Skip to main content
Coffee & Health

How Much Sodium Is In Coffee?

Coffee is part of the daily life of most individuals. It is preferred by many coffee drinkers due to its rich caffeine content and antioxidants. Caffeine is commonly used as a psychoactive agent to keep the mind and body more active.

salt and coffee

Research shows that 90 percent of adults across North America consume caffeine in the form of coffee, food, and tea. Also, research shows that 80 percent of the global population consumes caffeine in various forms. But do you know your favorite coffee drink contains sodium?

Well, sodium is a significant ingredient in most coffee drinks. Although black coffee doesn’t contain sodium, coffees with milk or creamer contain a significant amount of coffee. Thus, if you frequently order specialty coffee such as espresso from your local coffee shop, you are adding sodium to your daily diet. So how much sodium is in coffee? In this article, we will discuss the amount of sodium in several coffee drinks and how to choose low-sodium coffees.


Is Sodium Harmful?

Sodium is a compound found in either processed or natural foods. Most people add sodium to their food in the form of salt. Salt is a crystal-like compound comprising sodium and chloride. What does that mean? It means you can intake sodium without necessarily adding salt to your food. That is why coffees containing sodium add to your daily sodium intake without necessarily adding regular table salt.

High sodium intake is harmful. It has many negative health effects. For instance, high sodium compounds increases the risk of developing hypertension, which is commonly known as high blood pressure. Findings from scientific studies and research data show that 60 percent of hypertensive patients are highly sensitive to salt. Hypertensive patients take natriuretic and diuretic drugs to promote urinary sodium excretion.

Other side effects of too much sodium in your diet include increasing the risk of stroke and heart disease. Excessive sodium increases the amount of blood flowing through the arteries. As a result, there is increased blood pressure and a higher likelihood of developing heart disease and stroke.


Is There Sodium in Black Coffee?

Black coffee does not contain any sodium. Also, it does not contain cholesterol but may cause an increase in triglycerides. Black coffee has sodium only if you add salt. Thus, if you want to avoid adding your dietary sodium intake and still enjoy drinking java, your best drink is black coffee. The 0 mg sodium content in black coffee makes it a great choice for anyone limiting their daily sodium consumption. However, instant coffee such as trung nguyen contains 7 mg sodium.

However, if you are reducing sodium intake due to a health problem such as HBP or an underlying heart condition, you should know that caffeine intake can worsen these conditions. Caffeine causes a rise in blood pressure.

Nevertheless, if you do not have such health conditions but you want to reduce sodium intake, then black coffee is good for you. Regardless, keep your caffeine consumption moderate. Experts advice that 4 to 5 cups (400 mg) of coffee per day is considered safe for most individuals.


How Much Sodium is In Mocha?

Mochas contain a significant amount of sodium. While black coffee does not contain sodium, mochas have other ingredients that add sodium to the brew. For instance, introducing ingredients like chocolate, caramel, and other flavor sauces can raise the sodium level of coffee. Machos brewed by Starbucks have a higher sodium content than most espresso beverages. Starbucks mocha has significant sodium levels, mainly as a result of the white chocolate topping. Sodium content in Starbucks Grande is as follows:

  • White chocolate mocha- about 270 mg
  • Starbucks dark chocolate mocha- about 150 mg
  • Caffe mocha- about 150 mg

The above figures are for a single standard serving size or mug. White chocolate mocha beverage contains numerous ingredients that make it have a high sodium content than other mochas. For instance, it contains a higher amount of milk than regular mocha. The high sodium content helps in balancing flavors but is not great for anyone sensitive to salt.

Consuming Grande white chocolate mocha contributes to 10 percent of the daily recommended sodium intake for healthy individuals and 18 percent for someone on a restricted sodium diet. As you can see, the difference is not very huge due to the high sodium content in this drink.


Sodium Content in Macchiatos, Lattes, and Cappuccinos

Plain espresso, without any additives, does not contain sodium. However, espresso-based drinks such as macchiatos, lattes, and cappuccinos contain milk, which introduces sodium into these coffees, which is the reason why you should drink them moderately.

A cup of whole milk contains 120 mg of sodium. Fat-free milk, low-fat milk, and reduced-fat milk each contain 130 mg of sodium. As these coffees contain varying milk content, their sodium levels vary. Here is their sodium content:

  • Macchiato- 150 mg sodium
  • Caffe latte- 170 mg sodium
  • Cappuccino- 120 mg sodium

As you can see, more milk content results in more sodium content in your favorite cup of joe. Also, another Sturbacks popular drink known as Chai iced tea latte contains 110 mg sodium.


How Much Sodium is In Specialty Cold Brews?

Iced coffee, without additives, does not contain any sodium. However, adding extra ingredients and flavors can introduce significant amounts of sodium. The sodium content in some of the most popular Starbucks cold brews is as follows:

  • Honey almond cold brew- about 25 mg
  • Vanilla sweet cream cold brew- about 20 g
  • Salted caramel cream cold brew- about 330 mg


How Much Sodium is In McDonald’s Coffee?

