Coffee is one of the healthiest beverages that you can drink. It only has 5 calories per serving, allows you to get in about 11% of your daily recommended intake for riboflavin, and provides you an energy boost as a result of the caffeine. But, coffee is also loaded with other nutrients too!
So, how much potassium is in coffee? The average cup of black coffee has about 116 milligrams of potassium in it. When you switch to instant coffee, you’re looking more at about 50 to 70 milligrams of potassium per serving. Though one cup of coffee won’t really do much for your potassium levels, a few cups a day can.
Though potassium is considered a micronutrient, it plays a huge role in the body’s functioning. Before we get into how much potassium is really in your coffee, let’s go over what potassium really is.
An Overview of Potassium
Potassium is considered a mineral, but it’s also one of the most important electrolytes found in the body. It’s partially responsible for the functioning and control of your body’s nerves and muscles. It also plays a vital role in regulating fluids within the body.
Though your body absolutely needs potassium to function as normal, that doesn’t mean to load up on potassium. Too much of a good thing can be bad. So, we’re going to go over how much potassium you should be getting on a daily basis.
The Benefits of Potassium
You know that your body needs potassium to function as it should, but there are also plenty of benefits that you might experience when your potassium is at an ideal level. Here’s a look at the good that potassium does.
- Keeps both your blood pressure and your heart rate at healthy levels
- Reduces the risk of muscle loss and degradation
- Improves energy levels and athletic performance
- Minimizes water retention within the body
- Guarantees that your nerves are functioning properly
Because potassium is so vital to your heart, nerves, and muscles, there are dangers that come along with having potassium levels that are consistently too high or too low. So, it’s really important that you make sure you’re getting enough potassium on a daily basis.
Daily Recommended Intake for Potassium
Unless you eat a completely balanced diet stocked full of fruits and vegetables, it might be a little hard to get enough potassium every day. With that, the absolute bare minimum you should be getting in a single day is 800 milligrams of potassium.
The recommended intake for potassium is at least 2,000 milligrams for the average person, though that only puts you into the “acceptable” range. You should be striving more toward 3,500 milligrams of potassium on a daily basis.
But, that all depends on your sex, age, weight, level of activity, and plenty of other factors.
There are also dangers associated with potassium. Let’s discuss those below.
The Dangers of Potassium
So, potassium on its own isn’t dangerous. In fact, your body desperately craves it in order to allow your muscles, heart, and nerves to function properly. But, there are some dangers with getting too little and too much potassium in your diet.
- Too much potassium. This is known as “hyperkalemia.” You might experience muscle cramps, an unusual heartbeat (faster or slower than normal), or feel extremely tired. If left untreated, this condition can result in death.
- Too little potassium. This is known as “hypokalemia.” You might be very tired, experience muscle cramping, and have an unusual heartbeat.
The greatest concern usually comes with too little potassium, as the American diet tends to sway toward unhealthy. When we’re going over how much potassium is in coffee, consider how much potassium you’re already in your diet and then decide how much coffee you should actually be drinking in a single day.
Potassium Levels by Type of Coffee
You know some of the more common foods that are loaded with potassium. Those include bananas, carrots, prunes, tomatoes, some types of beans, and potatoes. Though these are great for significantly boosting your potassium levels, plenty of other foods and beverages also have trace levels of potassium as well.
The good news is that coffee is one of them! So, we’re going to go over just how much potassium is really in coffee and what these potassium increases can do for you and your potassium levels.
How much potassium is in black coffee?
The average 8-ounce cup of black coffee has about 116 milligrams of potassium per serving. But, it’s always possible that this number might be a bit off depending on the brand you’re using and any ingredients you’re adding.
Here’s a look at what you might add to your coffee and how much potassium it can add.
- Cream: About 16 milligrams
- Half and Half: About 106 milligrams
- Creamer: About 145 milligrams
- Milk: About 23 milligrams
As you can see, the more ingredients you add, the more you can boost your potassium intake. If you’re really looking for a high-potassium beverage, look into buying some of the special drinks offered by coffee joints like Starbucks and Dunkin’.
Is there potassium in instant coffee?
The major change when you switch to instant coffee is that the coffee is actually more processed and basically dehydrated. In the process, the coffee loses some of its major nutrients like potassium.
Obviously, the amount of potassium that you’ll find in instant coffee depends on the brand and ingredients. But, you should expect the average cup of instant coffee to have anywhere between 50 and 75 milligrams of potassium.
We already went over why potassium is so great. But, for those with some sort of kidney failure or disease, the body isn’t always able to push out as much potassium as it once did.
So, instant coffee is a better option for anyone that absolutely needs their coffee, but can’t afford to add too much potassium into their diet. Also, try to avoid adding other ingredients that can boost potassium levels.
Can coffee raise your potassium level?
On its own, drinking one cup of coffee will get you anywhere between 50 and 116 milligrams of potassium. When you consider the fact that you should be getting 3,500 milligrams per day, one cup of coffee really doesn’t make a dent in that number.
When you start racking up the cups of coffee, you’ll be making a bigger impact on your body’s potassium levels. Here’s a list of how much potassium you can add to your diet by just drinking coffee on a daily basis.
- 1 cup: 116 milligrams
- 2 cups: 232 milligrams
- 3 cups: 348 milligrams
- 4 cups: 464 milligrams
- 5 cups: 580 milligrams
Coffee will definitely add some potassium to your body and help you out. But, it’s not the most potassium-dense nutrient if you’re looking to really raise those potassium levels. It’s great for small increases, but shouldn’t be your lifeline when it comes to your potassium levels.
Potassium is one of the most important minerals within the body because of its role in protecting your heart, muscles, and nerves. With that said, you should be making every effort to get between 2,000 and 3,500 milligrams of potassium per day. Here’s how you can do that by drinking coffee.
- One cup of regular black coffee has about 116 milligrams of potassium
- One cup of instant coffee has between 50 and 75 milligrams of potassium
- Adding cream, milk, creamer, or half and half can boost the amount of potassium
- Medline Plus: Potassium
- National Institutes of Health: Potassium
- American Kidney Fund: What is high potassium, or hyperkalemia?
- Mayo Clinic: Low potassium (hypokalemia)
- Health.gov: Appendix 10. Food Sources of Potassium
- National Kidney Foundation: Coffee and Kidney Disease: Is it Safe?
- Wikipedia: Instant Coffee
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