Have you wondered how does potassium help the body to function properly? If yes, then you are reading the right article. In this article, we will share with you the knowledge about electrolytes focusing especially on potassium. Stay hooked to know more.
According to the NCBI (National Centre for Biotechnology Information), it is seen that potassium deficiency happens even when a balanced keto diet is being followed. The high-fat and the low-carb ketogenic diet is obviously helpful for the body. It helps in producing more energy, fall in inflammation, improving liver health, controlling blood sugar, and so on. However, this diet may have many health benefits, but it is not perfect as there are certain important minerals and vitamins that are missing in the diet. These nutrients need to be replenished to keep the body healthy.
Potassium is one such mineral, whose quantity reduces in the body during a keto diet. Therefore, to supply the required amount of the mineral in the body, you must intake good quality potassium supplements during your keto diet. Delve into the article to know more.
What are Electrolytes?
In chemical terms, electrolytes are defined as substances that ionize in solution and gain the capability of conducting electricity. Electrolytes play a very crucial role in controlling the cardiac, kidney, brain, and digestive systems. There are four major electrolytes that our body needs to function properly on a daily basis. The list includes magnesium, calcium, sodium, and potassium.
The foods you eat decide the amount of each electrolyte in your body. These electrolytes dissolve in your body fluid to acquire a negative or positive charge. These charges help them to conduct electrical signals in the body. The electric signals help the body to control many important body functions like creating new cells, tissues, and muscles, and also help in proper brain functioning.
According to Healthline studies, every electrolyte has a task to perform. The function of each major electrolyte is as follows:
- Magnesium: It initiates the production of DNA and RNA, helps in the muscle and tissue function, helps in keeping the heartbeat on track, regulates blood sugar level, and also boosts your immunity.
- Calcium: It is the key component of proper bone and teeth formation. Calcium also helps in improving your muscle movement and nerve impulses and blood clotting.
- Sodium: It is necessary for nerve and muscle function. Also, it helps in controlling the blood pressure and body fluids.
- Potassium: It helps to regulate heart activities and blood pressure. Also, helps in balancing your body’s electrolyte composition and function, initiates nerve impulses, keeps the bone healthy, and controls muscle contraction.
As you can see, these electrolytes perform very important body functions. Further, in the article, we will discuss the importance, benefits, supplements, and foods of potassium in detail. Keep reading the article to know more.
Symptoms of Potassium Deficiency
There are a lot of symptoms that your body might show to tell you that it is lacking potassium. Some major potassium deficiency symptoms are:
- Fatigue: If you are feeling fatigued and your energy levels are low most of the time, then one of the reasons for that can be potassium deficiency in your body. But remember, this sluggish feeling can also be due to other reasons like stress, lack of sleep, and improper diet.
- Muscle Cramps: Muscle cramps and stiffness are the symptoms that your body doesn’t have enough potassium. This disorder is coined as rhabdomyolysis and occurs due to muscle breakdown. Lack of potassium causes this disorder because it is the key mineral of the body that regulates blood flow in the muscle. Decreased blood flow results in less content of oxygen in the muscle, which causes stiffness and cramps.
- High Blood Pressure: This is a symptom that validates the lack of potassium in your body. Potassium regulates blood pressure by sending electrical signals to the heart. But remember, heart palpitations can also be caused by other serious heart conditions like arrhythmia or uneven heartbeat.
- Bloating and Constipation: Lack of potassium causes an imbalance in sodium levels in the body, which results in salt-induced bloating. Potassium also helps in the peristalsis of the gastrointestinal tract, which helps to churn the food properly. Therefore, lack of potassium causes problems in the digestive system of your body.
The other symptoms of potassium deficiency are breathing issues, numbness, tingling, and mood swings. These problems occur because of the disturbed signalling owing to the lack of the mineral. Often, the lack of potassium in the body happens due to excessive sweating. If you face any of the symptoms, then we suggest you consult a doctor soon.
Potassium for Ketogenic Dieters
Maintaining a potassium-rich diet on keto may seem difficult, and when you fail to do so, you will face an issue commonly known as a ‘keto flu’. You might experience this while on a keto diet because of the low carbohydrate content supplied to the body. Keto flu can be avoided if you consume proper potassium supplements. And also, there are some keto-approved foods that you can have during keto dieting.
