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Potassium Requirements and Dietary Sources

Mineral Guide


Updated April 15, 2014


A healthy salad is abundant in potassium.

Bob Smith

Potassium is a major mineral that is necessary for normal growth and for making proteins from amino acids that come from your diet. It's also needed for metabolizing carbohydrates.

Potassium is an electrolyte, which means it carries an electrical current. Electrolytes regulate your body's pH and fluid balance.. Most of the potassium in your body is found inside cells.

Daily Requirements

1 to 3 years: 3 grams per day
4 to 8 years: 3.8 grams per day
9 to 13 years: 4.5 grams per day
14+ years: 4.7 grams per day

Potassium is abundant in a normal diet because it is found in most plants and animal-based foods, so potassium deficiency due to diet is unlikely. More commonly, potassium deficiency is due to medications or certain diseases.

Dietary sources include dried fruits; legumes; meats; poultry; fish; soy; bananas; citrus fruits; potatoes; tomatoes; broccoli; mushrooms; dark, leafy green vegetables and dairy products.


Potassium in the diet. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. July 17, 2009. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002413.htm.

Otten JJ, Hellwig JP, Meyers LD. "Dietary Reference Intakes: The Essential Guide to Nutrient Requirements." Institute of Medicine, 2006.


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