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Artifacts of Modern Life

Seen at a grocery store while I was shopping with rain_herself:

Yes, you're seeing that right. It's caffeinated hot chocolate. As in, hot chocolate with caffeine in it.

Have we as a society really reached the point where we can not face the day without putting drugs into everything we eat and drink?



( 49 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 4th, 2008 04:33 pm (UTC)
Chocolate has caffeine in it, so technically your question should be "* without putting more drugs *".
Dec. 4th, 2008 04:49 pm (UTC)
My understanding is that chocolate has theobromine, not caffeine--same thing except for a hydrogen stick in place of a CH3 group:

But yeah, I take your point.
Dec. 4th, 2008 05:02 pm (UTC)
This is why I can have chocolate while being on a caffeine-free diet :-)
Dec. 4th, 2008 05:08 pm (UTC)
Yeah I've always thought there was caffeine in chocolate, but apparently not nearly so much as coffee. That packaged stuff, however, tastes awful so I tend to make my own with dark chocolate - which probably does carry more of a caffeine punch.

What I'm disgusted by is caffeinated water, and the caffeinated candy being marketed to kids - and now there's caffeine in cosmetic products as well!

Here's some info I pulled this from Wisegeek.com:

There is caffeine in chocolate, present only in small amounts. For those who must avoid caffeine completely, this may be bad news. However, for those who can have a small amount of caffeine, the caffeine in chocolate is not likely to be problematic unless one consumes vast quantities of chocolate on a regular basis.

The caffeine in chocolate varies according to the type of chocolate one chooses. Caffeine in chocolate that is unsweetened or is semi-sweet usually contains about five to 10 milligrams of caffeine per ounce of chocolate. Caffeine in chocolate with milk added is usually measured at five milligrams or less per ounce. Generally, caffeine in chocolate is present in higher amounts, as the chocolate gets darker.

Usually, the highest caffeine measurement for an ounce of chocolate is 10 milligrams. One can compare this to coffee to see that this is a relatively minuscule amount. The average cup of coffee contains about ten to fifteen times the amount of caffeine in one ounce of chocolate. Usually coffee contains between 100-150 milligrams of caffeine in an eight-ounce cup. This may vary slightly according to brand and roast style.

The caffeine in tea also can be compared to caffeine in chocolate. Green tea is much lower in caffeine than coffee, containing between 15-40 milligrams per eight-ounce cup. Black tea has an average of 50 milligrams of caffeine per cup. Both green and black tea will have a higher caffeine rating depending upon amount of tea used and brewing time.

The average Hershey bar is approximately one and a half ounces of milk chocolate. If one eats the whole bar, this translates to consuming about seven and a half milligrams of caffeine. One would have to eat six bars in order to equal the caffeine in strong green tea, and seven and a half bars to equal the caffeine in black tea. To match a cup of coffee, one would have to eat approximately 20 Hershey bars.
Dec. 4th, 2008 05:28 pm (UTC)
One of the comments in that thread correctly points out that the article is incorrect; it's theobromine, not caffeine. Cacao beans don't contain any caffeine at all. (That's why chocolate is poisonous to dogs. Dogs can't metabolize theobromine.)

Caffeine and theobromine are similar enough to each other that a lot of folks call 'em both caffeine, and medical sites will tell people with caffeine sensitivities to avoid theobromine because they are similar enough that if you're sensitive to one you'll be sensitive to the other as well. But I'm a stickler for this sort of thing. :)

Edited at 2008-12-04 05:28 pm (UTC)
Dec. 4th, 2008 05:38 pm (UTC)
Yes I remember theobromine, having learned quite a few years back that people with fibrocystic breasts should avoid chocolate because of it, as well as coffee (caffeine) and tea (theophylline).

All three of these are in a class of alkaloid molecules known as methylxanthines.

It's weird to me that green tea is supposed to have the least amount of the substance, and yet green tea gives me more of a caffeine buzz than anything!

