Best Potassium Supplement
Do you consume enough potassium?
To help answer that question, as an adult, you should consume around 3,500-4,700mg a day. However, sometimes, we can't always get those levels from food and may need to have supplements to help us reach that amount. But, before we investigate the best potassium supplements, let's review it.
What is Potassium?
Potassium is an essential mineral that is also known as an electrolyte. It's deemed as the body's third most abundant mineral. In terms of percent, potassium is located in 98% of cells, 86% is usually in muscle cells, and the remaining 20% is in red blood cells and your liver.
How does potassium work?
When placed in water, it creates positively charged ions and conducts electricity within the body. Once charged, it helps regulate body fluid, transmits signals from the nerves, and regulates your muscle contractions. Depending on how many positively charged ions your body has an influence on how it functions.
Conditions that can be treated
Potassium can help treat the following:
- Blood pressure: Reduces the tension in the walls of your blood vessels, lowering your blood pressure.
- Water balance: Many studies indicate that potassium can lower water retention by increasing the amount of urine you produce and decrease your sodium levels.
- Muscle contractions: Potassium allows muscles to contract properly and prevents weakness and cramps.
- Heart rhythm: Potassium contributes to stronger muscle contractions which allow your heart to squeeze better and pump more blood.
- Digestion: Potassium enables nerve signals to be transmitted from the brain to the muscles in the digestive system, allowing better contractions. Which enables the digestive system to churn and propel food for digestion.
These are just a few conditions out of many that can be treated with potassium. Before knowing more about the main conditions, please check out our top 10 product list.
Types of potassium supplements
Potassium is available in many forms, which are:
- Potassium chloride: Out of all the potassium supplements, potassium chloride is the most common supplement used to treat potassium deficiency, also known as hypokalemia. It comes in oral form and can be taken as a tablet, powder, capsule, or in liquid form.
- Potassium gluconate: This is an over-the-counter potassium supplement and comes in different doses for various age ranges. You can get this in tablet in liquid or tablet form. If you wish to take this supplement, always read the packaging to see what dosage applies to you and take advice from a pharmacist.
- Potassium aspartate: This potassium supplement is used to treat cardiac disturbances and electrolyte distances. It comes in tablets or capsule form.
- Potassium phosphate: This is used to treat low levels of phosphorus in the blood and comes in powder forms.
- Potassium bicarbonate: A Supplement is often given to people who have low potassium levels and patients who have chronic kidney disease.
- Potassium citrate: This is a supplement that comes in tablet form, and its main purpose is to alkalize urine. It also helps treat kidney stone conditions.
Best Food Sources
You can obtain potassium naturally from many food sources such as:
- Avocados - are full of healthy fats and are high in Vitamin K and folate. More importantly, 100 grams in half an avocado has around 487 mg of potassium. They also help reduce high blood pressure and sodium intake.
- Sweet potatoes - have lots of protein, and a medium-sized one contains around 514 mg of potassium. They also contain Vitamin A and lots of fiber.
- Spinach - whenever you think of potassium, a banana is probably one of the foods that first come to your mind. What's even better than a banana is spinach! Spinach contains around 540mg per cup. It's also high in magnesium, folate, vitamin K and A.
- White beans - are a general term for kidney beans, lima beans, pea beans, and great northern beans. These are high in iron and protein. On average, 2 cups of white beans have the same amount of potassium as 2 bananas.
- Black beans - a common type of bean found across central and South America but is now popular all over the world. A 172-gram serving of black beans contains around 611mg worth of potassium.
- Pomegranate - this multi seeded exotic fruit can contain around 666mg of potassium in one whole Pomegranate. It's also high in vitamin K and C. Alongside this, other foods high in potassium are potatoes, edamame, beets, dried apricots, Swiss chard, bananas, butternut squash, and more.
There are lots of fantastic benefits to taking potassium supplements which are:
Maintains and regulates the balance of fluid
Your body contains around 60% water, and 40% of it is located in your cells, in a fluid known as intracellular fluid (IF). Similarly, the remaining 20% is found outside, known as extracellular fluid (ECF). Potassium is an electrolyte which helps the balance of fluid between the outer and inner cell.
