All about potassium

Kathevans

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I can't imagine how much I'd have to eat to get 5-6 grams of potassium a day from food alone! He doesn't mention the Gluconate powder that many of us use, but it seems pretty good...
 

sb4

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Interestingly I recently came across this paper and on another forum people where talking about the potential benefits of 15g+ per day of potassium. This is achievable from food depending on dietary choices and some speculate that our ancestors got a lot more k+ than the current RDA which most people fall under.

I am half considering buying some k gluconate powder at some point and mega dosing, as I think the chloride in my LoSalt could be giving me trouble.

It made me think of you @Mary , what if your constant k+ deficiency symptoms was because you are one of those that would benefit from mega dosing? Of course this could be completely wrong and you could do more harm than good.
 

Wonkmonk

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I can't imagine how much I'd have to eat to get 5-6 grams of potassium a day from food alone!
Carrots (~400mg per 100g, 40 calories)
Leafy greens (350-450mg per 100g, essentially zero calories)
Baked potatoes without fat (~500mg per 100g, 90 calories)
Champignons (300mg per 100g, 22 calories)

These are very low calorie, but have high potassium. With a few of each a day, you easily get 3000mg without adding many calories. E.g. drink just one 8 ounce green smoothie and you already have over 1000 mg potassium.

Then add some beans, lentils, whole grain bread and avocado:

https://www.myfooddata.com/articles/food-sources-of-potassium.php

Or fruits (juice also counts, it has ~ 2/3 of the potassium of the whole fruit):

https://www.myfooddata.com/articles/high-potassium-fruits.php

The real deal though, is dried fruit, e.g. apricots 1,500mg per cup (but calories can be significant):

https://www.myfooddata.com/articles/high-potassium-fruits.php#dried-fruits

Some more alternatives are here:

http://www.med.umich.edu/1libr/Nutrition/PotassiumHandout.pdf

I think it's acutally quite easy if you know your foods and add some of them to your diet regularly. Hope it helps!
 

Carl

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Interesting, though he did say that the bicarbonate can interfere with digestion... does it come in a powder?
The bicarbonate would react with stomach acid so would be best not to take when stomach acid is needed ie protein digestion etc.

It is available as a crystalline powder and is not very expensive. I paid under £7.00 delivered for 1Kg on eBay a few weeks back.

I am having to dramatically ramp up my potassium intake because I was getting terribly deficient. Today I have taken 8 grams so far with improvement after each lot.
 

Mary

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Potassium gluconate is quite a poor source of potassium with only 16.69%. By comparison, potassium bicarb is 39% potassium.
Interesting, though he did say that the bicarbonate can interfere with digestion... does it come in a powder?
The bicarbonate will neutralize stomach acid so it's not good taken with food. Which means you'd have to take the potassium bicarbonate on an empty stomach which doesn't seem to be a good idea according to the video, which recommends mixing potassium with food.

I've been taking potassium gluconate for 8 years now and it works great. It may be only 16.69% potassium but I take enough to ward off symptoms of low potassium.
 

Mary

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Chris Masterjohn explains why you need it and how to take it in this 8 min video.
It's a pretty good video, but I disagree about potassium citrate being the best form. When I first started taking potassium 8 years ago, I took it in citrate form and it contributed to a UTI. I suspected this and did a little research and found that it can irritate the urinary tract. I switched to potassium gluconate and had no such problems.

BTW, Bulk Supplements is a very good company, I like their products.
 

Mary

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Interestingly I recently came across this paper and on another forum people where talking about the potential benefits of 15g+ per day of potassium. This is achievable from food depending on dietary choices and some speculate that our ancestors got a lot more k+ than the current RDA which most people fall under.

I am half considering buying some k gluconate powder at some point and mega dosing, as I think the chloride in my LoSalt could be giving me trouble.

It made me think of you @Mary , what if your constant k+ deficiency symptoms was because you are one of those that would benefit from mega dosing? Of course this could be completely wrong and you could do more harm than good.
Hi @sb4 - I've been taking potassium gluconate for 8 years now and do well with it, so you might give it a try. I take it in capsule or pill form with food and have had no problems. Actually I do take it before bed and in the middle of the night as well, without food, and haven't had any problems. I think the chloride is the worst offender for digestive issues with potassium.

