Potassium is a mineral that is beneficial for blood pressure; it maintains a normal blood pressure. Furthermore, potassium is important for the nervous system, muscle contraction and energy management in the muscles.
Potassium is found in almost any food. It is mainly found in fruits and vegetables, potatoes and meat, but also in bread, milk and nuts.
Since potassium is found in many foods, it's unlikely that a shortage occurs because of inadequate dietary intake. A shortage may be caused as a result of an increased loss of potassium due to prolonged persistent diarrhea or vomiting. A potassium shortage may also result from using laxatives or diuretics.
Symptoms of potassium shortage include muscle weakness and impaired cardiac function. Psychological disorders, such as depression and confusion, may also be a consequence of a lack of potassium.
Too much intake of potassium via food and drinks is virtually impossible. The kidneys keep the amount of potassium in the body constant. A surplus of potassium can occur when the kidneys are not functioning optimally. Also in case of using certain drugs for blood pressure, the potassium level in the blood may be too high. An excessive potassium content in the body can at worst lead to cardiac arrest.