Potassium is a mineral that plays many important roles in the body. Food sources of potassium include fruits (especially dried fruits), cereals, beans, milk, and vegetables.

Potassium is most commonly used for treating and preventing low potassium levels, treating high blood pressure, and preventing stroke.


Is a Form of:


Primary Functions:

Preventing low potassium levels

Also Known As:

Acétate de Potassium, Atomic number 19, Bicarbonate de Potassium

How Does It Work?

Potassium plays a role in many body functions including transmission of nerve signals, muscle contractions, fluid balance, and various chemical reactions.


  • Low levels of potassium in the blood (hypokalemia).Taking potassium by mouth or intravenously (by IV) prevents and treats low levels of potassium in the blood.
  • High blood pressure.Most research shows that taking potassium can lower blood pressure. Potassium seems to work best for people with high blood pressure, low potassium levels, high sodium intake, and for African Americans. People with high blood pressure should aim to eat foods that provide 3500-5000 mg of potassium daily. This intake of potassium is expected to lower blood pressure by about 4-5 mmHg in people with high blood pressure.
  • Higher intake of potassium from food has been linked with up to a 20% reduced risk of stroke. Taking potassium supplements has also been linked to a reduced risk of stroke. Higher quality research is needed to confirm this association. There is some evidence that taking a salt containing magnesium and potassium after stroke improves recovery of nerve and nervous system function. But taking salt containing potassium without magnesium doesn't seem to help. And people included in the study were living in areas in which potassium intake was low. It's unclear if taking the potassium and magnesium salt improves recovery after stroke in people living in areas in which potassium intake is sufficient.

Recommended Dosing

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:



  • General: The adequate intake (AI) of potassium is 4.7 grams per day for most adults, 4.7 grams per day for pregnant females, and 5.1 grams per day for lactating women.
  • For low levels of potassium (hypokalemia): For preventing low levels of potassium, 20 mEq (about 780 mg of elemental potassium) is typically taken daily. For treating low levels of potassium, 40-100 mEq (about 1560-3900 mg of elemental potassium) is typically taken in 2-5 divided doses daily.
  • For high blood pressure (hypertension): For treating high blood pressure, 3500-5000 mg of potassium daily, preferably as part of the diet, is recommended.
  • For stroke: For preventing stroke, dietary intake of about 75 mEq (about 3.5 grams of elemental potassium) has been taken daily.


  • For low levels of potassium (hypokalemia): The dose and rate of administration for intravenous potassium chloride for the prevention or treatment of hypokalemia varies and depends on the condition of each patient. Patients should be monitored and under the care of medical professionals at the time of administration.



  • General: The adequate intake (AI) is 0.4 grams per day for infants up to 6 months old, 0.7 grams per day for infants 6-12 months old, 3 grams per day for children 1-3 years old, 3.8 grams per day for children 4-8 years old, and 4.5 grams per day for children 9-13 years old.

Potassium Supplements Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to take a potassium supplement daily?

The short answer is no, you should not take potassium supplements unless your doctor prescribes them. Many blood pressure medications—especially the commonly prescribed class known as diuretics—can affect your potassium level. But while some diuretics tend to lower potassium levels, others have the opposite effect.

What is the best potassium supplement?

Potassium chloride is the most common type used to treat deficiency. The recommended daily intake (RDI) for potassium is 4,700 mg. Most supplements come in 90 mg to 99 mg doses of potassium. Higher-dose pills are available, but they usually contain smaller “active” amounts.

What are the benefits of taking potassium supplements?

Potassium is one of the most important minerals in the body. It helps regulate fluid balance, muscle contractions and nerve signals. What's more, a high-potassium diet may help reduce blood pressure and water retention, protect against stroke and prevent osteoporosis and kidney stones.

How much potassium should I take daily?

In short, aim to consume 3,500–4,700 mg of this mineral per day from foods. People who need more potassium should aim towards the higher end. Summary: A healthy adult should aim to consume 3,500–4,700 mg of potassium daily from foods. Certain groups of people should aim to consume at least 4,700 mg per day.

What are the signs of a potassium deficiency?

Once your potassium levels fall below a certain level, you might experience:

  • Muscle cramps or twitching.
  • Arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythms)

How can you tell if your potassium is low?

