Potassium is a very crucial mineral for your body’s overall functioning. It is the third most abundant mineral in the body and operates as an electrolyte. Potassium generates positively charged ions in the body and these ions play a role in muscle contraction, fluid balance, neurological function, and nerve impulse operation. Thus, if potassium levels are out of balance, our electrolyte levels are also out of balance, resulting in various health issues.
Potassium is the main electrolyte found in the water inside of the cells, also known as intracellular fluid (ICF). Maintaining proper potassium and other electrolyte levels in the body allows for a balance between the fluid inside and outside of the cells. When that balance is thrown off, our cell shape and functioning may suffer. Additionally, potassium ions generate nerve impulses, which involves communication between the brain and other parts of our body. Nerve impulses dictate things like muscle movement and contraction as well as other essential bodily functions.
What Are The Different Types Of Potassium Supplements?
There are a lot of different types of potassium in supplemental form including potassium gluconate, aspartate, chloride, citrate, bicarbonate, and chelate. The most commonly used form of supplemental potassium is potassium chloride. Regardless of what type of potassium supplement you take, it’s important to take it with a glass of water, juice, or some food as a common side effect is nausea and an upset stomach.
What Are The Benefits Of Taking Potassium Supplements?
Potassium plays a crucial role in many essential bodily functions. The following are the functions and benefits of potassium in general:
- Proper nerve impulse generation
- Allows for proper neurological functioning and communication within the body
- Proper muscle movement and contraction
- Heart muscle contraction and function
- Proper electrolyte balance in the body and cells
- May help reduce blood pressure
- May help prevent strokes
- May help prevent bone-related disorders like Osteoporosis
- Prevents the loss of muscle mass
- Prevents bone loss
- Allows for sufficient bone and muscle strength
- Increases urine production
- Reduces water retention
Should I Take A Potassium Supplement?
Most Americans do not get enough potassium, but this does not mean you are potassium deficient. Low potassium levels become life-threatening when the body loses too much potassium at once as a result of diarrhea or vomiting. This would require medical attention and potassium and other electrolytes would then be medically administered to combat the imbalance.
Taking potassium supplements as a daily supplement is often not recommended as supplements are usually restricted to only allow 99 mg of potassium in supplemental form, which is significantly less than the amount you are able to get from dietary sources and the amount you need daily. The reason potassium is limited in supplement form is that high levels of potassium may prove toxic to the heart and the gut. The excess amount in supplement form can also make it harder for the body to remove excess potassium and may lead to an electrolyte imbalance.
You should still get sufficient potassium, but it is recommended for it to come from dietary sources. For some individuals, potassium supplements may be necessary, but you should consult with your doctor first. Additionally, if you have kidney disease, are older in age, or are on blood pressure medication, increasing your potassium levels may prove dangerous.
Do Potassium Supplements Work?
The efficacy of potassium supplements depends on the reason for taking them. As stated, too much potassium can prove deadly so taking a potassium supplement every day is not necessary and does not really contain that much potassium due to its toxicity at high amounts. Getting potassium from dietary sources like bananas and avocados should suffice for a healthy individual.
However, supplemental potassium can be very beneficial if you are in need of medical attention based on an electrolyte imbalance. This can come as a result of dehydration, vomiting, or diarrhea. In that case, a doctor may prescribe supplemental potassium to offset the detrimental effects of this electrolyte imbalance.
Best Potassium Supplements
NatureMade Potassium Gluconate Tablets
This product contains 550 mg of potassium gluconate. The product claims to regulate proper heart muscle functioning as well as proper nerve functioning. It has no artificial flavors or colors.GET THE BEST PRICE ON NATUREMADE POTASSIUM GLUCONATE TABLETS
Now Foods Potassium Citrate Powder
This product contains 440 mg of potassium citrate in powder form. It supports proper muscle contraction and a healthy electrolyte balance. It has no taste and no other added ingredients.GET THE BEST PRICE ON NOW FOODS POTASSIUM CITRATE POWDER
Nutricost Potassium Citrate
This product contains 99 mg of potassium citrate in capsule form. It’s non-GMO, gluten-free, and comes highly rated by the community. It contains 500 capsules per bottle at an affordable price.GET THE BEST PRICE ON NUTRICOST POTASSIUM CITRATE
Alternatives To Potassium Supplements
Dietary sources are a more reliable and safe way to get adequate potassium. The following are great sources of potassium that you should try to incorporate in your diet:
- Beet greens
- White beans
- Sweet potato
- Portobello mushrooms
Using Potassium To Promote Your Health
Potassium, the third most abundant mineral in your body, plays a very important part of your overall health. Potassium acts as a key electrolyte that helps regulate muscular function, nerve impulses, and neurological function and communication. Although many individuals do not get enough potassium in their everyday lives, potassium deficiencies are not that common. As a result, it’s not necessary to supplement recreationally. In fact, potassium in high amounts can prove detrimental to your health, especially if you have kidney disease or are older in age.
Some individuals who have an electrolyte imbalance may need supplemental potassium, but only under a doctor’s orders. In this case, supplemental potassium may prove life-saving as electrolyte imbalances can throw off many essential bodily functions. For healthy individuals, it is easy and advisable to incorporate potassium-rich foods like bananas, sweet potato, and avocados into your everyday diet.
Now that you know the best potassium supplements to take, maybe you’d like to add a few more supplements to your routine? If so, you may also want to know about the best B12 Supplements or the best Nitric Oxide supplements.