BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuPotassium in dietDiet - potassium; Hyperkalemia - potassium in the diet; Hypokalemia - potassium in the diet; Chronic kidney disease - potassium in diet; Kidney failure - potassium in dietPotassium is a mineral that your body needs to work properly. It is a type of electrolyte.ElectrolyteElectrolytes are minerals in your blood and other body fluids that carry an electric charge. Electrolytes affect how your body functions in many ways...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Function Potassium is a very important mineral for the human body. Your body needs potassium to: Build proteins Break down and use carbohydrates Build muscle Maintain normal body growth Control the electrical activity of the heart Control the acid-base balance Food Sources Many foods contain potassium. All meats (red meat and chicken) and fish, such as salmon, cod, flounder, and sardines, are good sources of potassium. Soy products and veggie burgers are also good sources of potassium.Vegetables, including broccoli, peas, lima beans, tomatoes, potatoes (particularly their skins), sweet potatoes, and winter squash are all good sources of potassium.Fruits that contain significant amounts of potassium include citrus fruits, cantaloupe, bananas, kiwi, prunes, and apricots. Dried apricots contain more potassium than fresh apricots.Milk, yogurt, and nuts are also excellent sources of potassium.People with kidney problems, particularly those on dialysis, should not eat too many potassium-rich foods. Your health care provider will recommend a special diet. Side Effects Having too much or too little potassium in your body can cause serious health problems.A low blood level of potassium is called hypokalemia. It can cause weak muscles, abnormal heart rhythms, and a slight rise in blood pressure. You may have hypokalemia if you:HypokalemiaLow blood potassium level is a condition in which the amount of potassium in the blood is lower than normal. The medical name of this condition is h...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Take diuretics (water pills) to treat high blood pressure or heart failure Take too many laxatives Have severe or prolonged vomiting or diarrhea Have certain kidney or adrenal gland disorders Too much potassium in the blood is known as hyperkalemia. It may cause abnormal and dangerous heart rhythms. Some common causes include:HyperkalemiaHigh potassium level is a problem in which the amount of potassium in the blood is higher than normal. The medical name of this condition is hyperka...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Poor kidney function Heart medicines called angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin 2 receptor blockers (ARBs) Potassium-sparing diuretics (water pills) such as spironolactone or amiloride Severe infection Recommendations The Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends these dietary intakes for potassium, based on age:INFANTS0 to 6 months: 400 milligrams a day (mg/day) 7 to 12 months: 860 mg/day CHILDREN and ADOLESCENTS1 to 3 years: 2000 mg/day 4 to 8 years: 2300 mg/day 9 to 13 years: 2300 mg/day (female) and 2500 mg/day (male) 14 to 18 years: 2300 mg/day (female) and 3000 mg/day (male)ADULTSAge 19 years and older: 2600 mg/day (female) and 3400 mg/day (male)Women who are pregnant or producing breast milk need slightly higher amounts (2600 to 2900 mg/day and 2500 to 2800 mg/day respectively). Ask your provider what amount is best for you.People who are being treated for hypokalemia may need potassium supplements. Your provider will develop a supplementation plan based on your specific needs.Note: If you have kidney disease or other long-term (chronic) illnesses, it is important that you talk to your provider before taking potassium supplements.Open ReferencesReferencesMozaffarian D. Nutrition and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. In: Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann, DL, Tomaselli GF, Braunwald E, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 49.National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine website. Dietary reference intakes for sodium and potassium (2019). Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi.org/10.17226/25353. Accessed June 30, 2020.Ramu A, Neild P. Diet and nutrition. In: Naish J, Syndercombe Court D, eds. Medical Sciences. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 16.AllVideoImagesTogSelf Care Understanding the DASH diet Tests for Potassium in diet Potassium testPotassium urine testRelated Information Electrolytes(Special Topic)Protein in diet(Nutrition)Amino acids(Special Topic)Carbohydrates(Nutrition) Review Date: 5/26/2020 Reviewed By: Meagan Bridges, RD, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. Editorial update 09/30/2021. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- © 1997- All rights reserved. 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