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Are you getting enough potassium?

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I've noticed that calorie count has upped it's recommended amount of potassium from what I think was around 3900 mg to 4700 mg.  There is no actual RDA for potassium, but apparently someone recommended 4700 mg.

The thing is, I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, all of which have potassium.  I get more than enough fiber, calcium, vitamin C, and vitamin A (so much so that cc was telling me I was getting too much until it somehow figured out it was all from plant sources which is extremely hard to overdose on), but I'm struggling to get in enough potassium.  Last night I ate a stalk of celery just so I could get in the extra 100 mg of potassium I supposedly needed without going over my calorie target.

I just have trouble believing that I actually need 4700 mg of potassium, and that someone twice my size would need the same amount as I do.  I eat mostly unprocessed foods, and I somehow get more than enough of the other nutrients I need.  Why would it be so hard to naturally eat enough potassium?  Did they just come up with 4700 mg because they figured that's how much the average person needs to counteract the abundance of sodium in their diet?

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I've been struggling to get to even 60% of CC's recommended potassium intake as well!   Went through their list of "foods high in potassium" and I eat most of them very regularly, but I just can't reach what it says I should be consuming. Mind you, I'm always a little low on calcium and iron as well.

Yes i too am struggling to reach potassium level.  Today I have 100 calories left and still need 2000mg potassium.  I have eaten 6 plus servings of fruits and veggies today and just can't seem to reach that one!  I am a little low on calcium and iron as well.  For the calcium I sometimes take 2 antacid/calcium supplements.  I don't know what else to do for potassium(which seems to be way low) and iron.  Any ideas?

I am so glad you posted this - I thought I was the only one! My potassium is way low too, I even ate a banana yesterday to up it a bit, and I hate bananas! My calium and iron as well, but I also take calcium supplements and a multi vitamin with iron.

i usually add my food manually... i find it more accurate... but not in this respect.. because so far i've only found two food lables that actually LIST potassium (besides fruits and veggies)...

i can't answer your question though... because i barely look at that stuff lol... on days i eat soup my sodium is to high.. on days i eat hot dogs my fat is to high (hehehe for good reason).. but if i didn't have the occasional this or that i'd probably go insane at work and kill people. so ya.. i don't look. lol. I DID however notice that my sodium level is always to the FARRRRR negative... i just chalked it up to not having all the information available on labels *shrugs*... guess not.

Well I have been reding labels and most say 3500 mg potasium for a 2000 calorie diet .  Info I have read online so far does confirm the 4700mg, but have not found anything to confirm lower calorie intake.....so if I am eating 1200 calories, do i still need 4700 mg?

Original Post by swannkemp:

For the calcium I sometimes take 2 antacid/calcium supplements.

Calcium absorption requires high (or rather, normal) levels of stomach acid, so antacids aren't really a great way of getting it. In general it isn't good to take these things regularly since they do interfere with stomach acid.

I struggle with potassium too. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one. I'd love to hear from someone who actually does get the recommended amount. Do they exist? lol.

Original Post by wegg:
I struggle with potassium too. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one. I'd love to hear from someone who actually does get the recommended amount. Do they exist? lol.

^ This!!  I never meet the recommended level either.  

Is this something anyone has considered taking a supplement of?  

With the updates to the food log program, I have not met the 4700mg of potassium on any day.  On one day I did reach 3800mg.  I ate an entire bag of frozen turnip greens in addition to other foods that contained potassium and I still didn't meet the daily requirement.  I've decided not to worry about it.

If my nutrition information (and memory) are correct, it is typically recommended that salt intake and potassium intake are approximately equal. Which means if you're not eating a lot of sodium, you won't need as much potassium.

Exceptions would be hard-core exercisers/athletes, in which more than this is recommended.


Ha! I almost hit the K+ target the other day.  I was having some errr stomach problems and had eaten about 10 prunes.  Apparently they are high in K+ lol.

My CC constantly tells me I'm not meeting my Potassium target but my diet is spot on in terms of high-K veg and fruit.  I also enter a lot of foods manually and most don't contain potassium info.  I'm not really worried.

