Potassium supplements are very useful when you suffer from high blood pressure or heart disease. When you take potassium supplements, your body gets rid of excess sodium and replaces it with potassium. Potassium helps maintain normal nerve function, muscle contraction, and other functions in the human body. You may have heard about potassium supplementation before but not many people know how much they need to consume daily to reap its benefits.
The amount of potassium needed depends on several factors such as age, gender, weight, activity level, medical condition, and dietary habits. Also there are different types of potassium supplements available like tablets and gels.
Some of them contain only trace amounts of potassium while others have higher levels. You may want to choose the one which provides the most benefit for you.
When you’re suffering from high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes mellitus (DM), or other health problems, you might consider taking potassium supplements. However, if you don’t want to waste money on expensive pills then here’s a list of some cheap and effective ways to increase your potassium intake:
1) Eat more fruits and vegetables: Potassium deficiency is common among the elderly population due to poor diet.
Eating more fruit and vegetables will help improve your potassium status. Some of the best sources of potassium are coconut water, potatoes, bananas, whole grains, and most types of fruit and vegetables.
2) Eat chicken: Most meats contain large amounts of potassium.
However, you should avoid pork as it contains a high amount of sodium
3) Add some nuts to your diet: Add almonds or cashews to your diet.
These nuts are packed with lots of nutrients and are a good source of potassium.
4) Don’t eat too much salt: Most adults consume too much sodium on a daily basis.
Sodium is a major cause of high blood pressure and should be eliminated from your diet. If you don’t want to eliminate table salt completely, use sea salt instead as it has some nutritional value.
If you want to reap the full benefits of potassium, you need to take in enough to meet your body’s daily needs. You should take in around 4,700 mg of potassium every day.
This can be done by eating a healthy diet or taking a potassium supplement. Just make sure to consult with your physician before taking any potassium supplement.
Potassium is an essential element in human nutrition and it’s an important factor in keeping the body healthy. A deficiency of potassium in the body can lead to muscular weakness and mental confusion, among other things.
You may also suffer from an irregular heartbeat or low blood pressure, causing you to feel lightheaded or experience fainting spells.
Most people get enough potassium by eating a balanced diet. Some foods that contain high amounts of potassium are potatoes, tomatoes, oranges, and leafy vegetables.
Other good sources include meats, fish, milk, and most other foods. However, if you feel like your diet isn’t providing you with enough potassium then you may want to take a multivitamin or other supplement to boost your levels. Some people also take potassium supplements to treat or prevent conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.
Many medications can interact with potassium supplements. This can either make the effects of potassium too strong or ineffective.
Before taking a potassium supplement, it is important to let your doctor know what other medications or supplements you are taking.
You should not take potassium supplements if you have kidney disease or are on a potassium-restricted diet. A diet that is low in potassium will prevent the loss of electrolytes through the kidneys.
In these cases, your physician may prescribe a liquid potassium supplement rather than pills.
The kidneys eliminate 50% of the potassium from the body each day. Eating a diet that is high in potassium increases the amount that gets absorbed by your body.
However, if you already get enough potassium from your diet and then take in more through supplements, then the amount absorbed by your body increases even more. A large increase in the amount of potassium in your body can cause dangerous side effects such as heart rhythm problems or even death.
Taking potassium pills along with foods that have a high glycemic index can also increase your risk of side effects. The high levels of sugar found in these foods can cause your blood sugar levels to rapidly increase.
This in turn causes your kidneys to remove extra water and electrolytes, which includes potassium.
Potassium supplements can interact with a number of different medications. Always let your doctor know what other drugs, supplements, or over the counter medicine you are taking before beginning treatment with a potassium supplement.
Potassium is an element that is essential for proper cell and organ function in the human body. The average adult body contains around 100 grams of potassium, which is around 2.5% of the body’s total weight.
Most of this potassium is found inside the cells while only a very small amount exists in the bloodstream.
Foods that have a high potassium content include bananas, orange juice, white beans, lima beans, apricots, and many other fruits and vegetables. Some cereals and grains are also fortified with potassium.
For people who struggle to meet the daily recommended intake for potassium, these foods can help. But for people who regularly include these foods in their diet, extra potassium from supplements may not be necessary.
High doses of potassium are potentially dangerous and can lead to a number of complications including heart arrhythmias and even death. Because of this, most doctors recommend that you do not exceed the recommended dosage on over the counter supplements.
If you have any concerns about your potassium levels you should consult your doctor before taking supplements.
Most people do not experience any side effects when taking supplements in the recommended dosages. When side effects do occur, they are mostly mild such as stomach aches or a blackish-blue tint to the skin.
In some cases, side effects can be more serious and may require you to stop taking the supplement. Before beginning treatment with a potassium supplement, it is important to speak to your doctor so that you can weigh the risks and benefits of treatment.
Sources & references used in this article:
Exchangeable potassium in heart disease: Long-term effects of potassium supplements and amiloride by MS Croxson, JM Neutze, MB John – American Heart Journal, 1972 – Elsevier
Potassium supplements for hypertension by NM Kaplan, CVS Ram – 1990 – Mass Medical Soc
Antihypertensive therapy and its effects on potassium homeostasis by DA Sica – The Journal of Clinical Hypertension, 2006 – Wiley Online Library
Hyperkalaemic cardiac arrest. May occur secondary to misuse of diuretics and potassium supplements. by E Strivens, A Siddiqi, R Fluck, A Hutton… – BMJ: British Medical …, 1996 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials on the effects of potassium supplements on serum potassium and creatinine by FP Cappuccio, LA Buchanan, C Ji, A Siani, MA Miller – BMJ open, 2016 – bmjopen.bmj.com