Am I getting too much potassium?

Patient

Q: I have recently started eating and drinking better, not really trying to lose weight just trying to watch what I eat and drink. Mostly low/no carb intake...lean meats, cheeses... anyway I have discovered these "Crystal Clear Vitamin Enhanced" waters... they contain nothing but vitamins unlike many other flavored waters, and one of the flavors (fruit punch) contains 350g of potassium. I am drinking one of these waters every few days (drinking the other flavors in between that do not contain potassium) Any advice is appreciated!

Doctor

A:   It is great to hear that you are improving your diet.
Potassium is a mineral that helps the kidneys function normally.  Potassium is crucial to heart function and plays a key role in muscle contraction, making it an important mineral.
Most people get all of the potassium they need from a healthy diet rich in vegetables and fruits. Older people have a greater risk of hyperkalemia (high potassium levels) because our kidneys get rid of potassium less efficiently as we age.  This makes it important to closely monitor potassium levels in individual taking medications that may effect the kidney.
The normal daily recommended intake of potassium is 2000mg in normal healthy adults and pregnant women.
Other sources of pottasium include bananas, citrus juices (such as orange juice), avocados, cantaloupes, tomatoes, potatoes, lima beans, flounder, salmon, cod, chicken, and other meats.
To answer your question, as long as your daily potassium intake does not exceed 2000mg, you should be ok.  Older adults and adults on medications should consult their doctor before taking potassium supplementation because of the potential of cardiac side effects.

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