Does Coffee have Potassium? Can it Cause Kidney Disease?

Our body needs a lot of minerals to function well. The need for these minerals in the body is relatively less than macronutrients, but the need is significant. Some of the most important minerals are sodium, potassium, calcium, and phosphorus. A lot of us enjoy a cup of coffee or two a day, so does coffee have potassium? Read on to find out. 

Related Content: Does Coffee Have More Potassium Than Bananas?

Potassium (denoted by the symbol ‘K’) is the most necessary macromineral. It helps in maintaining a healthy fluid balance in the body. Dairy products, nuts, starchy and leafy vegetables are important sources of potassium. Too much or too little potassium can be detrimental to one’s health. So, potassium intake needs to be checked as well. 

Is Potassium in Coffee?

There is one product that most of us regularly consume: coffee. So,  is there potassium in coffee? The answer is clearly a YES! Coffee has potassium, and that gives rise to further questions. What effects does coffee have on potassium levels in the body? Do different forms of coffee have varied potassium content in them? Is this something for a coffee drinker to worry about? 

Let’s find out!

How Much Potassium Does Coffee Have?

Different types of coffee (regular, instant, and decaf coffee) have different potassium content levels in them. On average, 1 tsp coffee contains around 35 mg potassium. When we compare decaf to instant coffee, the former is higher on potassium with about 116 mg, while instant coffee (6 fl oz) provides you with 53.7 mg of potassium. Yep, people seriously still drink instant coffee. 

coffee beans

While talking about coffee, how can we not mention Starbucks? Starbucks provides you with a wide range of coffee. But how much potassium does Starbucks coffee include? Most coffee menus at this coffee chain have more sodium than potassium. One can get roughly 12% potassium in a grande nonfat latte. 

The potassium levels might increase when milk or other sweeteners are added. We get around 116 mg of potassium in a basic cup of black coffee (8 fl oz).

So it turns out instant coffee has the lowest level of potassium content with 53.7 mg of potassium per 6 fl oz. Could this spark a rebirth of instant coffee? Don’t count on it.

Potassium Level in Decaf Coffee and Instant Coffee

Decaf Coffee supplies you with about 4.8% DV of potassium. Six fl oz of instant coffee provides 1% DV. We consume many other food items that provide more potassium than coffee. Potatoes, bananas, and peas are some of those which are rich in potassium.

Daily Potassium Limit in Our Diet- How Much Potassium Intake Should You Have?

The requirement of potassium varies in different age groups. 

Children aged from 0 to 6 months need an average supply of 400 mg of potassium each day. When kids reach the age group of 9 to 13, the requirement increases to about 2500 mg/ day.

What’s a Healthy Amount of Potassium Intake?

A healthy adult male requires about 3000 mg per day, whereas a healthy adult female needs a lesser 2300 mg each day. The requirements change in the case of pregnant or lactating mothers. 

A crucial point should be kept in mind. The amounts mentioned above include potassium that comes from both foods and supplements.

Does Coffee Increase Our Potassium Level?

As we have mentioned before, an average cup of coffee contains 116 mg of potassium. Instant coffee contains even lesser amounts (about 50 mg). Our body needs a lot more potassium than this (around 3000-4000 mg/ day). Hence, coffee is not one of the rich sources of potassium. 

But, nothing is healthy when consumed excessively. 2 cups of coffee a day can be considered safe for most people. Whenever the count crosses beyond 2 cups, the potassium levels might get disturbed. 

A lot of other food items contain higher potassium levels. Hence, having 3-4 cups of coffee can add to it. Adding to that, when we mix milk and other additives to coffee, the potassium content goes up further. 

So, coffee might keep you active for the day. But there must be a check on how much you are consuming!

Potassium Level in Different Additives

Some of the most common additives used in a cup of coffee are milk, cream, honey, sugar, coffee mate, and molasses. 

Milk is a rich source of potassium. It is also a very common additive in coffee. One cup or 244 gm of milk provides 366 mg of potassium. Thus, the overall potassium content rises when we add milk to coffee. Also, potassium levels differ in regular dairy milk and other forms like soy milk or almond milk. Soy milk contains around 287 mg.

Creamers also have varying levels of potassium. Usually, it contains more negligible amounts of potassium. 

One hundred grams of brown sugar contains 133 mg of potassium. One teaspoon has around 5.6 mg. 1 tbsp molasses (20 g) is rich in 292.8 mg, and 1 tbsp honey has 10.9 mg. Coffee-mate is basically a coffee whitener and contains about 629 mg of potassium.

Benefits of Potassium

Potassium is one of the essential minerals that our body needs. It helps in the proper regulation of nerve signals in the body. When potassium enters the body, it acts as an electrolyte. This mineral is essential for the nervous system. Muscle contractions get regulated by potassium levels too. 

In some cases, potassium might help deal with osteoporosis and kidney stones. It also increases bone density. 

These points show that potassium is vital for the system.

Disadvantages of Potassium

Potassium is indeed vital, but at the same time, it also has some side effects on the body. A sudden increase in potassium intake through foods might result in bloating and constipation. Thus, one should increase fluid intake too. 

Some side effects of potassium supplements include diarrhea, bloating, nausea. Excessive amounts of potassium can lead to cardiac issues as well. It is also said that people with kidney and heart issues should avoid high potassium intake.


High potassium levels in the blood lead to hyperkalemia. This condition often results in chest pain and breathing issues. One should opt for medical help to deal with it. Also, a high potassium level is not necessarily a reason for any underlying disease.


Hypokalemia is a condition that happens due to a deficiency of potassium in the body. This condition can be fatal if the potassium level drops significantly and requires immediate medical attention. The most common symptoms of hypokalemia are weakness, abnormal heartbeats, and muscle cramps.

Does Coffee Consumption Cause Kidney Disease?

Caffeine has been shown to have many benefits for people who consume it including improving energy levels as well metabolism which helps with fat burning! The problem might arise when you drink too much or if your kidneys cannot handle the amount that’s being put into them. Generally, if you keep your coffee in moderation is unlikely to result in kidney disease. For matters like this, it’s important to consult your doctor. Kidney health is very important and chronic kidney disease is obviously a very serious matter.

Conclusion – All Things Considered Drinking Coffee is a Net Positive

That said, it’s a much better option if it’s black coffee.

Potassium is an essential mineral, but we do not need it in large quantities, unlike macronutrients. We hope, by now, you have a clear idea of how much potassium is present in different kinds of coffee. This way, one can regulate the intake of coffee as per their potassium requirement.

How Much Coffee Can One Drink Safely in One Day?

How much coffee can one drink without taking on any additional health risks? Coffee intake of 1 to 2 cups a day should be fine, although every health situation is unique. Coffee lovers rejoice! That said, don’t cut loose and say heck with it and drink seven cups of coffee loaded with cream and sugar. A cup or two of black coffee is a great option when compared to virtually every other beverage but water.

Ah, yes! Also, since coffee is not a huge source of potassium, having a cup or two should be safe. It’s not a level of potassium intake that will typically cause any damage, such as kidney disease. And as always, consult your physician when it comes to any health-related issue. 

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