Potassium is one of the vital mineralshealthy adults and children should consume. That said, you need know the right quantity to consume per day for safety purposes. Keep reading below to find out the amount of potassium adults and children need per day.

Potassium is an important nutrient needed for a healthier, longer, and happier life. Incorporating it into your daily diet is not enough. It would help if you took the right amounts.

Often nutrients like potassium are underestimated, and very little attention is given to them. Besides carbohydrates, proteins, and vitamins, we have minerals like potassium, which plays a big part in our body’s overall wellness. A healthy diet must also contain potassium; otherwise, it shouldn’t be considered a balanced meal. This mineral is crucial and necessary for the wellness of the heart, kidneys, and other organs in the body. So, how do you make sure you meet your body’s requirement of potassium?

Why do you need potassium?

Potassium is an important electrolyte to your body system. It enhances the proper functioning of cells and ensures the kidneys, nerves, heart, and muscles are in their perfect state. More that, potassium affects the sodium levels in the body. Being short of potassium means sodium amounts will increase, leading to high blood pressure, and it may also cause heart disease and stroke.

Are there any health benefits of potassium?

If you still doubtwhat is there for you to consume potassium, the benefits we’ll share will shock you. Adding potassium to your diet will protect you from many diseases and offer many health wellnesses you wouldn’t want to miss.

Potassium lowers the risks of kidney stones

Potassium is an important element for the kidneys. Poor performance of kidneys is often associated with low levels of potassium. The properties offered by potassium eliminate the harmful hard deposits of minerals in the kidney. It ensures the smooth flow of substances, not allowing any blockage in the body.

Controlssalt sensitivity

Individuals with salt sensitivity get a rise in blood pressure by 10% after taking salt. Potassium foods may help people to experience fewer effects of salt sensitivity.


Stroke is among the serious health threats worldwide, particularly to old-aged persons. It’s caused by high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, high salt intake, and high-fat foods. It interrupts the blood flow in the brain, but eating potassium foods will help prevent the disruption of chemical reactions in the cognitive areas.

Bone diseases

Individuals like athletes or any other sports participant need foods rich in potassium. It’s easy for them to experience electrolyte imbalance because of the nature of their activities. Their bodies will need potassium to maintain a well-functioning heart, promote strong bones, and improve muscles.

Who needs potassium more?

Eating a balanced diet allows you to get sufficient potassium naturally. Even so, some groups of individuals under certain conditions may not succeed in reaching their potassium needs. Such people include;

  • Individuals with an eating disorder
  • Smokers
  • Alcohol and drug substance abusers
  • Persons with digestion and absorption issues such as Crohn’s disease
  • Individuals under specific medication like diuretics
  • Runners in hot areas
  • Individuals who sweat excessively
  • Individuals doing jobs that require a lot of physical energy

What is the potassium requirement in the body?

According to the Institute of medicine, individuals should have a certain intake of potassium to stay healthy.


Under 6 months- 400mg in a day

Between 7 and 12 years- 700 mg

Between 1 and 3 years- 3000mg

Between 4 and 8 years- 3,800mg

Between 9 and 13- 4,500mg

14 years and above- 4,700mg


18 years and above- 4,700mg

Special groups

Pregnant women- 4,700mg

Breastfeeding mothers- 5, 100mg

How do you know you lack enough potassium?

Most individuals, especially adults, do not meet their potassium requirements. Many people prefer highly processed and fatty foods which have little or no amounts of this important mineral. Even so, not having enough potassium in the body does not reflect being deficient. Potassium deficiency, also called hypokalemia,is when the blood level of potassium is less than 3.6 mmol per liter. The condition occurs whenso much potassium is lost through long-term diarrhea or vomiting or because of some medications that maximize water loss. Such medications include diuretics.

The deficiency is categorized into 3, according to its level of seriousness; mild, moderate, or severe deficiency. Symptoms you may experience when lacking potassium include;

  • Cramping
  • Muscle pain
  • Body weakness
  • Discomfort
  • Irregular heartbeat

Should you take potassium supplements?

It is a great question that often disturbs individuals concerned with their potassium levels. When it comes to potassium, it’s difficult to measure the risks. A well-informed decision is needed to determine what’s best for your health. Moreover, it’s much better to get potassium from foods rather than potassium supplements.Most medication pills affect the potassium levels in the body. While medicines like diuretics reduce potassium levels, some like ibuprofentend to do the opposite. It’s safe to take potassium supplements only if the doctor recommends you avoid altering the heart rhythm and the functioningof your muscles and nerves.

Who should have less potassium?

While most adults need to increase their potassium levels, some may need less of it. Potassium greatly depends on the kidney’s performance. If this organ is not at its optimum working state, you may have to reduce your potassium intake; otherwise, your body will not process the available minerals leading to serious health problems. Such groups include;

  • Individuals with chronic kidney disease
  • People using high blood pressure pills
  • Aged adults


You’re required to keep your potassium levels in the right range. This mineral plays a critical role in determining how the nerves and muscles function. The kidney greatly affects potassium levels. However, age, diabetes, heart issues, and other conditions mayaffect the kidney’sfunction, making it crucial to acquire the correct amounts of potassium. The most effective way of adding your potassium levelsis by eating more foods rich in them. Most fruits and vegetables will provide the right amount,for example,spinach, sweet potatoes, and bananas. You can also use potassium supplements, but only if your doctor recommends them.

MS, University of Tartu
Sleep specialist

Using the acquired academic and professional experience, I advise patients with various complaints about mental health - depressed mood, nervousness, lack of energy and interest, sleep disorders, panic attacks, obsessive thoughts and anxieties, difficulty concentrating, and stress. In my free time, I love to paint and go on long walks on the beach. One of my latest obsessions is sudoku – a wonderful activity to calm an unease mind.

Latest from Health