How much potassium you need per day?

According to NHS, the average adult needs 3,500mg of potassium daily. Your daily diet should provide you with all the potassium you need.

How much potassium you need per day?

Potassium and its role in our body

It is an essential mineral that is required by all tissues in the body. Various nerve and cell functions are activated by this electrolyte, because it carries a small electrical charge. Potassium can be found naturally in many foods and as a supplement. It is primarily responsible for maintaining normal levels of fluid within our cells. It is also important for muscles to contract and blood pressure to stay normal.

How much potassium you need per day?

According to the U.S. Dietary Reference Intakes, there is insufficient evidence to establish a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). Nevertheless, the National Academy of Medicine has established an Adequate Intake (AI) for potassium.

  • In the case of women aged 14-18 years, the AI is 2,300 mg daily; in the case of women aged 19+, it is 2,600 mg daily. During pregnancy and lactation, the AI ranges from 2,500 to 2,900 depending on the age of the woman.
  • Those aged 14-18 should take 3,000 mg of AI; those aged 19+ should take 3,400 mg.

Approximately 2,320 mg of potassium is consumed daily by women and 3,016 mg by men on average.

AI data is presented in more coherent form in following table which is taken from NIH.

Birth to 6 months400 mg400 mg
7–12 months860 mg860 mg
1–3 years2,000 mg2,000 mg
4–8 years2,300 mg2,300 mg
9–13 years2,300 mg2,500 mg
14–18 years2,300 mg3,000 mg2,600 mg2,500 mg
19–50 years2,600 mg3,400 mg2,900 mg2,800 mg
51+ years2,600 mg3,400 mg

Special cases of intake per day

Different groups of people may benefit more from meeting a higher potassium intake than others. Among them are:

  • Athletes. When you exercise intensively and for a long time, you may lose a significant amount of potassium through sweat.
  • The Black community. A study found that 4,700 mg of potassium a day can eliminate salt sensitivity, which research indicates disproportionately affects black people when compared to white people.
  • Groups at high risk. Consuming at least 4,700 mg of potassium per day is recommended for people at risk of high blood pressure, kidney stones, osteoporosis, or stroke.

Read more if you want to check potassium levels at home.

Potassium-rich foods

Almost every type of food contains it. The following are good sources of it:

  • bananas
  • some vegetables like broccoli, parsnips and brussels sprouts
  • beans and pulses
  • seeds and nuts
  • lean meats

Based on estimates, the body absorbs between 85% and 90% of dietary potassium. Fruits and vegetables contain potassium in the form of phosphate, sulfate, citrate, and others, but not chloride

How does too much of it affects me?

You may experience stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea if you take too much potassium.

We also offer free diet consultationsBook your appointment today.

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