Why do Mormons drink hot chocolate that has caffeine in it but not other drinks with caffeine?


4 Responses to “Why do Mormons drink hot chocolate that has caffeine in it b…”

Fernando Ramos
2009-01-25 23:25:29
Hi friend. The Mormon health code, called the "Word of Wisdom," does not explicitly counsel against the use of caffeine. It counsels against the use of coffee and non-herbal teas. Many Mormons have supposed that caffeine is the reason coffee and non-herbal tea should be avoided, so they choose to avoid other beverages that contain high levels of caffeine, like caffeinated soda pop. Other Mormons do drink caffeinated soda pop.

Pretty much all Mormons drink hot chocolate, however, because hot chocolate does not contain high levels of caffeine and is not otherwise prohibited in the "Word of Wisdom." Coffee, for example, can contain up to 2,254 mg of caffeine per liter. Chocolate milk, on the other hand, has at most about 28 mg of caffeine per liter. Hope this helps.
2009-02-12 09:16:33
It has been my understanding, brought up in the LDS church, that we are to take care of our bodies. Caffiene is not mentioned in the word of wisdom and many of us choose to drink colas. I believe the issue is a question of addiction. We are counseled to avoid addiction. I have had many friends quit drinking caffeine because they knew they were addicted to it. I believe we are warned against addictive substances because they harm our bodies and inhibit our agency, both of which are sacred gifts from God. Just my opinion, and perhaps the opinion of other members, is that a cola drink is good for a headache, and sometimes good with a meal, or staying awake during a long drive at night, but that colas should not be consumed in excess, and we should not allow ourselves to become addicted to them. I personally have a cola every once in a great while.
2009-02-14 09:16:46
Because you people who should do more research! It is not the caffine but the other ingridents in coffee that is harmful, even though caffiene is harmful. The main thing about coffee is it is addictive and the LDS church doesn't want their members to lose thier ability to choose. How many coffee drinkers do you know that can't go a day without coffee. Point proven. Oh and by the way an ingredient in coffee is tanic acid which leather workers use to harden leather and that is what happens to your stomach, kinda gross don't you think.

Webmaster: Hi friend. Thanks for your comment re. the contents of coffee. Caffeine is certainly not the only unhealthy ingredient, though it is the ingredient that is principally responsible for coffee's addictive influence. Just to clarify for the readers, though, the Church does not specify which ingredient in coffee is the most dangerous. It councils only that we avoid coffee, presumably because it is addictive. Thanks again!
Robin Whittle
2014-01-05 19:50:30
Coffee of all types, including decaf, contains significant quantities of opioid receptor antagonists, such as 4-Caffeoyl-1, 5-quinide. These occupy the receptors of neurons in the brain and the spinal cord, and prevent them being activated by the body's background level of endogenous opioids. Activation of these receptors reduces pain and engenders feelings of happiness and perhaps euphoria.

These compounds are formed during the roasting process and are apparently not found in other foodstuffs, including chocolate, which the researchers also tested. The original research is: Coffee contains potent opiate receptor binding activity, Nature 301, 246 - 248 (20 January 1983); http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v301/n5897/abs/301246a0.html This has been substantiated and extended in recent years by the Vanderbilt University Institute for Coffee Studies: http://vanderbilt.edu/ics/ . I suggest that anyone with a pain disorder such as Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) or Fibromyalgia avoid coffee of all types.

Chocolate contains theobromine, which is similar to caffeine but probably not as strong in terms of anxiety, irritability, tiredness (the next day) and sleep disruption. Unfortunately it seems that chocolate too can worsen RLS. Caffeine is widely regarded as worsening RLS, but I am not convinced this is the case.

I think Mormons are saving themselves from anxiety and irritability which others (mainly caffeine users) think is normal, and which drives alcohol and tobacco use.

Fernando Ramos: Thanks Robin. While I haven't verified the information you provided, the possibilities it suggests are very interesting. I do want to emphasize, though, that Mormons avoid coffee, alcohol, and tobacco principally for spiritual reasons. We see addictions generally as barriers that complicate people's relationship with God. Any health benefits (and there definitely are some!) are really secondary. If you ever want to learn more about our faith, please feel free to visit us some time to see how we worship. Mormons love visitors. God bless you.

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