Does Coffee Contain Choline?

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There are a lot of health benefits when you drink coffee in moderation due to the nutrients that live in traditional black coffee.

If you’re like the millions of people throughout the globe who can’t fathom starting their day without a delicious cup of coffee, then learning what is in your coffee may be of interest to you.

Besides the tasty, aromatic, and bold flavors of your favorite cup of coffee, what other elements are in your coffee? Does coffee contain choline?

Yes! Your beloved cup of coffee does contain small amounts of the nutrient, choline.

Coffee Does Contain Choline

So, since your coffee contains choline, how much? In a standard, eight-ounce cup of coffee, you should only have around 6.2 mg of choline. If you’re looking at that number and thinking that’s a lot, don’t panic. 

Health professionals state that as long as you’re not ingesting more than 3.5 grams (3,500 mg) per day, you’re taking safe amounts of the nutrient. 6.2 mg compared to 3,500 mg is not even 5% of the safe amount you can consume in a day.

While professionals generally say that 3,500 mg is the maximum safe amount for someone to consume every day, each body is different, and you may need less or more depending on specific health factors.

Coffee has the highest choline content compared to other popular beverages like soda and certain teas. Keep in mind that 6.2 mg is an average or estimate, and there are times when your coffee may have more or less of the nutrient. This mostly depends on if you add anything to your coffee.

What is Choline?

Choline is a nutrient that occurs naturally in your body. It’s very similar to B vitamins, and your liver will produce it naturally when your body is functioning correctly. Other than occurring in your body, you can find it in many food sources like meats, vegetables, and more.

This nutrient is critical to the human body because of the positive chemical reactions that it causes. It works with your nervous system and is vital for proper brain function. Some people take choline via supplements to aid in memory retention and improve brain function.

While there are many reasons people believe choline improves brain function, reduces inflammation, and can prevent birth defects, there’s no scientific evidence that this is true.

Side Effects of Consuming Too Much Choline

You’ve heard the saying that too much of a good thing is a bad thing. That’s unfortunately true even with nutrients that our bodies naturally produce. Choline has several great benefits, but consuming too much of it can cause adverse side effects.

While you can consume up to 3,500 mg of choline daily without causing too much harm to yourself, you shouldn’t aim to hit this amount of the nutrient in your daily intake. Staying between 440 to 550 mg for adults is preferred. This amount will change if you’re breastfeeding or pregnant.

When you consume too much choline regularly, some side effects you may experience include:

  • Constant sweating
  • Lower blood pressure (too low)
  • Liver toxicity
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fishy body smell
  • Increased risk for cardiovascular disease

What Affects Choline Levels in Coffee?

There are several ways that your cup of coffee’s choline levels change. If you love a steaming hot cup of black coffee, you can expect an average of 6.2 mg of choline. How you like your coffee to taste will affect the choline levels.

For example, if you enjoy some milk in your coffee, the choline content will increase. Milk is an important source of choline for humans, and even just a splash of it in your coffee will increase the 6.2 mg of choline. It won’t drastically increase the content, but it will increase nonetheless.

Any dairy product that you use in your coffee will increase the choline content in your coffee. Some coffee creamers have less than 2 mg of choline per serving. So, if you love a flavored coffee creamer, you’ll more than likely be adding to your daily choline intake.

Does Choline Affect the Taste of Coffee?

Choline doesn’t alter or affect the taste of your coffee. Just like you can’t taste the potassium or B vitamins in your coffee, you won’t be able to taste anything different since it contains choline.

Most people will go their whole lives not knowing that choline exists in their coffee. Therefore, you don’t need to be alarmed that this nutrient will change how your favorite morning beverage tastes.

Effects of Combining Coffee and Choline

Many people will combine their morning coffee with a choline supplement to help their brain function throughout the day. One study concluded that 25 mg of caffeine (coffee) mixed with 2 mg of choline increased short-term memory in healthy adults without negatively impacting their cardiovascular function.

Some studies associate lower choline levels in your body with decreased memory function, which can lead to brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Combining choline with coffee once a day may reduce your risk of developing brain diseases later in life.

This statement comes from the fact that anticholinesterases are the first line of treatment for those with the above diseases. They allow your body to break down these enzymes and convert them to choline naturally. While it won’t help people suffering from memory loss necessarily remember old memories, it can help them still create new ones.

On the other hand, when you consume too much coffee and too much choline, you will see negative side effects like the ones mentioned above.

Other Nutrients Hiding In Your Coffee

Some people say that coffee isn’t a healthy beverage, and it can be unhealthy when consumed in excess or when you add too much sugar or other additives. But, there are several nutrients that exist in your classic cup of black coffee.

Besides choline, these are the other important nutrients that your black coffee generally contains:

  • B12
  • B3
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Antioxidants