Yeah apparently potassium deficiency is incredibly rare, so I'm sure we're all fine. I figure that if the recommended amount is nearly impossible to hit, then it's probably wrong; seems unlikely that we would've evolved to eat potatoes and prunes all day long.

Still might try to work some more yams into my diet...

Original Post by minda_spk:

If my nutrition information (and memory) are correct, it is typically recommended that salt intake and potassium intake are approximately equal. Which means if you're not eating a lot of sodium, you won't need as much potassium.

This is true; however, we should remember to factor in that potassium weighs about twice as much as sodium (per atom).  So, if you take in 1000 mg sodium, you need about 2000 mg potassium to balance that out.  This is probably where the 4700 mg recommendation came from - it's approximately double the 2400 mg sodium recommendation.  (Though, by my math, the recommendation should then be 4100 mg potassium per day - unless it accounts for the fact that most people get too much sodium.)

Same problem here. I don't even come close to hitting the daily recommended potassium and eat a lot of supposedly high potassium foods. My calcium and iron seem to be low too. I thought I was eating enough dairy for the calcium and I don't eat red meat so the iron doesn't surprise me much. Oh well.

I never hit the potassium mark - but I think CC doesn't have the correct amount entered in the foods...  I eat a lot of chicken and turkey which I believe to contain potassium but when I add them in CC often I don't see the potassium being counted. 



I have trouble making the potassium grade as well.  I blame it on incomplete data.  I eat things that are high or moderate in potassium content.  I think I made 100% one day this week but I had to eat 1.5 lb of sweet potato (had it baked, it was delish).  Manufacturers aren't required to print potassium content, I think, unless it is extremely profound or they feel like it.  Lots of things have potassium, it's just not written down.  grrr

Yeah, that's what annoys me.  Everything has some potassium in it, but it's so rarely on the nutrition labels that it just makes me a little mad to have the analysis tool tell me I'm not getting enough.  I'm always hearing how everyone is vitamin D deficient or calcium deficient, but can anyone tell me the last time they heard about potassium deficiency being a problem?

Well I did find something on potassium rich foods which I find I can easily include in my diet:

tomatoes 1 cup 427 mg

yoghurt 1 cup 380 mg

flax seed 1 cup 1366 mg

peanuts 1 cup  1029 mg

cantaloupe 1 cup  427mg

Kidney beans(100g)  1490 mg

Kidney beans 1 cup 713 mg

moong / mung sprouts  1 cup
1246 mg

Yam  670mg (cooked)

raw banana 1 cup 594 mg

beetroot 1 cup 519 mg

Black eyed beans (lobia) 1 cup - 690 mg

Chickpea 1 cup - 477 mg

1 baked potato - 1081 mg

1 cup spinach - 839 mg

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My new potassium and iron boost is blackstrap molasses on my porridge instead of honey. I got both to 100% last Thursday ( :-D can you tell it was a big deal!) and was very pleased as they are the nutrients I consistently seem to lack on my current 1600 kcal diet.

Other potassium-rich things I ate on that day were beans, lentils, sweet potatoes and carrots, milk, yogurt and a banana.

I planned on starting a similar thread, but I'm glad to see it was started already.

I actually reached the potassium level one day, but it took 1 1/2 huge sweet potatoes, yogurt, a banana, an orange, 2 cups spinach, a bowl of lentils, a whole tomato, and white beans (I may be missing some items, or adding more items since I'm going off memory).

In order to get this plus the rest of the nutrients/vitamins, I had to eat about 1900 calories, which is fine since I've upped my calorie limit, but I'm thinking, on an average day, who really eats ALL of this??? Especially on a limited calorie diet. No wonder most of the population is potassium deficient! Plus, from what I hear, it is not recommended to take elemental potassium supplements, so we have to get it from food sources.

Right now, I'm weighing the benefits of reaching that 4700 by stressing over the right foods, or just reaching a certain point. For a week I was watching potassium more than calories because it just seemed odd that eating spinach and a banana wouldn't be enough. I just need to do more research on the dangers of not eating enough potassium, but for a typical day of not counting this stuff, it's hard to keep up with the requirements.

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