Curious about potassium in coffee? We’ll break down the amount of potassium in coffee – regular, decaf, and instant. Plus the amount of potassium in 6 common coffee additives. We also compare coffee potassium versus other common foods.
An 8 oz. cup of black coffee contains 116 mg of potassium. At just 2% of Daily Value, this is considered to be low in potassium. Decaf coffee has more potassium (216 mg) and instant coffee has less (96 mg). Coffee additives, like milk or sweeteners, can increase the potassium content.
Potassium levels in coffee are safe. But if you have certain health problems (like kidney disease) it’s important to regulate how much coffee you drink, as well as what you put into it.
Let’s take a look at potassium levels in different types of coffee and common coffee additives.
Potassium in Coffee
One 8oz cup of black coffee is going to contain about 116 mg of potassium. Increase to a 12 oz travel mug and you’ll consume 174 mg of potassium.
This is based on straight black coffee (brewed) with no additives. More on potassium levels in coffee additives below.
The type of coffee you’re drinking will affect nutrient levels. Here are the potassium levels in two other types of coffee.
Potassium in Decaf Coffee
Most decaf actually has a slightly higher potassium content than a regular cup. Decaf coffee has 216 mg of potassium. per brewed cup. According to Health Line, brewed coffee has 4.8% Daily Value of potassium.
While isn’t that much potassium, ordinary caffeinated coffee might still be better for you if you’re concerned about potassium intake.
Potassium in Instant Coffee
Instant coffee has 96 mg of potassium per 8 ounce cup. This is less than regular brewed coffee and less than half of the potassium in decaf coffee.
This is based on 72 mg of potassium per 6 oz cup (180 ml) according to My Fitness Pal.
Why does instant coffee have less potassium? Because of the processing, instant coffee loses some of the nutrients.
How Much Potassium Can I Have?
An adult with fully functioning kidneys should consume roughly 4,500 mg of potassium each day. And this is not usually difficult to achieve on a normal diet.
According to the National Institutes of Health, the Adequate Intakes for potassium ranges from 2,300 and 3,400 mg each day. This amount varies by gender and age.
However, for somebody suffering from renal (kidney) disease, a typical potassium restricted diet will be about 2,000 mg, which can be difficult considering how many foods contain potassium.
Potassium in Coffee Vs Other Foods
According to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), foods that contain 20% Daily Value (DV) or higher are considered high. And foods with 5% DV or less, are considered low.
Here are the potassium levels of coffee compared with other common foods.
- Coffee (8 ounces): 2% DV 116 mg of potassium
- Banana (medium sized): 9% DV. 422 mg of potassium
- Orange Juice (one cup): 11% DV. 496 mg of potassium
- Dried Apricots (half cup): 23% DV. 1,101 mg of potassium
Yogurt, tomatoes, milk, and raisins all contain more than double the amount of potassium in coffee.
In comparison to high potassium foods, coffee is actually considered a low source of potassium.
If you are concerned about your potassium levels, you should speak with a medical professional.
Potassium in 6 Coffee Additives
The potassium levels we’ve considered so far, are for brewed coffee served black.
Here are the potassium levels of common coffee additives, like milk, cream, CoffeeMate, sugar, and honey.
Many people like to add milk to their coffee, but milk has a surprisingly high potassium content. One cup of milk contains 366 mg of potassium, which is literally triple the amount of potassium in one cup of coffee!
Of course, it isn’t common to add a cup of milk to a single coffee.
Each individually packaged milk (11 ml) contains 17 mg of potassium.
If you add two milk (individually packaged, 11 ml) you would consume 34 mg of potassium.
Milk alternatives vary greatly in the amount of potassium. Soy milk in particular tends to have even more potassium than dairy milk, while rice milk usually has almost no potassium.
2. Coffee Cream
Creamers vary in their potassium content. Half and half cream contains 15 mg of potassium per creamer (0.38 fl oz / 11 ml).
This is based on 39.9 mg of potassium per fluid ounce (30 ml) of half and half cream.
Potassium won’t always show up on the nutritional information of a specific creamer, it will always be on the ingredient list if it is present. Make sure to read the ingredient list to see whether the creamer contains potassium or not.
3. Coffee Mate
According to Nestle, the Original Coffee Mate doesn’t contain potassium. Or any nutrients or minerals.
4. Granulated Sugar (White and Brown)
A teaspoon of sugar contains 5.6 mg of potassium. Add two teaspoons and you’ll consume 11.2 mg.
A tablespoon of molasses contains 308 mg of potassium. This amounts to 7% Daily Value.
I know that this isn’t a common coffee additive, but my husband used to drink his coffee with this often. It has a similar, but stronger, taste to brown sugar in coffee.
A tablespoon of honey contains between 8.5 and 743.75 mg of potassium. Potassium levels in honey are highly variable. This is because the source of the honey affects it’s nutrient composition.
Here’s more about adding honey to coffee.
Potassium and caffeine are the primary components in coffee that people monitor for their health. Phosphorous, sodium, iron, and cholesterol are near non-existent in coffee. However, some of these may be present in coffee additives, like milk or creamers.
Milk has a high phosphorous level of about 240mg per cup. Some soy milk also has a high phosphorous content. Some creamers also include phosphorous additives. Just like with potassium, you should always check their nutritional information to find out.
As for carbohydrates, sugars, or sodium, those are basically not present in coffee unless you add them.
Health Benefits of Potassium
Potassium is critical mineral for key organs – like the heart and kidneys.
Potassium deficiencies are associated with a risk of digestive disorders, arthritis, infertility, and high blood pressure.
You might be more prone to a potassium deficiency if you have digestive condition (like IBS or Crohn’s), smoke, abuse substances, or have an eating disorder. Athletes can be at risk of a potassium deficiency if they exercise in hot climates or sweat excessively.
So, do you need to give up coffee? Probably not! Coffee is a very low-risk drink for healthy people.
Even with some health problems, you may have to decrease your coffee consumption or change the way that you drink your coffee, but you shouldn’t have to give it up. If you have health problems, make sure to clear everything with your doctor.
Have a question? Join me in the comments!
- About the Author
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Dena Haines is a co-founder and blogger on EnjoyJava – and is working to make it the best coffee blog in the world.
She also blogs about travel at Storyteller.Travel and photography at Click Like This. Dena is a partner at Storyteller Media, a publishing company she started with her husband, Bryan.