Here's an interesting link:
Dec. 4th, 2008 05:40 pm (UTC)
Yes you ARE a stickler. And that's a GOOD thing! ;~D
Dec. 4th, 2008 07:31 pm (UTC)
My understanding was that chocolate has *both* caffeine (in trace amounts) and theobromine. There's a lot more theobromine than caffeine, but it's still there. I was actually looking at this just the other day.
Dec. 5th, 2008 12:09 am (UTC)
I volunteer to eat the 20 Hershey bars. :)
Dec. 4th, 2008 06:24 pm (UTC)
In chemistry terms, caffeine is 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine, whereas theobromine is 3,7-dimethylxanthine. Tea contains, in addition to caffeine, a small amount of theophylline, which is 1,3-dimethylxanthine.
Dec. 4th, 2008 10:08 pm (UTC)
*icon love*
Dec. 4th, 2008 09:56 pm (UTC)
It has BOTH in it. More theobromine, but trace amounts of caffeine (I've a friend with an allergy.)

They've probably added more in to compete with coffee.

Dec. 4th, 2008 04:39 pm (UTC)
Have we as a society really reached the point where we can not face the day without putting drugs into everything we eat and drink?

No. How sad is that?
Dec. 4th, 2008 06:35 pm (UTC)
Hmmm. Not sure. I like caffeine. In general I like all drugs I can take without hurting myself, which comes down to... well... caffeine, come to think of it. Dunno, may be that chewing coca leaves might also not be bad for you, but I don't have easy access to that.

Of course living in London I occasionally indulge in drugs that are bad for me, i.e. ale.

Seriously? Some of us would sleep for twenty hours a day were it not for caffeine and even more artificial drugs, like modafinil in my case.

I do make my own caffeinated chocolate, however, by the cunning expedient of adding a cup of espresso to a hot chocolate. Or, er, ok, ordering a mocha at Starbucks, which annoys me because a) I get to ingest more sugar than I want to and b) I am never, ever, EVER able to answer "No, thanks" when the bastard bat their eyelids at me and ask "Do want cream on top of that?"
Dec. 4th, 2008 07:40 pm (UTC)
As someone who used to use caffeine in high doses and then went cold turkey for medical reasons, I found that once the chemical was removed from my system, I no longer needed it to stay awake. The dependency was cyclic - the more I took, the more I needed to give the same affect.

I have not had caffeine in 11 years and I work on the concert circuit without any problems. I'm usually more energetic than my co-workers who slam the coffees and I don't crash afterwards.
Dec. 4th, 2008 09:10 pm (UTC)
I vary a lot. There are times when my caffeine intake goes almost to zero, and I work fine. Then I think I can dispense with the modafinil too and that everything will be fine. But if I do that, I end up lethargic - I sleep all the time, feel drowsy and crap, and so on. I would be able to dispense with caffeine if I could exercise more, but for very annoying medical reasons lately I haven't been able to.
Dec. 4th, 2008 04:50 pm (UTC)
I think I want to make mocha out of that.
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 4th, 2008 04:55 pm (UTC)
you know, they had Swiss Miss milk chocolate coco at Target for only $1.02 per box... so I bought 4... now I may have to go back and pick up some of these to perky coco boxes!
Dec. 4th, 2008 05:06 pm (UTC)
Hey I own a t-shit with caffeine on it. I am a strong believer in it but I think if I wanted something hot and caffeinated I would stick with a nice cup of coffee.
Dec. 4th, 2008 05:54 pm (UTC)
I hate the taste of coffee. I love this idea.
Dec. 6th, 2008 01:25 am (UTC)
I can't drink coffee anymore *allergic* and sometimes would love it if I could have that same hit from hot chocolate (but these mixes are often foul).
Dec. 4th, 2008 05:07 pm (UTC)
Chocolate already has caffeine in it. Unless they added more it is just a gimmick to sell it to the Starbucks junkies.
Dec. 4th, 2008 05:34 pm (UTC)
Hmmm... I used to drink caffeinated water, and that was about 10 years ago. http://www.waterjoe.com/ So its no surprise they are now adding it to other non-caffeinated drinks.
Dec. 4th, 2008 05:35 pm (UTC)
Spellcheck is not always your friend.

