T Nation

Potassium RDA


#1

In trying to get my diet as close to perfection as possible I've been trying to ensure I get enough Potassium. However from what I've noticed it's hard to find very much of it in any kind of food, at least more than 4-5% RDA per serving. So even though I'm eating plenty of almonds, walnuts, pumpkin, and anything else I can get my hands on I'm still not sure I'm getting enough for the RDA, even though I probably need more.

Anybody have any good sources for a buttload of potassium?? Eating 3 cans of pumpkin and a pound of almonds every day can't be the only way to do this!


#2

The best sources for potassium are veggies, fruit and whole grains.
You aren’t going to find any one food that is ridiculously high in potassium.


#3

It’s not something I would really worry about…I’ve never really heard of any healthy, young people being potassium deficient. Too much potassium can be dangerous too. So be careful with supplementation.


#4

Well I’m definitely not looking to get it all out of one place. But the RDA is like 4700mg, and just doing it in my head seems like it’s pretty tough to get to from the labels I’m reading.


#5

Remember, the RDA is set at the 2nd stardard deviation of the mean, so 97th pecentile. Most people do not need to consume the RDA, and a fer peopleneed to consume more. It is a bell curve.

Don’t spend too much time worrying about it, and I wouldn’t recommend supplementing to reach it either.


#6

here are my potassium sources each day to get 4+ grams

cooked oats
apple
pumpkin seeds
peas
carrots
beans
broccoli
spinach
banana (PWO)

fruits and veggies are your best bet if you are trying to keep the carbs low


#7

The only foods I know of that are extremely high in potassium per calorie consumed are beet greens (not a generic term for other greens, but a very specific type of green) and celery.

Celery has about 100 mg potassium per medium stalk, which is only 6 calories. Of course, consuming say 20 stalks of celery to obtain an increase of 2000 mg in potassium intake isn’t something that most want to do. It’s potassium-dense in terms of calories, but not so much in terms of bulk.

Beet greens have about 1300 mg potassium per cup, and only about 40 calories, so that’s pretty amazing. But they are hard to find.

Avocado is fairly high in potassium: 100 g has about 500 mg at a cost of about 167 calories.

Orange juice is fairly high in potassium but requiring substantial sugar intake to go along with it. Each 8 ounces has nearly 500 mg of potassium, to about 21 grams of sugars and about 110 calories. Still, calorie-wise, it’s pretty dense in potassium.

An easy way to get potassium is to add “Salt Substitute” (potassium chloride, KCl) to food or water. If I recall correctly, each 1/4 tsp contains about 600 mg potassium. When dieting, depending on the rest of the diet I will add KCl to a gallon of water.

Also, for some reason nutrition information on foods and supplement labels sometimes omits substances which in fact are present in substantial quantity.

The two main examples of this seem to be potassium and phosphorus. Foods or supplements may contain these, yet give no listing for potassium and/or phosphorus at all. Of course that means you can’t count on potassium being there, but it also means that you may have been getting more potassium than you’ve realized if you’ve tried analyzing available nutritional information for what you’ve been consuming.

For example, if you’ve done fine on the V-Diet and are now wondering how you survived with zero potassium, the answer is, actually you were getting quite a bit, though I would suggest supplementing it with another couple grams a day intake from KCl.

The value I’ve seen for the RDA is 3500 mg/day, not the higher figure quoted about, though I think a lifter will do better with more like 4500-5000 mg/day as personal opinion (with probably some dependence on weight – I have in mind someone around 200-230 for that figure – and perhaps some dependence on amount of sweating.)


#8

Thanks a lot for the recommendations guys, I’ll keep doing my math and see where I’m at, and definitely look into KCl in case I’m really that short.

Stay Strong!


#9

The average banana has 358 mg of potassium