Adequate Potassium Intake

There is no RDA for potassium, although the National Library of Medicine recommends 1,600 to 3,500 mg of potassium for the average adult diet. The association recommends equal amounts of sodium and potassium for our bodies. A variety of potassium-rich foods should be eaten daily for healthy and active people. Athletes also may need more potassium because it helps replace the lost of potassium from muscles and the lost in sweat during exercise. Athletes involved in prolonged and hard exercise may require up to 6,000 mg of potassium.

Vegetarians could consume up to 11,000 mg, due to the large amount of fruits and vegetables, which are excellent sources of potassium. Overall, male and female adults have almost the same amount of adequate potassium intake. Food source There are many food sources where people of all ages can obtain adequate amounts of potassium. An excellent source includes fruits and vegetables such as oranges, bananas, avocados, strawberries, plums, peaches, corns, asparagus and potatoes. Also dairy products such as milk, buttermilk, yogurt and meat products like chicken, fish and turkey have high amounts of potassium.

Why is it important Potassium is crucial in the transmission of nerve impulses, muscle contractions and the maintenance of a regular blood pressure. Potassium works with sodium to maintain the body’s water balance and it is an electrolyte in the body, which regulates blood pressure and muscle contraction, and to keep nerves and kidneys working properly. If you take too much If you take over 18,000 mg of potassium, you may develop a condition called acute hypokalemia, even though it is very unlikely to occur.

Hypokalemia could occur if your kidneys do not function properly. This is because the kidneys control the balance of potassium in the body and removes any excess. If your kidneys are malfunctioning and cannot process properly, you may develop increased levels of potassium in your bloodstream, which is toxic. Symptoms of overdose in your body include muscle fatigue and an irregular heartbeat. Taking more potassium than you need could make it hard for your body to absorb other vitamins. If you take too little

Again, if you take too little potassium, you could develop a condition called hypokalemia, which is an uncommon condition but it can occur in people who lose large amounts of fluid from diarrhea, sweating or vomiting. It occurs most frequently among people who take medications that promote urination. Although these medications has other benefits, a drawback is that they also promote the excretion of potassium through the urine, posing the risk for very low potassium levels and muscle cramps, fatigue, respiratory weakness, muscle weakness, muscle twitching, paralysis and abnormal heart rhythms.

People with chronic diseases may experience hypokalemia or potassium deficiency. Potassium depletion can be caused by use of diuretic or cortisone medications. Excessive vomiting, chronic diarrhea or kidney failure also causes deficiency of potassium. If potassium levels are depleted quickly, a person could experience heart problems and if the potassium levels are not replenished quickly enough, a person could suffer heart failure and even death. Potassium deficiency is rarely reported, because of the vast varieties of food sources available with high amounts of potassium.

Virtually, in all cases of short-term diarrhea, potassium imbalances are slight and temporary. The body corrects itself without the need for any additional supplementation, but when diarrhea is prolonged or it is accompanied by dehydration, it can cause serious complications that may require professionally administered intravenous fluids. Taking more minerals than you need won? ¦t make you healthier. You do not want to be deficient in other minerals either.

You can avoid vitamin and mineral deficiencies by eating a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, protein sources, whole grains and dairy products every day. Supplements There are many mineral supplements that contain potassium, and all are available at your pharmacy for a fair price. There are some specific supplements, which only contain potassium, but in most cases they are unnecessary since potassium is very abundant in many foods that we eat daily. Over-the-counter potassium supplements can only contain 99 mg of potassium per pill, as stated by the law.

Only prescription potassium supplements contain over 99 mg of potassium, and are only used in uncommon situations such as use of diuretics. Potassium supplements should only be used under professional supervision, since there is a risk of toxicity and possible reactions with other medications. On average, supplements from the pharmacy only containing potassium costs about 5-7 cents per pill, depending on the brand. Each pill contains 99 mg of potassium and often only requires one pill per day immediately after a meal.

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