How much potassium do I need per day?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
There is no recommended daily allowance (RDA) standard for potassium, but nutritionists recommend you consume about 3,000 milligrams (mg) a day. If you eat a balanced diet, you will probably get a little more than half of that in normal consumption.
We currently recommend getting at least 3,000 milligrams (mg) of potassium per day from food, but we're reviewing the latest science and expect our recommendation to increase -- so watch this space! The government now advises 4,700 mg per day. That said, don't take a potassium supplement unless directed by your physician, because too much of this mineral can be toxic. Some multivitamins contain potassium, but only in small amounts, so if yours is one of them, don't panic -- just make sure it's less than 100 mg.
While the current recommendation is for healthy Americans to consume 4,700 milligrams of potassium daily, males are consuming only 3,200 milligrams daily, whereas females fall even shorter, consuming only 2,400 milligrams a day, on average. The good news is that potassium is found in a variety of foods, with vegetables, fruits, low fat dairy foods, and beans being potassium powerhouses:
  • Potato, baked including skin, small, 738 mg
  • White beans, ½ cup, 595 mg
  • Yogurt, nonfat, plain, 579 mg
  • Sweet Potato, baked with skin, medium, 542 mg
  • Orange juice, 1 cup, 496 mg
  • Halibut, cooked, 3 ounces, 490 mg
  • Soybeans, cooked, ½ cup, 485 mg
  • Cod, cooked, 3 ounces, 439 mg
  • Banana, 1 medium, 422 mg
  • Spinach, cooked, ½ cup, 370-419 mg
  • Tomato sauce, ½ cup, 405 mg
  • Milk, skim, 1 cup, 382 mg
  • Apricots, dried, ¼ cup, 378 mg
  • Soy milk, 1 cup, 372 mg
  • Kidney beans, cooked, ½ cup, 358 mg

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.