"Seen at a grocery sore..."

"Hey I own a t-shit with caffeine on it."

Grammar national socialism aside, I suspect the reason behind the increase in energy drinks, caffeinated cocoa, and a dusting of stimulants getting added to things is that the pace of business and social interaction seems to have been accelerating, and people are feeling a pressure to accelerate themselves to keep up. Stimulants and depressants are generally less regulated than, say, psychedelics. Some have argued that this is because they don't have the same potential for personal change, but just slow people down or speed them up. I say chemignostics are barking up the wrong tree, but my experience in the field is limited.

The backlash to the accelerators would be things like the Slow Food movement, permaculture, the Long Now Foundataion, and so forth, groups and individuals dedicated to working on better ways to do things rather than merely faster ways.
Dec. 4th, 2008 05:37 pm (UTC)
Store! Store! Gah! (Fixed now.)
Dec. 4th, 2008 06:42 pm (UTC)
When I was researching sleep deprivation (back in the happy days when I had a job and it was on the night shift) one of the things I learned was that there is a widespread chronic lack of sleep in the general population, because the average need is 8 hours, but what with having to be at the workplace at 9 we end up sleeping six hours or so and making it up at weekends, which is a bad idea because any variation of your sleep pattern even if you do need to catch up on sleep leaves you groggy and disoriented.

But that is the average. There are lots of people happily able to function on less than eight hours of sleep (down to about four) and people like me who need much more sleep than others. This means that our civilization is fucking me up marginally more than most people. Or it did until I was happily made redundant. Now, were it not the fact that my days have suddenly exploded with lots of things that I would like to do, I could sleep as much as I want. Bliss! Were it not for this small problem of where do I get the money for the hot chocolate...
Dec. 4th, 2008 07:16 pm (UTC)
My boss at a previous job claimed to do well on 4-5 hours, but if I try that, after two or three days, I can't be trusted to do anything complicated.

When I was unemployed, I slept from 1-2 AM to 11 AM, which got me plenty of sleep and meant that my friends were getting out of work in the middle of my "day". That was the best summer ever. There's just so much cool stuff to do, especially when the weather is nice.
Dec. 4th, 2008 07:42 pm (UTC)
I'm actually one of those people who needs about 10 hours or more to function properly. But I found my dependency on chemicals to remain awake lessened with the amount of chemicals I was using.
Dec. 4th, 2008 09:22 pm (UTC)
Actually, if my plan of working from home works out (doesn't seem to be going full steam at the moment, but we'll see next year) I might well try that route.

Another problem I had was that the last time I was freelancing I tended to sleep as much as I needed and them lengthen my days so that I found myself working cycling through the night-day cycle. I doubt it was good for me, though it did beat working 00:00-08:00 three days a week in an office. God, that was evil.
Dec. 4th, 2008 05:43 pm (UTC)
And of course the first thing I noticed on there is that it has calcium added. Because people who need extra calcium would never think of making their hot chocolate with milk.
Dec. 7th, 2008 11:35 pm (UTC)
I make mine with milk most of the time. Still, I'll take whatever extra calcium I can get, since I don't actually like dairy and despise most "greens" (spinach and collard greens and such, not all vegetables in general), and calcium pills are expensive and usually gigantic.
Dec. 8th, 2008 12:40 am (UTC)
i need all the calcium i can get as well. was actually thinking more along the lines of people who get too much calcium. walking through the grocery store, muttering under their breath "dangnabbit, hot cocoa used to be safe, just add water, but now it's got calcium in it, too. fuss fuss whine"
Dec. 4th, 2008 05:53 pm (UTC)
Why pussyfoot around with blase-old caffeine? I'm going straight to cocaine-laced apple cider this winter.
Dec. 4th, 2008 06:04 pm (UTC)
judging by how many people I know on antidepressants with caffiene addictions? Nope.
Dec. 4th, 2008 06:18 pm (UTC)
I couldn't find data for Swiss Miss with a quick search, but the Hershey's Web site reports that "Hershey's Goodnight Kisses" hot cocoa has 3 mg caffeine and 37 mg theobromine. A standard bar of Hershey's Special Dark contains 31 mg caffeine (cf. 35 mg for a 12-oz. can of Coke) and 184 mg theobromine. Thus, while the quantity of caffeine in regular Swiss Miss is probably insignificant compared to the 67 mg in the euphemistically-named "Pick Me Up" variety, it seems to be a stretch to say that cocoa has no caffeine whatsoever.
Dec. 4th, 2008 07:20 pm (UTC)
Oddly the caffeine didn't phase me.
But some of that is that I parse chocolate as its own kind of drug, so adding another doesn't bother me.

