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How Much Potassium Does a Female Need?

by
author image Alyssa Clement
Alyssa Clement holds Bachelor's degrees in psychology and nutrition. She has completed clinical nutrition internships in long-term care and acute care along with food service and community nutrition internships. Her research includes nutrition supplements, weight loss, exercise and sports nutrition.
How Much Potassium Does a Female Need?
Include fresh produce and unprocessed foods to increase potassium intake. Photo Credit Sam Camp/iStock/Getty Images

Potassium is important for maintaining blood pressure, nerves, muscles and bones. It works in conjunction with sodium to balance electrolytes in the body. Like men, women over 19 years old need 4,700 milligrams of potassium per day; pregnant women also need this amount. Women who are breastfeeding need 5,100 milligrams per day. You can get potassium by consuming unprocessed foods such as red meat, fish, poultry, milk, nuts, seeds and beans.

Potassium Intake

The Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, published in "Archives of Internal Medicine" in 2001, showed that women in the United States eat an average of 2,300 milligrams of potassium a day -- only half of the recommended intake. The Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University reports that most people in the United States eat more sodium than potassium. This has been shown to increase risks for diseases such as high blood pressure, osteoporosis and kidney stones.

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