Sport drinks are poor sources of potassium so athletes involved in hard exercise may require larger quantities of potassium-rich foods.
Many people know that high sodium intake may lead to hypertension. Approximately 10 percent of people with high blood pressure are sensitive to dietary salt (or sodium). A reduction in sodium helps lower blood pressure in all people with hypertension.
Newer evidence suggests that dietary potassium may play a role in decreasing blood pressure. Potassium is involved in nerve function, muscle control and blood pressure. A diet low in potassium and high in sodium may be a factor in high blood pressure. Increasing potassium in the diet may protect against hypertension in people who are sensitive to high levels of sodium.
However, taking potassium supplements is generally not recommended for people with high blood pressure. Instead, a variety of potassium-rich foods should be eaten daily. Most Americans do not get enough potassium in their diets.
The recommended daily potassium intake is 4.7 grams a day. Athletes involved in prolonged, hard exercise may require more potassium a day.