Here are 8 signs and symptoms of potassium deficiency.

  • Weaknessand Fatigue.
  • Muscle Cramps and Spasms. Muscle cramps are sudden, uncontrolled contractions of the muscles.
  • Digestive Problems
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Muscle Aches and Stiffness
  • Tingling and Numbness
  • Breathing Difficulties
  • Mood Changes

How can I get 4700 mg of potassium a day?

Despite its importance, very few people around the world get enough potassium. A healthy adult should aim to consume 3,500–4,700 mg daily from foods. To increase your intake, incorporate a few potassium-rich foods into your diet, such as spinach, beet greens, potatoes and fish, such as salmon.

Why can't you lay down after taking potassium?

Breaking or crushing the pill may cause too much of the drug to be released at one time. Sucking on a potassium tablet can irritate your mouth or throat. Avoid lying down for at least 30 minutes after you take this medication.

What happens if your potassium is low?

In hypokalemia, the level of potassium in blood is too low. A low potassium level has many causes but usually results from vomiting, diarrhea, adrenal gland disorders, or use of diuretics. A low potassium level can make muscles feel weak, cramp, twitch, or even become paralyzed, and abnormal heart rhythms may develop.

Is peanut butter a good source of potassium?

Legumes, nuts, peanut butter and dried fruits such as raisins, apricots, prunes, and dates are rich sources of potassium. Meat, fish, poultry and eggs are moderate to high sources of potassium. These foods are also good sources of high-quality protein, which you need for normal body functions.

What food has the most potassium?

Food Sources of Potassium

  • Bananas, oranges, cantaloupe, honeydew, apricots, grapefruit (some dried fruits, such as prunes, raisins, and dates, are also high in potassium)
  • Cooked spinach.
  • Cooked broccoli.
  • Sweet potatoes.

Is it safe to take 99 mg of potassium a day?

Your kidneys help regulate potassium levels in your blood. But age, diabetes, heart failure, and certain other conditions may impair kidney function. Because of this potential danger, the FDA limits over-the-counter potassium supplements (including multivitamin-mineral pills) to less than 100 milligrams (mg).

Can you check potassium levels at home?

A fast, accurate and low-cost test for blood potassium levels, which can be used at home and has the potential to improve the safety, health and lifestyle of tens of millions of people worldwide, is being developed by Kalium Diagnostics.

What causes potassium to drop?

Causes. Typically, the potassium level becomes low because too much is lost from the digestive tract due to vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive laxative use. Hypokalemia is rarely caused by consuming too little potassium because many foods (such as beans, dark leafy greens, potatoes, fish, and bananas) contain potassium.

Can drinking a lot of water cause low potassium?

If you're chugging water even when you're not thirsty, you could be drinking more than your body needs. Overhydration is dangerous because it can lead to an imbalance of electrolytes in the body. Electrolytes such as potassium, sodium, and magnesium help regulate everything from your kidneys to your heart function.

Does potassium help gain weight?

Bigger, stronger muscles burn more calories. It prevents excess fluid retention:As an electrolyte, potassium combines with sodium help regulate fluids around your cells and keep you from retaining too much water. This is important because at any given time, you may be holding on to three to five pounds of water weight.

Can low potassium make your hair fall out?

Bananas. Medical experts agree that the key to maintaining hair growth is having a balanced diet, and a lack of potassium could lead to several health risks, as well as hair loss.

What has more potassium than a banana?

Although bananas are a great source of potassium, many other healthy foods — such as sweet potatoes and beets — have more potassium per serving. Some foods such as Swiss chard and white beans even have double the amount of potassium per cup, compared to a medium-sized banana.

Are eggs high in potassium?

Along with chloride and sodium, potassium is one of the most important electrolytes in the body. ... By comparison, eggs provide a smaller amount of potassium than many produce foods, but one large egg contains 69 milligrams of the nutrient and when paired with produce and whole grains, can offer a potassium-rich meal.

Is Salt a good source of potassium?

Good sources of potassium include: potatoes, sweet potatoes, bananas, tomato sauce (without added salt or sugar), orange juice, tuna (fresh, frozen or tinned, but avoid tuna packed in brine), yoghurt and fat-free milk.

Clinical Studies