We know that the first food that comes to your mind when speaking of potassium is banana. But we are sorry to say that bananas are not keto-approved. However, there are certainly other great keto foods rich in potassium, which include avocado, mushroom, almonds, beet greens, broccoli, salmon, Brussels sprout, clams, kale, and spinach. Your body requires around 4,700 mg of daily potassium intake.
Always remember, everything must be done within a limit. Do not take in excess potassium through foods or supplements because that too might give rise to a disorder called hyperkalaemia. Hyperkalaemia causes an irregular heartbeat that is, for sure, fatal for your health. Therefore, it is important that you take in a decent amount of potassium and never in excess.
Top-Rated Potassium Supplements for Keto in 2020
What Potassium Supplement is Best for Keto?
1.Nature Made Potassium Gluconate: 550 mg
Nature Made Brand is one of the most known brands in operation over the past 40 years. Its yellow coloured bottle is found on almost every shop’s supplement shelf. We also suggest this brand for your daily potassium supplement.
Nature Made Potassium Gluconate is a trusted brand. It is also verified by the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP). Since you know that low-carb keto diet depletes potassium level in your body, therefore, it is very important to eat potassium-rich keto-approved foods and also take in good quality potassium supplements. Nature Made Potassium is one of those supplements that we suggest you invest in. It is one of the best affordable supplements on the market. A few pros and cons of this supplement are:
- This supplement is verified by the USP, which means that they take care of your safety at best.
- It contains no artificial preservatives, colours or flavours.
- It is also gluten-, starch-, and yeast-free.
- It is easy to digest. Your body can readily absorb the potassium from it.
- The label that shows ‘550 mg’, misleads people because it consists of only 90 mg of actual potassium.
- To suffice the daily potassium requirement of 4,700 mg, the 90 mg content of this supplement seems little.
- It is uncoated, therefore, you may find it hard to swallow.
2.NOW Potassium Citrate: 99 mg
NOW Foods are also in operation for 40 years and more. This brand is known for its beauty products, sports nutrition, health supplements, and natural foods. NOW Potassium Citrate is another great option to boost the potassium level in your body. This brand has pushed its potassium content to 99 mg, which is still safe and legal. Any content under 100 mg is considered to be safe and legal by the USP.
Potassium citrate is an amazing way to gain potassium level and keep away from muscle cramps, skin issues, and irritability. You can also opt for NOW Potassium Gluconate tablets, but we would suggest you stick to the citrate variety for better results. The pros and cons of the supplement are as follows:
- It is approved by the National Products Association, therefore, it is safe for your health.
- The capsule is made of gelatine, which makes it taste fine.
- It reduces muscle cramps to a huge extent.
- Contains no GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms).
- It is free from dairy, gluten, eggs, nuts, and soy.
- It cannot be halved to make swallowing easier as it is a gelatine capsule.
- It contains only 2% of daily potassium requirement, therefore, you need to have potassium-rich foods along with the supplement.
3. Solaray Potassium Supplement: 99mg
Solaray is a premium brand that falls in the family of nutraceutical brands. It is not as popular as the former two brands that we discussed, but it is still a very trustworthy brand, which is in operation for even longer than the other two brands. Solaray’s Potassium Amino Acid complex contains 99 mg of potassium. It is approved to be safe and legal by the Food and Drug Administration.
Solaray’s potassium supplement is a healthy way to boost the potassium level in your body. You will be pleased to know that it is also approved by the USP and FDA food and supplement guidelines. Their products also do not contain flavours, preservatives, or colours. They conduct a laboratory test of gluten before declaring their product gluten-free. The pros and cons of this supplement are:
- It is manufactured under the GMP facility and also undergoes laboratory testing of two stages.
- The capsule size varies from small to medium, and they are easy to swallow.
- It helps in muscle cramp reduction and also maintains the electrolyte balance in the body.
- It is prepared with whole rice concentrated and without soy.
- It cannot be halved to swallow easily.
