Prioritize Potassium in your Diet for Health & Vitality

Potassium is an essential mineral that is present in every tissue. Its presence is so profound, and so deeply integrated in every cell, it often escapes the spotlight it rightfully deserves. The functions of potassium are not confined to one realm of well-being, it extends from heart health to improving nerve signals.

Beyond its unassuming presence, potassium emerges as a nutritional powerhouse, quietly orchestrating a symphony of essential functions within our bodies. Like a silent conductor, it skillfully maintains the delicate balance required for life's harmonious rhythm.

What is potassium?

Potassium is a nutrient that is classified as an electrolyte. Electrolytes are minerals that carry an electric charge when dissolved in bodily fluids such as blood. These charged particles are essential for a variety of physiological functions, including nerve transmission, muscle contractions, fluid balance, and maintaining the body's acid-base balance. Potassium is one of the key electrolytes, along with sodium, chloride, calcium, and magnesium, that play crucial roles in these bodily processes. In this blog, we discuss some key role potassium plays in our body.

Top Benefits of Potassium

For heart health: Potassium plays a crucial role in maintaining the heart's steady rhythm by controlling the electrical signals that regulate its contractions. Irregular heart rhythms, known as arrhythmias, can be triggered by imbalances in potassium levels. Adequate potassium intake helps prevent these disruptions and contributes to overall heart health.

Bone health: Studies reveal that potassium improves bone health and wards off osteoporosis. Potassium contributes to bone health through its influence on the body's acid-base balance. When our bodies become too acidic, they attempt to neutralize this acidity by using alkaline minerals, including calcium, which is essential for bone strength. However, constant leaching of calcium from bones can weaken them over time. Potassium helps counteract this process by promoting an alkaline environment, reducing the need for the body to draw excessive calcium from bones for neutralization.

By encouraging an alkaline pH, potassium helps preserve the mineral density of bones. This is crucial in preventing conditions like osteoporosis, where bones become brittle and susceptible to fractures due to reduced mineral content. While potassium's role in bone health is indirect, it's a crucial component in maintaining the delicate balance that supports the structural integrity and longevity of our skeletal framework. Therefore, a diet rich in potassium-rich foods contributes not only to cardiovascular health and nerve function but also to the overall wellness of our bones. In a cross-sectional study that included 8,732 Korean men and postmenopausal women over 50 years between 2008 and 2011 found that high dietary potassium levels had a favorable effect on bone health and preventing osteoporosis in older Korean women.

For healthy nerve function: Nerve cells, or neurons, communicate with each other and with muscles through electrical signals. These signals are generated by the movement of ions, including potassium, across the cell membrane. When a nerve cell is stimulated, potassium ions flow out of the cell, creating an electrical potential difference that results in the transmission of the nerve impulse. Potassium levels influence the excitability of nerve cells. An appropriate balance of potassium ions on either side of the cell membrane is required for neurons to respond appropriately to incoming signals. If potassium levels are imbalanced, nerve cells can become either overly sensitive or less responsive, leading to issues such as nerve hyperexcitability or impaired nerve transmission.

Prevents muscle cramp: Potassium is an essential electrolyte that helps regulate muscle contractions. It works alongside other electrolytes like sodium and calcium to maintain the proper electrical balance within muscle cells. When there is an inadequate supply of potassium, the cells' ability to repolarize and relax after a contraction can be compromised. This can lead to muscles becoming overly sensitive and prone to cramping. Consuming an adequate amount of potassium helps ensure that muscles function optimally. Potassium helps regulate nerve impulses that control muscle contractions and relaxations. When there's enough potassium available, muscles can contract and relax smoothly, reducing the likelihood of cramps.

Preserve electrolyte balance: Electrolytes, including potassium, play a key role in maintaining fluid balance both inside and outside cells. The movement of electrolytes across cell membranes helps regulate the amount of water within cells and in the surrounding tissues. This balance is crucial for preventing issues like dehydration and swelling.