It could help against strokes
Potassium helps regulate muscle contractions and blood flow. Strokes can occur due to a lack of blood flow that reaches the brain. Research suggests that those who eat potassium-based foods or take supplements are 24% less likely to have a stroke.
It may help maintain bones and muscles
There's a lot of research still being explored that shows a positive correlation to potassium helping bone density. Similarly, high potassium diets help elderly people preserve muscle mass and also prevent muscles from being wasted.
Aids kidney health
If you have low potassium levels, your kidneys may become ineffective when they need to reabsorb calcium. Similarly, if the kidneys have high calcium levels, they could be at risk of having kidney stones. Research indicates that if you have high levels of potassium, it could reduce the risk of kidney stones.
If you take potassium supplements, you may experience some side effects if you consume too much, which are:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Extreme thirst
- Increased urination
- Leg discomfort
- Black stools
- Muscle weakness
- Severe stomach pain
- Black stools
If you take potassium and experience any of the above side effects, go seek help from a medical professional.
Precautions and warnings
If you're planning on taking potassium supplements, you should abide by the following warnings and precautions:
- Pregnancy and breast-feeding: If you consume 40-80mg of potassium supplements each day, it can be safe. However, if you take anything more than this, it can be extremely unsafe.
- Allergies: If you have any allergies to aspirin or tartrazine, it could be dangerous if you take potassium supplements. Some potassium supplements contain tartrazine, so always consult with a doctor first.
- If you're on dialysis: If you're undergoing dialysis, your blood levels could be high or low. Ultimately, it depends on the type of dialysis that you're having. Therefore, you should always switch or limit your potassium intake, depending on what a health professional says.
- Digestive tract disorders: If you have a GI disorder, then you should not take potassium supplements. Such disorders can cause excess built-up and contribute to dangerous levels.
- Kidney disease: If you have kidney disease, you should only use potassium if you've got guidance from a healthcare professional.
- Kidney transplants: After you've had kidney transplant surgery, your body can have extremely high levels of potassium citrate. Therefore, only take potassium using the advice of a health care professional.
How long should I take it?
If you're taking potassium supplements, it usually takes only a few minutes for the tablets to start to work. The duration and the dosage of potassium you take may differ depending on why you're taking it, so always seek the advice of a doctor first. An important factor to know is that if you're taking potassium supplements, you should not just suddenly stop taking them. If you do, you could make your condition and symptoms worse.
Interaction with other medications
You will want to seek the advice of a medical professional if you're taking any of the following medications:
- Ace inhibitors (high blood pressure medication): There are high blood pressure medications that can cause potassium levels to rise. Such blood pressure medications to be cautious of are lisinopril, captopril, enalapril, ramipril, and many others.
- Angiotensin receptor blockers: These are higher blood pressure medications that can contribute to high potassium levels. Typical medications to watch out for are losartan, valsartan, irbesartan, candesartan, telmisartan, eprosartan and more.
- Water pills: There are water pills that might increase potassium levels in your body, such as amiloride, spironolactone, and triamterene.
Potassium is a useful mineral for the body to help regulate muscle contractions, fluid retention, blood pressure, our digestive system, and much more. There are many different types of potassium supplements that you can take in liquid or oral form. Before you take them, though, you should always consult with a doctor about your reason for doing so. Not only will they be able to provide you with advice, but they'll also review your condition and any medications that might react with potassium.
What is the best time to take a potassium supplement?
The best time to take potassium supplements is at a meal or in the evening with a snack. You can also take them 30 minutes after you've eaten with a glass of water.
What is the best kind of potassium supplement to take?
There's no best type of potassium supplement to take; it completely depends on why you need to take it. Therefore, to know which one is the best kind for you, seek the advice of a medical expert first before taking them.
Which potassium supplement is best for leg cramps?
It's believed potassium citrate is the best supplement to take for leg cramps. To know which brand and dosage are right for you, we suggest speaking to a physician and reading reviews of potassium citrate brands online.
What is the best potassium supplement for the keto diet?
If you're on the keto diet, it's probably better that you consume Potassium rich foods. However, if you can't eat such foods, you should buy potassium supplements available in the 99mg tablet format.
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