the best keto potassium supplement
Did you know electrolytes play a very important role in our cardiac, kidney, digestive and brain function? In chemical terms, “electrolytes are substances that become ions in solution and acquire the capacity to conduct electricity”. There are four major electrolytes that we need on a daily basis to function properly which would include sodium, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. In this article, we will be discussing signs of a deficiency in potassium, foods you can add to your diet that are rich in potassium, and if you should consider taking a potassium supplement.
Let’s start by looking at what electrolytes are and what they do in your body. Electrolytes come from the food you eat. They dissolve in the fluid in your body and take on a positive or negative charge. They can then move electrical charges or signals as they conduct electricity. Many functions, including creation of new tissue, muscles, nerves, and brain operations, are because of these charges. Studies show that each electrolyte has primary functions in your body:
- Sodium: helps control fluids in the body, impacting blood pressure; necessary for muscle and nerve function
- Potassium: regulates your heart and blood pressure; helps balance electrolytes; aids in transmitting nerve impulses; contributes to bone health; necessary for muscle contraction
- Magnesium: important to the production of DNA and RNA; contributes to nerve and muscle function; helps maintain heart rhythm; helps regulate blood glucose levels; enhances your immune system
- Calcium: key component of bones and teeth; important to the movement of nerve impulses and muscle movement; contributes to blood clotting
There are more electrolytes than we have listed here, but these are the most common ones. You can see from this information that it is necessary to balance your electrolyte intake.
As mentioned, potassium is an electrolyte (and mineral) that is vital for many functions in the body. It helps with regulating blood pressure, normal water balance, muscle contractions, nerve impulses, digestion, heart rhythm, and PH balance. It’s important to know that even though potassium is vital for the body, it is not produced naturally in the body. So, we must get adequate amounts of this essential electrolyte by eating foods and beverages that are rich in it.
Low potassium levels, medically termed Hypokalemia, can be extremely detrimental to one’s health, even deadly. According to a national survey, approximately 98% of Americans are not meeting the recommended potassium intake daily. It is critical to recognize when your body is experiencing a potassium deficiency. There are many signs and symptoms to look for if you are wondering if this may be the case for you.
symptoms of potassium deficiency
If your energy levels are low and you are feeling fatigued often, you may be deficient in potassium. However, that sluggish feeling could also be due to other factors such as lack of sleep, stress, or your diet. If you are experiencing muscle weakness or cramping, this may also be a foretelling sign that you are not getting enough potassium. In addition, muscle stiffness and aching can be a sign of potassium deficiency. This is known as rhabdomyolysis and occurs when there is rapid muscle breakdown. Potassium is a key player in regulating blood flow to the muscle and when it is low, the blood flow is restricted resulting in less oxygen to the muscle which in turn causes the stiffness and aches.
A sure sign of a potassium deficiency is high blood pressure and/or heart palpitations. Potassium aids in sending consistent electrical impulses to the heart, thus regulating blood pressure and heart rate. However, heart palpitations could also be a sign of a serious heart condition such as arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat. It is best to consult with your doctor if you are experiencing these types of symptoms.
Common digestive issues such as frequent bloating and constipation can also be caused by potassium deficiency. When you are low in potassium, your body will struggle to regulate its sodium levels, resulting in salt-induced bloating. Potassium helps in peristalsis of the gastrointestinal system; in other words, it relays signals that stimulate contractions helping the digestive system churn and propel food so it can be digested properly.
Some other notable symptoms that can be related to a potassium deficiency include tingling and numbness, breathing issues, and mood changes. Potassium is used for normal nerve function, and it also helps relay signals to the lungs and brain so without an adequate amount, one can become short of breath and/or moody.
People that often struggle with potassium deficiencies are those that have physically demanding jobs such as construction workers, landscapers, or professional athletes due to the excessive amount of sweating they experience. Also, those that have health conditions that affect digestion (such as Crohn’s disease), have eating disorders, smoke, abuse alcohol or drugs, or those on the ketogenic diet also most typically suffer with low potassium levels. If any of these are the case for you, we recommend that you incorporate potassium rich foods and or/potassium supplements into your diet.
potassium for ketogenic dieters
For some, eating a diet rich in potassium on the ketogenic diet (along with magnesium, calcium and sodium) can seem difficult and when failing to do so, one will experience the popularly termed “keto flu”. The reason ketogenic dieters experience this phenomenon is because carbohydrate intake is very low, and the less amount of carbs eaten, the less amount of insulin in the body thus telling your body to release more fluids. Electrolytes are then all essentially excreted out through urination. It’s important to note that the keto flu is fully avoidable if hydration and ample electrolyte levels are maintained through proper nutrition and supplementation. There are many foods that are rich in potassium, even “keto approved” foods that you can include in your daily diet to maintain normal levels.
If someone were to ask you to name a food rich in potassium, the first food that comes to mind is probably a banana. A simple, great-tasting food that you can incorporate into your diet easily! However, one banana yields over 20 net carbs and if you are following a keto diet, that one banana most likely knocked you out of ketosis and took up your days’ worth of carbs. Fortunately for those that are keto, there are many other diet friendly potassium rich foods you can enjoy such as beet greens, avocados, clams, spinach, kale, mushrooms, brussels sprouts, almonds, salmon, broccoli and more. For those that are not keto, some other natural sources to enjoy are yams, white beans, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, pinto beans, and bananas of course!
is a potassium supplement necessary
So, you might be asking yourself at what point is a potassium supplement necessary? According to expert US health authorities, the recommended daily intake of potassium is 3,000-4,700 milligrams per day. With that being said, the best way to decide whether supplementation is needed is to listen to your body and assess based on how you feel. If you are incorporating enough potassium rich foods into your diet but still suffering from some of the symptoms, this could be a result of a bigger issue or unrelated to your potassium levels at all. Make sure you consider your specific situation. Secondly, if you are someone that exercises heavily then it can be difficult to get all the electrolytes you need from foods alone. In this case, a potassium supplement may be beneficial for you.
