Go To: Top 10 Potassium Supplements
What is Potassium and Where Does it Come From?
Potassium is a chemical element and mineral, the ions of which play a number of crucial functions throughout the cells of the human body.
Potassium is important for both animals and plants, hence its use in the production of food crops.
What Types of Potassium are There?
Potassium comes in a number of forms including potassium chloride, potassium bicarbonate, and these other forms that we will be primarily concerned with as they are most relevant to human health and well-being.
How does Potassium Work and What are the Benefits?
Potassium is essential for the maintenance and functioning of the brain and the central nervous system, as well as the osmotic balance throughout the body.
Maintaining a balance of minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and sodium is absolutely essential in the prevention of cardiac arrest, or in less severe cases, diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration.
It is also been found that individuals consuming insufficient levels of potassium are more likely to suffer from hypertension or high blood pressure. If you are currently suffering from hypertension then it may well be worth speaking to your doctor or physician about using a potassium supplement or released including more potassium-rich foods in your daily diet.
 May 28, 1997 Effects of Oral Potassium on Blood Pressure Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Clinical Trials Paul K. Whelton, MD, MSc et al.
Related: Top 10 Magnesium Supplements
Who Can Benefit from Using Potassium and How?
Aside from people who are obviously suffering from potassium deficiency, the most obvious candidates for potassium supplementation are athletes and bodybuilders who are looking to optimise their osmotic balance and ensure they are receiving a suitable balance of essential minerals.
Because of the benefits that potassium provides to the brain and the central nervous system, it may be particularly useful for those of you who are engaging in intense bouts of training and physical exercise.
Performing heavy compound lifts such as squats and deadlift can be incredibly taxing on the nervous system, leading to long-lasting fatigue and a difficulty recovering from workouts; potassium may prove to be the missing link in boosting performance and recovery in this context.
Having said this, both potassium and sodium or very similar from a chemical standpoint, playing a number of overlapping and interrelated roles in the body, so rather than supplementing with additional potassium it may be more beneficial to simply ensure you are consuming a balanced quantity of both of these minerals.
Do Any Foods Contain Potassium? Which Ones are the best?
Potassium is found in a large variety of meats, fruits, and vegetables; however, some of the best sources of potassium include:
- Sweet Potato;
- Banana (duh!);
- Almonds; and
- Dried Apricots
Does Potassium Have any Side Effects?
The chances of experiencing any adverse side-effects when using a potassium supplement are extremely low.
Potassium supplements sold in the United States must legally contain no more than 99 mg of potassium, and you would need to take approximately 18 grams or more to experience an accumulation of potassium in the kidneys known as hyperkalemia.
Please note that we are referring here to healthy adults, so children, the elderly, and those with prior or pre-existing kidney conditions will definitely want to exercise caution when using high doses of a potassium supplement.
Aside from this, the most common side-effects experienced through excessive consumption of potassium are gastrointestinal in nature, including diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea in general. If you do find yourself experiencing such side-effects have been you may want to try taking your potassium supplement with a meal as this may help to reduce symptoms.
As with any dietary supplement or manipulation, we recommend that women who are pregnant or breastfeeding consult their doctor or physician prior to use. This also applies to people under the age of 18 and individuals who suffer from pre-existing medical conditions or who are taking any kind of prescription medication.
Note: We recommend speaking to a doctor before taking any supplements.
How and When Should I Use Potassium?
Exactly how and when you use your potassium supplement will depend largely on the type of potassium contained in your supplement, as well as whether or not it is included as part of a larger spectrum of ingredients, for example in a multimineral supplement.
Or a short you refer to the manufacturers guidelines included on the packet of any potassium supplement that you purchase.
How Much Potassium Should I Use?
Again, it is recommended that you read the usage guidelines on your potassium supplement; however, there in mind that the law requires that potassium supplements contain no more than 99 mg of potassium per capsule and it is usually very difficult for an otherwise healthy adult to overdose.
When deciding how much potassium to use it would be wise to take your intake of other minerals such as sodium and magnesium into consideration because neglecting one of these may lead to an osmotic imbalance in your body causing subsequent dehydration and other potentially unpleasant side-effects.
Do I Really Need to Use a Potassium Supplement?
If you are a healthy adult who is eating a well-balanced diet containing plenty of potassium-rich foods that it is highly unlikely that you need to go to the trouble of investing in a potassium supplement. This is particularly true if you’re already using other supplements that contain potassium.
If on the other hand your diet is lacking in the potassium-containing foods then you may want to consider a potassium or multimineral supplement.
When you really think about it this is a somewhat of a moot point because dietary supplements are intended to be added to an already balanced healthy diet; in other words, they are intended to supplement your existing diet!
Attempting to fill in the gaps in a poor diet with supplements is a fool’s errand and one that will not provide you with the long term health and performance benefits that you are probably looking for.
Simply put, start off by making sure you are consuming plenty of foods that contain potassium and if you are still convinced that you need to add more potassium to your diet then you can consume through food sources alone then by all means try out a potassium supplement and see if it gives you what you are looking for.
Choosing the Right Potassium Supplement
The biggest decision you need to make when trying to choose a potassium supplement is whether you want to use a stand-alone potassium product or a multimineral that contains potassium as part of a larger spectrum of ingredients.
If you would like to learn more about the different kinds of potassium products that are available then be sure to take a look at our Top 10 Potassium Supplements list that is at the start of this article.
Looking through these potassium rankings, you will gain a far greater understanding of the different types of potassium that each product offers, as well as the feedback they have received from users and the overall value for money you can expect to receive.
Please note: This FAQ has not been written or reviewed by a doctor or medical professional and is therefore not to be used to prevent, diagnose, or treat any disease or illness. Nor should it be used as medical reference.