The calcium, on the other hand, reads much more like they're trying to claim that their drink is healthy, and that bothers me much more.
It's hot cocoa.. it's not supposed to be healthy, it's supposed to be a treat, an occasional pleasure.
Dec. 4th, 2008 08:01 pm (UTC)
Yes, this is my reaction also.
Dec. 4th, 2008 09:26 pm (UTC)
Probably hot semiskimmed fresh milk with cocoa powder in it is a hell of a lot healthier than your average "healthy" granola bar. :-(

Milk is a very good food if you have the enzymes to digest it, especially if you are a woman. It's got good proteins, good sugars in not too high a proportion, and very nice calcium for your bones.

Just today, after a squeak of horror yesterday during a meeting with my scales, I was wondering how many more calories I would be adding to my milk if I put my cocoa powder in it. Not many I suppose, but I drank it white, and I even resisting the evil temptation to dunk malted milk cookies in it. Ahhh comfort food. :-)
Dec. 4th, 2008 08:44 pm (UTC)
What grocery store is that? I like how big and bold the Unite Price is!
Dec. 4th, 2008 09:54 pm (UTC)
Needs bacon.

Mmmm, baconated coffee...

...and Admiral Crunch...

Dec. 4th, 2008 10:08 pm (UTC)
My first thought was not the caffeine content, but that here we have a Swiss Miss clearly labeled to encourage one to pick her up and (as implied by "with calcium") bone her.

Dirty little Swiss Missy. Dirty, dirty, dirty.
Dec. 4th, 2008 10:13 pm (UTC)
Well, well, well -- looks like the Swiss Miss isn't so innocent as she'd have you believe. What's next? Tiny Viagra marshmallows? Tie that bitch up, please! *mind full of hentai-style Swiss Miss perversion now* As for me, I'd pick better drugs than caffeine.
Dec. 4th, 2008 10:36 pm (UTC)
It's the caffeinated water-beverage (forget brand name)that bothers me most.

But all these drugged-up previously innocent things freak me because they're so far removed from nature, you can't be sure of what you're getting unless you (ha) trust the label.
Dec. 5th, 2008 12:17 am (UTC)
I have caffeinated soap, as well as a treatment for under-eye circles that has caffeine in it. But considering that every day I take up to 1800mg of antinflammatories, birth control pills, SSRIs, as well as the occasional antihistamine...I'm not sure the caffeine is such a big deal.

(Deleted comment)
Dec. 5th, 2008 12:45 pm (UTC)
Oh yes, I remember hearing about that now! Just consider how much of this stuff is now getting into our water supply!

Not only washing caffeine down the drain but peeing it into the water supply as well. Not to mention all the antibiotics and other drugs which are not filtered by waste treatment systems.

Just think - if you live in California, you may be getting your Prozac every time you quench your thirst!
Dec. 5th, 2008 02:28 pm (UTC)
Dec. 6th, 2008 10:06 pm (UTC)
Caffeine being how I got through two years of schooling with 5-6 hours of sleep a night, I think that's some rather expensive drugs there.

Sam's choice! $.56 for a 2 liter! DRINK DRINK DRINK, CORPORATE WHORE!
Dec. 7th, 2008 10:09 pm (UTC)
I think so.... yes
hmm I love hot chocolate but not *that* much ;)
( 49 comments — Leave a comment )