Is caffeine really that bad for you?

Is caffeine really that bad for you?

4 ways coffee impacts you

If you want to reduce coffee but just LOVE the way coffee makes you feel (and the ritual of it!) we absolutely get it. 

We have directly compared caffeine vs cacao so we could decide for ourselves if our daily cups of coffee were sabotaging our health…. Some interesting findings! 


Conventional coffee is among the most heavily chemically treated foods in the world. It is steeped in synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides – which we find shocking. Not only does the environment suffer from this overload, but so do the people who consume it. That’s why organic coffee is KEY which is not always easy to find. Cacao isn’t so perfect either, there are various ‘grades’ of cacao which vary from heavily processed (milled at high temperatures) to mildy processed (slow and low temperatures) which will affect the number of vitamins and nutrients they hold. We proudly use only the highest grade Organic Raw Peruvian Cacao.

 Our bodies don’t react well to chemicals and can disrupt our gut’s flora and fauna and we all know that gut health is KEY for optimal health, mind and body.


Your morning coffee actually provides the same amount of energy as our beloved cacao BUT, cacao provides stable energy – meaning you won’t burn and crash come 3pm when all you want to do is sleep (or have another coffee!). Cacao unlike other stimulants, contains theobromine, the more balanced sibling of the popular chemical caffeine. Raw cacao is also rich in a phytonutrient known as a flavonol. Flavonols have been shown in numerous studies to improve blood flow to the brain. When you improve blood flow, and therefore oxygen to the brain, researchers have seen significant improvements in mental focus and attention span.


Cortisol contributes to weight gain, poor sleep, poor digestion, irritability and low moods. Our fav health expert Libby Weaver says that in an already stressed world where anxiety is rife, “caffeine intake leads you to make the very hormone that drives anxious feelings” therefore is the top of her list to remove if you are feeling this way.

Whilst cacao is still a stimulant and can increase cortisol, the amounts are much smaller (LUKA has roughly 4mg caffeine vs 1 cup of coffee which has 98mg) meaning its highly unlikely it will spike cortisol.


Because caffeine is a stimulant, studies have shown it has the ability to cause agitation, tremors, nervousness, and sleeplessness. All of these symptoms can have a negative impact on mood because they are similar to those of the body’s “fight-or-flight” mode. Because caffeine also only provides a temporary boost to the nervous system, if you suffer from depression, you may experience a more severe drop in your mood once the effects of the stimulant wears off.

Cacao on the other hand is known as a mood enhancer! it contains a compound called phenethylamine, which triggers the release of endorphins and mood-enhancing neurochemicals such as serotonin and oxytocin - the ‘feel-good’ chemicals. When it comes to your mood, it’s a no-brainer!


Whilst caffeine also holds antioxidants, there are a few reasons it doesn’t contribute well to your skin health. Firstly, dehydration – caffeine dehydrates the skin which is not ideal for that glow you want to achieve. Also, our pesky friend cortisol. As mentioned above, the spike in cortisol leads to a heightened stress response in the body. Stress hormones, such as cortisol, may increase the amount of oil produced meaning you can be more prone to breakouts. Because Cacao contains flavonoid, it holds more antioxidants per gram than blueberries, goji berries, red wine and pomegranates. As we all know, antioxidants are KEY to skin health because of their anti ageing benefits.


So how does this all weigh up for you? It certainly helped us understand how coffee reacts in the body and just how incredible cacao is. No wonder cacao is referred to as ‘the food of the Gods’.


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