McDonald’s is another popular coffee outlet. According to existing nutrition information, their most popular coffees contain the following amounts of sodium:

  • Cappuccino- 95 mg
  • McDonald’s black coffee- 10 mg
  • Iced frappe- 170 mg
  • Frappe with whipped cream- 280 mg


Is It Necessary to Add Sodium to Coffee?

Coffee nutrition facts show that coffee contains minerals such as iron, fluoride, phosphorus, boron, magnesium, manganese, copper, iodine, zinc, and potassium, k, among others. It also contains vitamins such as niacin and folate in significant values. These macronutrients and micronutrients are all important in maintaining good health. However, plain coffee does not contain sodium.

Sodium is an essential mineral. It has many health benefits. Sodium helps the body in many ways. Research study findings show it is important for regulating blood pressure, muscle contractions, nerve impulses, and a wide range of body functions. Sodium is a mineral found in many foods. However, it’s main sources are table salt, snacks, skim milk, bread products such as bagel, peanut butter, some spices and seasonings such as garlic powder, syrups, fresh salad and prepared salads, canned vegetables, and processed meats.

Sodium is typically added to preserve the rich flavor of coffee. Sodium assists in maintaining the acidity in coffee. Also, scientific evidence shows that adding salt to coffee neutralizes its bitterness. Black coffee without any additive or coffee that has been brewed longer than necessary may taste bitter.

When you add salt, the sodium ingredient makes the taste buds react to the saltiness rather than bitterness. It is a great way to reduce bitterness than adding sugar or sweeteners. Salt neutralizes bitterness more than sugar. Sugar may only mask the sense of bitterness but may not neutralize it completely. Also, sugar will only add calories to your body due to its high calorie content.

The amount of salt to add to coffee will largely depend on the amount of bitterness you want to neutralize. A ¼ teaspoon of table salt is enough. You can add it to coffee grounds when you are about to brew. Thus, after grinding coffee beans, it is tie to add salt. However, avoid overdoing it as it might contribute to excessive sodium intake than the recommended daily value.

Also, salt improves the quality of coffee when brewing with stale water. Essentially, water that stays in a coffee maker for long may become stale. Thus, brewing with stale water will reduce the quality of your brew. Fortunately, adding salt will increase the density of water and give your brew a thicker texture.


Are There Any Low-Sodium Diets?

Although sodium has numerous benefits, consuming too much of it can increase the risk of high blood pressure, kidney disease, and heart disease. If you already have these conditions, you should consider low-sodium diets. Individuals suffering from hypertension or heart conditions are recommended to consume no more than 1,500 mg of sodium per day.

When choosing a low-sodium diet, consider foods with limited sodium and limit your table salt intake.  Some great low-sodium foods include:

  • Vegetables and vegetable juice
  • Grains
  • Fish
  • Meat
  • Poultry such as natural chicken
  • Eggs
  • Black coffee
  • Unsalted seeds and nuts
  • Unsalted butter
  • Yogurt
  • Carbohydrates
  • Herbs such as cumin, oregano, basil, and turmeric
  • Orange

Reducing sodium intake is shown to decrease blood pressure among patients suffering from elevated blood pressure levels. Sodium restriction is also part of some heart failure treatments. It is also advisable to eat at home as you will be able to control the amount of sodium you consume. Eating regularly from fast foods and coffee shops will put you in a situation where you are not in control of your sodium intake in every meal.

So how much coffee or how many cups of coffee should you consume? Well, it is recommended to drink 3 to 5 cups of coffee. However, remember that sodium is contained in other foods. Thus, ensure the coffee blends and sizes you are consuming do not exceed your daily caffeine intake.

Also, drinking coffee while pregnant is not advisable. Excessive coffee causes a reduction in calcium, which can increase the risk to bone fracture. Also, excessive coffee during pregnancy can can result in  pregnancy loss, preterm birth and low birth weight. Excessive caffeine has a side effect of causing insomnia in both men and women. It also causes poor absorption of vitamin D and affects the action of vitamin A.

For healthy individuals, drinking coffee in moderation reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes and liver cancer. Just avoid drinking more servings than recommended.


Recommended Amounts of Sodium

How much salt should you consume? The CDC recommends that a healthy person should not consume more than 2,300 mg of sodium in a day. Sodium is an important part of your daily diet. However, do not consume more than the recommended amount. If you have conditions such as heart disease and hypertension, observe a low sodium diet as recommended by your doctor.


Final Thoughts

Although managing your daily sodium intake may not be easy, you can choose coffees with lower sodium content. Also, you can limit yourself to black coffee and other low-sodium diets. Black coffee does not contain sodium but specialty coffee drinks have significant amounts of sodium. If you are on a low-sodium diet, consider doing away with specialty coffees such as mocha, latte, cappuccino, macchiatos, and coffees containing cream.