Ideally I'd get more potassium my food though I pretty much do the best I can given energy limitations. I eat a fair amount of vegetables but often don't have the energy it takes to prep them. I just don't know if taking a very high dose of a potassium supplement would be a good thing, though I could probably take more than I do. I use my right foot as a potassium gauge (;)) it works really well actually - it'll start to twitch when I'm low. I try to take enough to avoid this but don't always, but it lets me know! :nerd:

I've posted a lot about how people with ME/CFS can have low intracellular potassium despite normal blood levels. Former member Richvank who unfortunately died suddenly some years ago wrote about it here - it's where I learned about our low intracellular potassium.
 

Eastman

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It's a pretty good video, but I disagree about potassium citrate being the best form. When I first started taking potassium 8 years ago, I took it in citrate form and it contributed to a UTI. I suspected this and did a little research and found that it can irritate the urinary tract. I switched to potassium gluconate and had no such problems.
Isn't potassium citrate also sometimes recommended for UTI? From eMedMD.com:
Increasing fluid intake and taking preparations such as potassium citrate that make the urine less acidic can relieve the symptoms.
This is from HealthCommunities.com:
Although some controversy remains concerning what pH level is most conducive to bacteria growth in the urinary tract, most evidence indicates that UTIs benefit from an alkaline pH. The easiest way to alkalinize the urine is with minerals, specifically potassium citrate and sodium citrate. All citrates encourage an alkaline shift; so patients already taking a calcium/magnesium supplement should switch to a calcium citrate/magnesium citrate preparation. Mineral supplements should not be taken before bedtime, as urine that remains in the bladder during sleep may irritate the tissue and promote an infection.
Potassium citrate may also be beneficial for the kidney and gout. From WebMD on potassium citrate:
This medication is used to make the urine less acidic. This effect helps the kidneys get rid of uric acid, thereby helping to prevent gout and kidney stones. This medication can also prevent and treat certain metabolic problems (acidosis) caused by kidney disease.
For details on the benefits of potassium citrate on the kidney, see the following article from the University of Chicago: How potassium citrate pills work.
 

Mary

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Hi @Eastman - yes, there are many sites saying that potassium citrate is good for a UTI. But it's not always. See contraindications here, which says:
In patients with active urinary tract infection (with either urea-splitting or other organisms, in association with either calcium or struvite stones). The ability of Potassium Citrate extended – release tablets to increase urinary citrate may be attenuated by bacterial enzymatic degradation of citrate. Moreover, the rise in urinary pH resulting from Potassium Citrate therapy might promote further bacterial growth.
After I started taking it I felt the beginnings of a UTI (I'm prone to them). I did some research at that time, 8 years ago, which I can't find now, but did find evidence that it could irritate the urinary tract, and when I stopped taking it, the irritated feeling and beginning of a UTI went away. So I've just avoided it ever since.
 

Wonkmonk

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@Wonkmonk I feel stuffed just looking at that list. I only eat two meals a day and try not to snack!
Fair enough, then how about this: Yam root - 816mg of potassium per 100g raw produce (118 calories only):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yam_(vegetable)#Comparison_to_other_staple_foods

It is also available in dried form on amazon. Potassium doesn't get lost during drying, so in the dried form, the potassium content is several times higher than in the raw form. Two cups a day, and you got most of your daily potassium without adding many calories.
 

pamojja

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Fair enough, then how about this: Yam root - 816mg of potassium per 100g raw produce (118 calories only):
When I analyzed my micronutrient intake for 2-3 years found a regular low carb diet with lots of non-starchy veggies gave me 4.2 g/d of potassium. Additionally supplemented 1.3 g/d (chloride, bicarbonate and citrate).

And honestly, I wouldn't want to completely replace a very varied diet with 674g of yam to get the same amount of potassium. And thereby getting 3.329 kcal from yam, I would be about 1000 kcal above my daily intake. Which somehow would defeat the purpose of going low-carb.
 

Kathevans

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@pamoja I certainly agree. I know that a glass of V8 juice also has around 800 mg of potassium, but I don’t even like it... I too eat a varied diet, and will continue to take my potassium as gluconate for additional supplementation.