nay_gasidid/ShutterstockThe next time you order a mocha latte from your local barista, you’re not just getting your hot coffee with a chocolate-y twist—you’re delivering some seriously good stuff to your brain. We know this because a smart team of people from Clarkson University and University of Georgia have done the tricky science part for us.
According to the research, published January in the journal BMC Nutrition, the combination of caffeine and chocolate in a mocha latte create a superpower duo all coca/coffee lovers need to be getting a piece of. (Basically, it’s the next best thing to a cake in a coffee mug.)
To determine the “acute effects of brewed cocoa consumption on attention, motivation to perform cognitive work, and feelings of anxiety, energy and fatigue” the team, led by Clarkson University’s Ali Boolani, spent almost a year on a double-blind study. Their test subjects drank brewed cocoa, caffeine without cocoa, a placebo with neither caffeine nor cocoa, and—if they were really lucky—cocoa with caffeine. Tests were then carried out to evaluate both cognitive tasks and mood.
“It was a really fun study,” said Boolani. (We bet!) “Cocoa increases cerebral blood flow, which increases cognition and attention. Caffeine alone can increase anxiety. This particular project found that cocoa lessens caffeine’s anxiety-producing effects—a good reason to drink mocha lattes!”
We’re all over this. In fact, bring on more evidence of health benefits of chocolate, please.
“The results of the tests are definitely promising and show that cocoa and caffeine are good choices for students and anyone else who needs to improve sustained attention,” sais Boolani.
The best news is that the research was sponsored by the Hershey Company, which means manufacturers could soon be figuring out how many ways they can bring this winning caffeine/cocoa partnership to market. If you have an overactive mind, you can turn it into a superpower.
In the meantime, check out these next-level chocolates with superfoods, as if you needed another excuse.