Is Coffee High In Arginine?

Share this article:

A cup of coffee prepared from instant coffee contains 44 milligrams of arginine, and coffee brewed from coffee grounds contains about 200 milligrams of arginine. So, coffee’s arginine content isn’t high at all. It’s best to keep your daily dose of arginine under 9 grams to avoid adverse reactions like bloating, nausea and diarrhea. L-arginine, more commonly known as arginine, is an amino acid. Arginine is higher in red meat, fish, dairy, poultry, grains, nuts, and beans than in coffee. Our bodies also naturally produce arginine under normal conditions. Building proteins and facilitating circulation are the two main functions of arginine. 

Coffee is undoubtedly one of the world’s most loved and frequently consumed beverages.

An increased intake of L-arginine can have many positive health benefits for many people.

A healthy adult can produce adequate amounts of arginine for their body’s requirements. However, teenagers and fast-growing adults require additional doses of arginine in their diet.

Also, individuals under physiological stress like injury, burns, and sepsis require supplemental arginine in their diets because the organs that synthesize arginine, such as the kidneys and small intestines, have reduced function in these conditions.

As seen in the elderly population with medical conditions. Sometimes, your body requires more arginine than you can produce and consume. It is then given in oral medication, injections, or creams.

When arginine is taken as a supplement, we must be cautious about it. In moderation, arginine is considered safe, but too much can have harmful side effects.

Understanding coffee and L-arginine interactions

Coffee contains 7 out of 9 essential amino acids that are involved in various functions of the body. It’s essential because the human body cannot produce them, and it needs to be consumed for proper functioning.

It also contains 16 out of 22 total amino acids in small quantities. Arginine is one of the 16 amino acids contained in coffee.

L-arginine is a substrate for nitric oxide, urea, creatinine, ornithine, proline, agmatine, and polyamides.

A substrate is a compound on which an enzyme acts. These compounds are vital for brain function.

Effects of caffeine on circulation through L-arginine

Caffeine increases blood pressure and reduces arterial stiffness. Arterial stiffness is a leading cause of heart disease.

According to new studies, oral supplementation of an amino acid called L-citrulline has been shown to enhance the bioavailability of L-arginine and NO production and therefore improve arterial function.

Arginine converted to nitric oxide(NO) causes your arteries to open wider and improves blood flow.

It also stimulates the release of the growth hormone and insulin. It’s used for issues such as erectile dysfunction and high blood pressure.

Effect of caffeine on L-arginine metabolism in the brain

According to research, there is new information about arginine metabolism and caffeine actions on the central nervous system.

Coffee contains caffeine and is known for its stimulating effects on the central nervous system.

Caffeine reduces arginase activity and increases NO levels.

In addition, studies show that caffeine provides more arginine for usage in other metabolic pathways in the brain and thus helps in the brain’s optimal functioning.

Coffee, arginine, and herpes relationship

Its believed that Lysine reduces herpes outbreaks and heals cold sores associated with it, and on the other hand, arginine triggers it.

When consumed in excess, arginine can block lysine production. As a result, many people suffering from herpes are on a mission to consume foods high in Lysine but low in arginine, as it is helpful in the treatment of cold sores.

According to studies, however, coffee is suggested to be a trigger for herpes outbreaks and not arginine. It was discovered that it is because of the high amounts of caffeine in coffee.

Coffee as a diuretic can cause dehydration if you don’t consume enough water.

Dehydration can cause cracked lips, and the herpes virus can enter the body through small cracks in the lips and thus cause an outbreak.

What is L-arginine?

To put it quite simply, L-arginine is an amino acid that your body is naturally capable of producing. It is present in protein-rich foods.

When taken in doses of 2-3 grams, three times a day, as a dietary supplement, it can benefit people with burns, rapid growth spurts, protein malnutrition, and infections. It’s better to beware of its interactions with other medications before administering it.

Important functions

  • Dilating and relaxing arteries
  • Wound healing
  • Excretes waste through kidneys
  • Supports the immune system
  • Regulates hormones
  • Removes toxic ammonia from the body

Health benefits

Research has shown a variety of benefits associated with L-arginine, like:


It is mostly safe when taken in the correct dosages. Side effects related to it are:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Bloating
  • Stomach pain
  • Increased risk of bleeding
  • Fluctuating blood sugar levels
  • Imbalance of potassium
  • Diarrhea


We should completely avoid it in the following situations.

  • Liver and kidney disease
  • People with low blood pressure
  • Guanidinoacetate methyltransferase deficiency (GAMT) – a disorder affecting arginine metabolism in the body.
  • Cirrhosis of the liver
  • Asthma

Arginine has been shown to interact with medications for:

  • Diabetes
  • Blood thinners
  • Blood pressure
  • Increase blood flow
  • Diuresis
  • Erectile dysfunction

If you are on medications for any of these, you must be cautious when administering them.

How much coffee is too much?

If you drink more than 4 cups of coffee a day, you may want to cut back on it. You can safely consume 400 milligrams of caffeine a day.

400 milligrams equals about 10 cans of cola, two energy drinks shots, and 4 cups of brewed coffee. Always refer to the nutrition labels, as the actual content in beverages varies widely.

Health benefits of coffee

  • Source of antioxidants
  • Reduces the risk of stroke, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes
  • Contains essential nutrients
  • Helps burn fat
  • Increases energy levels

Side effects of too much caffeine

  • Headache
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Irritability
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Insomnia
  • Frequent urination
  • Nervousness
  • Muscle tremors


How much arginine does coffee have?

The amount of arginine in a basic cup of coffee is about 0.053 grams, which is negligible.

Is coffee good for you?

Coffee is beneficial and can improve your health. It contains 11% of your daily recommended vitamin B2. This vitamin helps your burn fat, maintain a healthy liver and improve metabolism. In this way, it helps weight loss.

Coffee lowers the risk of diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Dementia.

What foods are high in arginine?

Many foods are high in arginine. They are as follows.

1. Nuts
Walnuts, peanuts, cashews, brazil nuts, almonds, pecans, and hazelnuts.

2. Seeds
Pumpkin, watermelon, sesame, and sunflower seeds.

3. Dairy products
Milk, yogurt, and cheese.

4. White meat
Turkey breasts and chicken breasts have more arginine than red meat like beef.

5. Grains
Corn, buckwheat, brown rice, and oats.


Coffee has an insignificant arginine content, so it’s safe to drink in moderate amounts. It has many health benefits but is high in caffeine, increasing your blood pressure and resulting in many complications. So be sure to practice moderation.

It is wise to limit coffee consumption to less than 4 cups a day. An occasional cup won’t hurt. On the contrary, it can benefit you by increasing your energy levels and putting you in a better mood.

Share this article:

Was this article helpful?
Physical Therapist / Writer

We’re proud to be a team of writers who are truly passionate about all things health.

Coming together from all parts of the world, we share a common goal of helping serve many with our comprehensive research and clear writing style. Learn more.

Nutrition & Diet