Health & Support
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I am quite sedendary of late and and am on a 1300 ca/day goal-diet (which means I try to limit it to that but sometimes miss it by a hundred cals or so over).

I am getting all of my nutritional needs met as per the Analysis tool except potassium. Does anyone else have this problem? Does anyone have any advice aside from taking a supplement.

I have been getting leg-cramps a bit lately. I know the diuretic in my PMS medication depletes potassium, so I have stopped taking it for now. The cramps seem to have subsided. But I still need more potassium. I read its not recommended to take potassium citrate unless a doctor approves it - can raise blood pressure. Mine is on the low-end, but healthy.

Any suggestions?


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Quick note:

I am eating 3-4 bananas a day and drinking unsweetened soy milk a lot, both high in potassium and am STILL not hitting half the requirement. But I can't keep eating this many bananas!

How does a woman get 4700 mg of potassium in her diet limited to 1300 cals/day?

I've always been under the assumption (so we know what that means, someone please correct me if I'm wrong) that RDA's are based on a 2000 calorie diet so if you're not eating 2000 a day your RDA technically is less....

For example if your eating 1500 cals a day then your RDA is 75% of the 4,700mg.

Does that make sense??

Some leafy greens have more potassium per calorie than bananas. A banana has 422 mg and 105 calories (4 mg/calorie). 33 calories worth of kale has 299 mg of potassium (9mg/calorie!). s-and-vegetable-products/2461/2

Also, some of the RDA's are messed up because they try to compensate for the other crap that Americans eat. For instance, our Ca requirement is so high because they know we eat a lot of protein and drink soft drinks, both of which make you pee out more Ca. The potassium requirement is so high to somewhat compensate for people who eat too much salt. The balance of sodium (Na) to potassium is very important, so reducing sodium intake (processed foods) reduces your potassium requirement.


Hey, thanks for this info!  I actually just started reading up on this today as I am always SEVERELY under tha Potassium intake.  I am going to start taking some supplements as I just can't seem to get to the right Potassium levels I need.  I average about 1500mg of Potassium a day


I havnt had night cramps since I started taking magnesium supps

My calves used to give me hell round about 3 in the morning,

I thought it was just circulation or salt. I tried gator aid but with the climate here it comes out in your sweat and gives you  a rash 

I've been worried about this too so thanks for posing the question. Mine is always low on Calcium and Potassium; even on days when I eat 2 bananas, some kale and a glass of milk.

I am actually wondering if there might be something wrong with the Food Search database. Some ingredients don't list the levels of potassium so you may be getting more than you think.  ...just a thought

Potatoes!  I know they are a little heavier on the calorie side, but if you don't load them with sour cream it's not so bad.  I like to roast some and put in salads and such.  Fixed me for getting enough potassium since they're loaded!

Current food labeling and testing requirements do not include potassium.  So many foods you are eating may have potassium and it is not included in calorie count (sometimes it's not on the nutrition label either.)  So I assume I am getting more potassium that CC indicates.  I just changed my requirements to a lower level.

Lots to think on. Thanks. I'll lower my potassium requirements. I've not tested low for potassium since I had an eating disorder, or if I take Pamprin which has an diuretic, which depletes potassium and can cause leg cramps.

Russet potatoes are a better source of potassium than bananas.  USDA data:

100g russet flesh 77 kcal 2g protein 421mg potassium

100g banana 88 kcal 1 gram protein 358mg potassium

An eight ounce can of tomato sauce at walmart provides over twice as much potassium as a banana at half the cost.

While you can get the data from the USDA Kathleen's Diet Planner (free download) is a much more convenient way to access the same data, and allows you to do side by side comparisons of up to five foods.

go visit the World's Healthiest foods website ( -- and search on potassium.

From the WH site:

Potassium is found in abundance in many foods, and is especially easy to obtain in fruits and vegetables. Excellent sources of potassium include chard, crimini mushrooms, and spinach.

Very good sources of potassium include fennel, kale, mustard greens, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, winter squash, blackstrap molasses, eggplant, cantaloupe, and tomatoes.

Good sources of potassium include parsley, cucumber, bell pepper, turmeric, apricots, ginger root, strawberries, avocado, banana, tuna, halibut, cauliflower and cabbage.

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RDI's or RDA's are based on assuming that foods still have in them what they used to have when they were last checked. In the 1950' a study was done on soil mineral content, and levels were already depleted by as much as 50%. A later study in 1999 was showing that it had gotten worse by another 25% (75%). I don't believe it has improved in 10 years. What do you think. Most of the modern illness' can be attributed to mineral deficiencies. Migraines=Magnesium etc.

Why do you think that there is such a worldwide call for supplements?

>RDI's or RDA's are based on assuming that foods still have in them what they used to have when they were last checked.<


You have no clue whatsoever about what you are talking about.  Neither of those values--and I would bet dollars to donuts you don't know one from the other--involve ANY assumptions about "foods".

The basic riff is, take the amount required to avoid frank deficiency in 90% of the population and double it.  There are a couple of useful web resources that you should check out.  Their names are "google" and "wikipedia".

BTW I wouldn't actually *eat* the donuts, but my chickens would.

This is a great point!  What I find interesting is that the allowed sodium is adjusted down to compensate for the decrease in calories, but the potassium requirement is not similarly adjusted.  As such, I'm going to dial mine down to compensate for the lower food intake, and quit making myself crazy!

Well, it was a great idea, but it can't be done.  If you try to adjust your potassium allowance, you'll get a message telling you that you require X mg per day, do not decrease this amount without talking to your physician.  However, I don't see any way to change it, even if I HAD talked to my physician and he approved.  Guess it will just stay red.

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