A Necessity for Life

Symbol: K

Atomic Number: 19

Recommended Daily Allowances

0-6 months--- 400 mg/day

7-12 months---700 mg/day

1-3 years--- 3,000 mg/day

4-8 years--- 3,800 mg/day

9-13 years--- 4,500 mg/day

14 & up--- 4,700 mg/day

breastfeeding women--- 5,100 mg/day

Women Who Breastfeed

This is the only time as an adult (14 or up) that your potassium levels would need to be increased. Potassium is crucial to your maintaining your fluid levels, so as your fluid levels rise, your potassium levels need to rise too.

How It Helps Your Body

Can Help to Prevent:
  • stroke
  • low blood pressure
  • cramps
  • muscle disorder
  • high blood pressure
  • heart and kidney disorder
  • stress and anxiety
Also Helps With:
  • bone health
  • brain function
  • muscular strength
  • moving muscles
  • metabolism
  • maintaining fluid balance
  • electrolytes
  • nervous system
  • regulating pH levels

Potassium is a very important electrolyte. The levels in your body can be affected by:

  • a hormone, aldosterone
  • sodium levels
  • foods you eat

The picture above shows the sodium-potassium pump, which allows our muscles to be able to move and contract.

Excess Potassium

Too much of anything can be bad. Too much potassium can cause:
  • heart diease
  • muscle paralysis
  • abnormal heartbeat


  • nausea
  • tingling in hands and feet
  • trouble breathing

*These problems are more likely in someone whose kidneys cannot process potassium*

Potassium Deficiency

Not enough potassium can lead to:
  • high blood pressure
  • pain in the intestines
  • swelling of the glands
  • in extreme cases, diabetes


  • fatigue
  • muscle weakness
  • inactive reflexes
  • abnormal heartbeat
  • anemia
  • severe headaches
  • sweating
  • trembling

Foods with Potassium

  • citrus fruits

  • grains

  • vegetables

  • salmon

  • chicken

  • whole milk

  • fresh fruit juice

  • almonds

  • nuts

  • lime beans

  • potatos

  • most present in:

    • avocados

    • bananas

    • coconut water


To prevent low levels of potassium:
  • a supplement containing 20 mEq a day should be taken
Treating low levels of potassium:
  • 40-100 mEq a day, but this should be broken throughout the day


  • you can get potassium suplements for as little as $5.59
  • comes with 90 tablets
  • take one a day
  • each tablet contains 99 mg
  • the average cost for a daily supplement would be about $0.06