Phosphorus

Phosphorus is an essential dietary mineral found naturally in many foods and beverages such as milk, dairy products, meat, fish, eggs, nuts, beans and some fruits and vegetables. It is also found in breads, cereals, sports drinks, teas, soft drinks and other foods and beverages made with ingredients that contain phosphorus. For example, an 8 fl oz glass of milk contains 247 mg of phosphorus while a 12 fl oz can of Pepsi contains 50 mg. For perspective, the Reference Daily Intake (% DV) for phosphorus set by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is 1250 mg per day.

Why is there phosphorus in some beverages?

Phosphorus is found in beverages that contain ingredients with naturally occurring phosphorus such as milk, dairy products, nuts, apple juice and orange juice or ingredients that add phosphorus for taste and/or functional benefits. Here are some examples.

Gatorade Recover's Nutrition Shakes and Muscle Milk's Protein Shakes typically contain 20% or more of the Recommended Daily Intake amount (%DV) for phosphorus due to a combination of dairy ingredients and various forms of phosphorus used to make the products.

Other sports drinks and some soft drinks and teas contain added phosphorus in the form of phosphoric acid, monopotassium phosphate or other forms of phosphorus. Since very small amounts of these ingredients are used, the amount of phosphorus in these products is typically less than 10% of the Recommended Daily Intake amount (%DV).

Tropicana, Naked and Izze juice products may contain up to 10% of the Recommended Daily Intake amount (%DV) for phosphorus - and typically much less - if they are made with fruits and vegetables that contain small amounts of naturally occurring phosphorus. In addition, Naked Juice's Protein line of juice beverages can contain up to 25% DV of phosphorus because they are made with whey and soy protein ingredients that contain phosphorus.

Importantly, phosphorus levels in all our beverages are well within the Reference Daily Intake (% DV) amounts set by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and are safe for consumption by people of all ages.

How does phosphorus affect bone health?

Science tells us that we need a balanced intake of calcium and phosphorus as well as other vitamins and minerals for optimum bone health. Sports drinks and protein shakes that contain protein-rich dairy ingredients and added phosphorus ingredients will tend to be closer to an excellent source of phosphorus. However, the small amounts of phosphorus in some soft drinks, teas and juice-based products are not adequate to meet your daily phosphorus needs.

For more information about balancing calcium and phosphorus for bone health you can download the Surgeon General's Report on Osteoporosis and Bone Health from the National Institutes of Health.

Phosphorus Comparison

Note: The Phosphorus values for some products listed below may not be displayed on the product's package or in this site's comparison charts and downloads, which show on-pack information only. Additional information about Phosphorus, which is not required on packaging, is provided here and in the More Information chart on each product page for your convenience.

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Product Name
 
Package Size
(Serving Size Shown)
Phosphorus
(mg / %DV per serving)
 
mg
% DV
Serving Size Phosphorus
per serving (mg)
Yogurt, plain nonfat 8 oz 385
Fish - salmon, cooked 3 oz 252
Milk, skim 8 fl oz 247
Fish - halibut, cooked 3 oz 242
Lentils, cooked 1/2 cup 178
Beef, cooked 3 oz 173
Turkey, cooked 3 oz 173
Chicken, cooked 3 oz 155
Almonds 1 oz 134
Cheese, mozzarella (part skim) 1 oz 131
Eggs, cooked 1 large 104
Peanuts 1 oz 107
Bread, whole wheat 1 slice 57
Carbonated cola drink 8 fl oz 35
Bread, enriched white 1 slice 25

Source:
The Oregon State University Nutrition Information Center