Maintain healthy blood pressure: Potassium plays a delicate role in regulating the fluid balance within our cells and tissues. The balancing act helps regulate fluid and manage blood pressure.  This mineral works in tandem with sodium to maintain proper hydration levels and control blood pressure. While sodium tends to draw water into cells, potassium helps balance this effect by encouraging the excretion of excess sodium through urine. This delicate balance ensures that cells receive the right amount of water, preventing issues like dehydration or swelling.

The impact of potassium on blood pressure is especially noteworthy. Studies have shown that a diet rich in potassium can help counteract the hypertensive effects of high sodium intake. Research shows that increased potassium intake reduces blood pressure in people with high blood pressure and was associated with 24% lower risk of stroke. By relaxing blood vessels and promoting vasodilation, potassium assists in reducing the strain on the cardiovascular system, thus contributing to healthy blood pressure levels.

If you are considering potassium supplements, it is crucial to go for high-quality supplements.

Choosing high-quality potassium supplements?

Selecting high-quality potassium supplements is essential to ensure that you're getting a safe and effective product. Here are some key factors to consider when choosing potassium supplements:

Check for reputable brands: Opt for supplements from well-known and reputable brands. Established brands are more likely to have stringent quality control measures in place.

Look for third-party testing: Choose supplements that have been third-party tested for quality and purity. Look for certifications from organizations like NSF International, USP (United States Pharmacopeia), or ConsumerLab, which verify the accuracy of the supplement's ingredients and label claims.

Read the label: Carefully read the supplement label to ensure that the potassium content matches your needs. Be aware of the serving size and the amount of elemental potassium provided in each dose.

Check for additional ingredients: Examine the ingredient list for unnecessary additives, fillers, or allergens. A high-quality supplement should have minimal additional ingredients.

Choose the right form: Potassium supplements come in various forms, including potassium chloride, potassium citrate, and potassium gluconate. Each form has its own absorption rate and considerations. Consult a healthcare professional to determine which form is best for you.

Here are our recommendations for some high-quality potassium supplements:

Krebs Magnesium-Potassium Complex by Integrative Therapeutics: Integrative Therapeutics provides the crucial magnesium-potassium complex to support the Krebs cycle. The Krebs Cycle is one of the important components of energy production in our body. The food we consume is broken down in the Krebs cycle and in the process, energy is released. Integrative Therapeutics Krebs Magnesium-Potassium Complex offers essential minerals that contribute to promoting optimal heart muscle function. This complex incorporates potassium and magnesium, both intricately bonded to the Krebs cycle intermediates—citrate and malate. These organic acids play a pivotal role in generating energy within each cell of the body, including those in the heart.

K+2 Potassium by Designs for Health: Designs for Health K+2 Potassium is uniquely formulated with two forms of stable potassium. The potassium is composed of potassium bicarbonate and potassium bound to the amino acid glycine, which improves the potency of the supplement. Besides, the two forms of potassium give the product optimum stability and tolerability. Potassium is alkaline in nature and helps maintain healthy blood pressure levels. A serving size of one capsule provides 300mg of potassium (as potassium bicarbonate, potassium glycinate complex).

The supplement is available in 120 vegetarian capsules. The recommended dosage is to take one capsule per day or as directed by your provider.

Potassium Citrate by Pure Encapsulations: Pure Encapsulations offers 200 mg of potassium citrate in one vegetarian capsule. Potassium citrate supplements are helpful to support heart and bone health. They also offer a wide range of nutritional support for the healthy functioning of many organs. It plays a key role in contraction of cardiac and skeletal muscles as well as gastric secretion, renal function, tissue synthesis and carbohydrate metabolism.  The supplement is gluten-free, non-GMO, free from soy, dairy, and hypoallergenic. It is suitable for vegans and vegetarians. The product is processed in a facility free of treenut and peanuts. The supplement is free from artificial colors, dyes and preservatives. A serving size of one capsule provides 200 mg of potassium as potassium citrate. The recommended dosage is to take one capsule 1 -2 times a day along with meals.

As with all dietary supplements, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider before you start taking potassium supplements. Potassium supplements carry a caveat, especially for those with kidney problems.