tryptophan, which is an amino acid that is a precursor to serotonin, a neurotransmitter that produces a state of well being. It helps you feel calm, reduces stress, and lowers your anxiety. If you’re depressed, it will help elevate your mood. This is why people consume chocolate when they feel down. 

Last updated: Jan 27, 2023 00:07 AM