- You may find the magnesium stearate hard to digest.
- Like all other supplements, this one does not suffice the daily potassium requirement. Therefore, this supplement too, must be accompanied by potassium-rich foods.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Which Foods Are High in Potassium?
Most of the people think that banana is the prime food that contains potassium. But, we will introduce you to other easily available foods that do contain a good amount of healthy potassium for your body. The foods listed below are ones that you must add in your diet to absorb potassium:
- Avocado: This fruit is full of healthy fats, dietary fibre, vitamins, and minerals. It is the perfect food to add in your diet to boost the potassium levels in your body. A medium-sized avocado contains 689 mg of potassium, which is about 20% of the daily requirement. Avocado also helps in reducing obesity and heart risks.
- Brussels Sprouts: One cup of cooked Brussels sprouts contributes 494 mg of potassium, which is 14% of the daily requirement. Make some great recipes with it and add it to your meal.
- Mushrooms: Mushrooms add a delicacy to your meal and also add 630 mg of potassium, which is 18% of the RDA. It also helps to add protein to your diet.
- Zucchini: Zucchini is great for both potassium and magnesium. It fulfills 13% of your daily potassium requirement and 10% of your magnesium RDA. You will be happy to know that it also adds 40% of your Vitamin A and 2.5g of fibre requirements.
- Salmon and Pork Chops: Salmon and pork chops are great non-veg delicacies to add potassium in your diet. Salmon contains 31% of RDA, and pork chops contain 12% of RDA.
Other potassium-rich foods are spinach, green leafy vegetables, pumpkin seeds, clams, and coconut water. All the foods that we suggested are also keto-approved, therefore, you can add these food items in your keto diet without any doubt.
- What are the Benefits of Taking Potassium?
Potassium is highly important for the systematic functioning of the body. About 98% of it is found in the cells. It acts as an electrolyte in the body, which controls body processes like muscle contraction, nerve signals, and fluid balance. Some important body functions controlled by potassium are:
- Helps in reducing blood pressure. Especially, the systolic blood pressure is reduced by potassium.
- The potassium-rich diet helps in preventing stroke by supplying proper blood to the brain.
- Helps in preventing osteoporosis by controlling the calcium that your body loses during urination.
- Potassium helps in preventing kidney stones and also initiates water retention in the body.
- What is the Best Time to Take Potassium?
Potassium should be taken either with the meal or immediately after the meal. We suggest you to never take any potassium supplement or food with an empty stomach. Your body clock will not adjust to it, and that may cause digestive problems. Also, make sure that you sit still for 10 minutes after taking potassium. You will have to take it around two to four times a day.
- Can I Take Potassium and Magnesium Together?
You can take both potassium and magnesium on the same day, but we would suggest you keep the time of the intake different. That will help you to maintain the electrolyte balance in your body, and your body will absorb the minerals in a more effective way. Remember to take both the minerals after a meal. Therefore, set a time for each mineral. We suggest you take one after lunch and the other one after dinner.
- Should Potassium be Taken at Night?
You must take potassium after a meal. That can be after any meal of the day. Therefore, you can take potassium at night after dinner too. Make sure that you take it within 30 minutes of your meal. It can also be one of your bedtime snacks! Potassium is also known for providing better sleep.
- What is the Best Form of Potassium Supplement?
Potassium supplements come in both tablet and capsule forms. It is also available in powder and liquid forms, but these forms are not easily available. We suggest you take the supplement in the gelatine capsule form. They are easy to swallow and digest, therefore, your body will absorb the maximum amount of the mineral in that form.
Verdict and Recommendations 2020
We hope that this article was able to help you know almost all your queries regarding potassium supplements. Remember that most of the supplements do not meet the daily requirement of potassium in the body, therefore, add some potassium-rich food in your diet for meeting the adequate amount of RDA. Potassium is a very essential mineral for the body, so do consume a decent amount of it every day.
How We Tested?
We believe that your safety comes first. Therefore, our professional team of experts has tested the supplements in the laboratory. We have also conducted a customer survey to know which product is best for your health. All the aforementioned facts are being provided by our medical experts and are absolutely trustworthy.