Is Chocolate Really an Aphrodisiac?

Why chocolate and Valentine’s Day are their own match made in heaven

A beautiful box of gourmet chocolates is a tried and true chocolate Valentine’s Day gift—and for good reason! Aside from the fact that chocolate is a delicious way to demonstrate your love for your sweetie, chocolate is also rumored to possess strong aphrodisiac effects. Even the Aztecs recognized the romantic powers of the cocoa bean! It is rumored that the emperor Montezuma chowed down on the beans in preparation for his many love affairs. Perhaps it is no coincidence that the holiday dedicated to love and romance is so chocolate-obsessed.

There is no doubt your significant other will be thrilled to receive his or her favorite chocolates on the 14th, but could eating the treat actually spark an increase sexual desire? Did Montezuma get it right? Lake Champlain Chocolates investigates the science behind the claim.

At first glance, the connection between chocolate and increased romantic desire seems promising. There are two chemicals found naturally in chocolate: tryptophan and phenylethylamine that may contribute to chocolate’s purported aphrodisiac effects. Tryptophan is component of serotonin, which is a brain chemical associated with heightened sexual arousal. So far so good. The latter, phenylethylamine, is the same stimulant people release in their brains when they fall in love. Hmm, kind of explains that feeling I get when sipping a mug of Old World hot chocolate or bite into one of our handcrafted chocolate truffles.

However, naysayers believe that there aren’t enough of these two chemicals in chocolate to cause a measurable increase in sexual desire. Most researchers say the connection between chocolate and romance, if there is one, is most likely psychological.

Regardless of what the scientists may say, Lake Champlain Chocolates is all for a little personal research. Our boxed Valentine chocolates may help you come to your own conclusions.