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Coffee can do so much good, yet not everyone is aware of the health benefits. Sure, it has the caffeine to keep you energized, but does coffee have potassium, too?
Good news for coffee lovers: your cup of coffee is rich in potassium. It contains an average of 90 to 165 milligrams of this vital mineral, depending on the type of coffee.
Let’s take a look at why potassium content matters, which types of coffee have the most potassium, and which coffee additives help with your potassium intake.
Why Potassium Is Vital For Good Health
Potassium is an essential mineral that helps your muscles contract (no more muscle cramps!), maintain a healthy nervous system, control blood pressure and regulate your body’s fluid balance.
A well-balanced diet containing a range of fruit, vegetables, and other sources of potassium is good for health.
Several foods, including bananas, strawberries, and spinach, contain potassium. The best way to get enough potassium is to eat fiber-rich, high-potassium foods like almonds, avocados, and dark leafy greens. But it’s hard for most people to get enough of it from those foods alone. Coffee is one easy way to get your required daily dose.
According to the National Institutes of Health, adults should consume 3400 mg of potassium every day, depending on their gender and age. If you drink more than one cup of coffee per day, you can use the potassium in coffee to meet your daily requirements.
However, be cautious of the amount of coffee you drink if you suffer from heart or kidney problems. Your kidneys help maintain this balance by getting rid of excess potassium in your urine, but having too much potassium in your blood can be harmful. As with all things health: it’s all about balance.
How Much Potassium Is in a Cup of Coffee?
Coffee beans are a rich source of potassium and magnesium. However, roasting makes the beans lose some of their nutrients during the process. The coffee beans and the roasting technique decide the number of minerals in the coffee beverage. Here are the potassium contents of some common types of coffee.
Potassium in brewed coffee (drip coffee)
Coffee is an excellent source of potassium. The nutrients get retained because brewed coffee only undergoes the roasting process instead of intense extraction, potentially stripping off minerals like potassium.
A 1-cup serving of unfiltered brewed coffee contains 564 milligrams of potassium, about 12 percent of the recommended dietary intake for adults over age 18.
Potassium in instant coffee
Generally, instant coffee has less potassium because its processing involves roasting, grinding, and dry-freezing, making it lose some of its nutrients. A cup of instant coffee contains 72mg of potassium.
Potassium in decaf coffee
Decaffeinated coffee has roughly 128mg of potassium per cup. The amount of potassium varies according to the process used to remove the caffeine from the coffee.
Depending on the solvents used, some of these processes remove nutrients in coffee, including potassium. The best thing about decaf coffee is less caffeine, but it still offers enough potassium required as part of your daily intake.
Potassium in espresso
The coffee-to-water ratio in espresso makes up for the high potassium level in espresso. Generally, an espresso has 275mg of potassium per cup. Factors that affect the potassium level in espresso include the type of beans used and how the beans are roasted.
Additives That Affect Potassium Level
The numbers we’ve looked at so far are for black coffee. But a surprising number of people find they cannot enjoy their morning cup(s) of coffee without some sugar or cream.
How do additives in your coffee affect your potassium levels? One way to find out is by looking at your favorite coffee ingredients.
Sugar and other sweeteners
Depending on your health preferences, the types of additives you choose to add will contribute to your potassium intake. White sugar has 0.1mg of potassium per teaspoon. If you want to make the most of your potassium intake, use brown sugar instead, containing 4.3mg of potassium.
The difference in potassium between the two is because brown sugar still has most of its molasses content, which contributes to the nutrient count of brown sugar.
On the other hand, honey contains 11 mg of potassium per tablespoon. Though it is deemed healthier than sugar, it has up to 64 calories and may not be ideal for those on a calorie watch. If you are looking for the best of both worlds, maple syrup contains a whopping 42mg of potassium and only 50 calories.
Milk and cream
If you love a rich cup of coffee, a single serving of cream has 45g of potassium, based on 132 g of potassium per 100g of cream. However, milk contains 366g of potassium per single serving, and you can froth your milk the way you like or even change up the type of milk you use.
Method Of Extraction
According to research, the coffee brewing method and how it extracts the beans plays a role in the amount of potassium a cup of coffee has.
The AeroPress brewer proves to be more efficient in removing potassium than standard drip coffee makers. The beauty of manual brewers like the Aeropress is that they give you more control over the extraction. You can adjust the water temperature, grind, and extraction time, providing you with the correct dose of potassium with every cup.
You can’t go wrong when it comes to coffee (as long as you enjoy the taste) because of its various health benefits. On top of that, potassium is a mineral that we need anyway, but we need even more when we drink coffee regularly.
Potassium isn’t the only health factor to consider for your morning cup of Joe or after-dinner coffee. You should keep in mind how long caffeine stays in your body and some of its side effects (like coffee jitters). High-caffeine coffees are great, but there are positive health impacts of decaf too.