Potassium | Instructional Fitness


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Potassium is a mineral and electrolyte that works to regulate the body’s water balance and normalize heart rhythms.  Potassium also serves a number of other functions including:

  1. Help maintain normal blood pressure by reducing sodium's effects.
  2. Helps muscles contract.
  3. Aids the thinking process by sending oxygen to the brain.
  4. Helps regulate fluids and mineral balance in and out of the cells of the body.

Sources: Bananas, citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, sunflower seeds, potatoes.  Potassium is also usually available in most multi-vitamins.

Intake: For ages 9 to 13, the adequate intake level of potassium is about 4,500 mg/day.  For people over the age of 14, the adequate intake increases slightly to 4,700 mg/day.

Excessive potassium is rare from food sources because it is usually excreted.  However, for those who do take in too much or may not be able to excrete the excess potassium, it may lead to heart problems and in severe cases, even sudden death.

Muscle cramping and fatigue may be signs of deficiency.