You should be aware that intaking too much potassium through supplementation can also be extremely harmful and lead to a condition known as hyperkalemia, though this is harder to do. Hyperkalemia is the result of excess amounts of potassium building up in the blood, and it can cause irregular heartbeats which could be fatal. To be on the safe side, it is worth your time to schedule an appointment with your primary care provider and request a comprehensive metabolic panel to be tested. This is a simple blood laboratory test that will not only tell you where your potassium levels are at, but other electrolyte levels as well. Based on your results, your doctor can then prescribe an appropriate dosage of potassium to supplement with if necessary. This is the clearest and safest way to decide what is best for you specifically!
key potassium options
If you’ve decided a potassium supplement is necessary, you might be wondering what is the best thing to take on the ketogenic diet? Here we will make a few recommendations to aid in keto potassium supplementation.
Top Notch Hydrate
Top Notch Nutrition set out to amplify the benefits of an electrolyte supplement (LINK). There are so many options on the market today. Top Notch Nutrition wanted to be different and make an all-inclusive electrolyte supplement that would be beneficial to your whole body. There are no artificial ingredients, it is naturally flavored and naturally sweetened. It contains no sugar or carbohydrates so there are no issues with the macronutrient content in adding this to your keto diet. This product should top the list when looking for the best electrolyte supplement and keto potassium.
Top Notch Hydrate ingredients:
- Coconut water powder – coconut water is a good source of many nutrients including: fiber, protein, vitamin C, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sodium and calcium.
- Himalayan pink salt – it is suggested to use this salt as often as possible when it comes to salt. In the Khewra Salt Mine, the salt is harvested by hand and therefore it can contain trace elements and minerals not found in regular table salt.
- L-Glutamine – is an amino acid that has many imperative functions in the body. L-glutamine can be made by your body and it is thought of as one of the most plentiful amino acids in your blood and other bodily fluids. It plays a big role in your immune health. If there is an insufficient amount of glutamine available, your immune system can be jeopardized. It is also important to your digestive system. Glutamine aids in facilitating a barrier between your body and the inside of your intestines. It is also responsible for assisting in maintenance and normal growth of the cells within your intestine.
- BCAA’s – BCAA stands for branched-chain amino acids and there are three of these: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. They are known to increase muscle growth, reduce fatigue from exercise, decrease muscle soreness, prevent muscle wasting and aid those that have liver disease.
- Vitamin C – cannot be produced in the body and therefore needs to be consumed in your diet whether it is through your food or a dietary supplement. It is an incredibly strong antioxidant and lowers the risk of heart disease. It also helps your body absorb iron which is an essential mineral responsible for making red blood cells and moving oxygen around the body. It is most commonly known for the immune system boost that occurs when it improves white blood cell function.
- Electrolytes – including Magnesium, Potassium, Calcium, and Sodium.
Exogenous ketones have become very popular. Exogenous literally means “external or out of the body.” So exogenous ketones, are a way to ingest ketones in your body through a nutritional supplement. Keto Magic is an exogenous ketone product developed by Top Notch Nutrition. It is important to note that exogenous ketones are not a band aid for poor dietary choices.It is important to note, regarding keto potassium, that Keto Magic also has all the essential electrolytes. It is also known to increase electrolyte absorption. This makes it an excellent product to help replenish lost electrolytes or supplement potassium.
You can see that Top Notch Nutrition carefully planned both products, Top Notch Hydrate and Keto Magic, to include essential ingredients for overall body health. These are both great options for keto potassium.
Another option that we recommend is:
Thorne Potassium Citrate
The extent Thorne goes through in developing and testing guarantees the potency, absorption, and digestibility of their products to be better than other vitamin and mineral companies. We would say that they are a trusted brand and that is why we recommend their Potassium Citrate supplement. According to the company itself, their Potassium Citrate promotes cardiovascular health, and supports kidney and lower urinary tract health by inhibiting precipitates in the urine because of its alkalizing effect. The benefit of alkalizing the urine also inhibits the growth of undesirable bacteria in the urinary tract. Thorne warns consumers of possible interactions for those that are taking aspirin, laxatives, sodium bicarbonate, ace inhibitors, potassium-sparing diuretics, and/or prescription medications due to adverse effects. If you are unsure if this applies to you, it is best to consult with your healthcare professional before supplementing.
The keto diet comes with many benefits including appetite control, better mental focus, more energy, and weight loss to name a few. However, many people that begin this diet struggle with the “keto flu”, though it is possible to avoid altogether. Electrolyte levels of magnesium, sodium, calcium and potassium must be maintained in order to avoid this. As discussed, potassium plays an essential role in the body and when we are deficient in this electrolyte many symptoms arise. We can get adequate potassium through the foods we eat, and many foods are that are rich in potassium are keto friendly such as avocados, leafy greens, almonds, salmon, clams, etc. For some people that endure strenuous exercise or have physically demanding jobs, getting enough potassium through their diet can be difficult. In this case, they should consider taking a potassium supplement. Although potassium deficiency can be dangerous, it is important to know that elevated potassium levels can be equally dangerous. That is why the safest and most accurate way to determine whether you should take a potassium supplement is to consult with your healthcare provider. If they deem a potassium supplement is necessary, you should find a positive effect in your energy, mood, and overall functioning of your body.