Importance of Potassium in a Keto Diet

Being on a keto diet is a good feeling because at the end of it all you will be expecting positive results like immense weight loss, less metabolic issues, high mental performances amongst others. You should always be aware that some vital minerals are lost in the journey. Minerals like potassium and sodium are the affected electrolytes which require replenishment now and then.

What is potassium?

Potassium is an essential mineral that is required by the body. It’s a mineral that is obtained from the food that you feed on. Potassium is a liquid electrolyte “that comprises of ions that are essential in the body’s metabolism.” This mineral is easily lost in the body, and regular recharging should be implemented. It takes part in the following body functions;

Potassium for a Keto Diet
  • Regulation of blood pressure.
  • Digestion of food
  • Heart rhythm
  • Maintenance of a healthy water balance.
  • PH balance in the body this include alkalinity and acidity.
  • Muscle retrenchments.
  • Nerve impulses.

Potassium is a mineral that should be introduced into the diet regularly since it’s not naturally produced by the body. The normal amount of potassium intake that is stipulated is around 4,700mg each day. Reaching this amount while on a keto diet may be challenging.

To see this target accomplished then you have to take a right amount of potassium-rich beverages and foods. Don’t forget that little or no consumption of this mineral can lead to some serious health complications.

The following health issues may arise when potassium levels in the body are either high or low.

Hypokalemia – What is it?

This is a condition that the body undergoes when the levels of potassium are low (<3.5 mmol /L).If the situation is not attended to, the following symptoms may be experienced;

  • Great levels of fatigue.
  • Heart Arrhythmias.
  • Glucose prejudice.
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Muscle pain and lethargy.

The above effects should not be experienced if the required amount of potassium is well consumed. However, you may go through a mild deficiency of the same. The symptoms include;

  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Increased blood pressure.
  • Muscle pain.
  • Heightened salt sensitivity and
  • Significant risk of getting kidney stones (this is a solid like mass that is formed in the kidneys that consist of calcium compounds that are insoluble”.

What is Hyperkalemia?

This is a condition that occurs when potassium levels are high in the body (>7.5mmol/L).This happens due to excessive consumption of potassium mainly in the form of supplements. If the intake exceeds 17.6g per day, then that’s considered an overdose.

Too much of something is poisonous, excess potassium in the body may result in various medical complications like kidney stones and irregular heartbeats which could lead to cardiac arrest.

Why do you lose Potassium during keto?

During the early days of a keto diet, you may experience various” keto flu” symptoms that later come into full blown effect. The primary reason as to why you experience these irritating symptoms is because there is an electrolyte imbalance in the body. Among the electrolytes affected is potassium.

The electrolyte is soluble in liquids such as water. When you are in keto, the body tends to lose plenty of water. Water loss is processed by the kidneys, once they process the removal of excess water in the body many of the electrolytes are lost in the process.

Sodium electrolyte falls a significant victim to be lost from the body before potassium. However, potassium is cohesively related to sodium. During excretion the kidneys eliminate a considerable amount of potassium in form of urine leading to a decrease in potassium levels in the body.

Sudden body fatigue, heart arrhythmias, and muscle pain are the symptoms that may be experienced as a result of reduced levels of potassium.

How can you increase your Potassium during a keto diet?

The only reliable solution to increase or replace the lost potassium electrolytes is to include foods that are high in potassium but low in carbs in your diet. The following foods can significantly serve as your potassium remedy;

  • Mushrooms that are cooked not raw.
  • Almonds
  • Avocados
  • Salmon
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard
  • Flounder
  • Broccoli
  • Artichoke

​You can see the dosages of all the listed low carbs foods above here.

Do Potassium Supplements help?

Supplements should be consumed under the instructions of a qualified medical expert. So it’s advisable to seek the advice of a doctor before you go ahead start using the supplements. The reason behind this is to avoid any occurrence of hyperkalemia.

Don’t take potassium supplements for the sake. Consuming this mineral from your natural foods is the best. If you suspect that you are not consuming enough potassium from your natural foods like spinach, then that’s enough reason to do potassium supplements.

Most potassium supplements are available in tablets of 99mg.Those people with medical issues shouldn’t take highly concentrated potassium supplements; it can worsen their medical conditions.

These conditions include;

  • High blood pressure.
  • Kidney conditions and
  • Heart disease.

Examples of the finest potassium supplements in the market include;

  • Potassium citrate-99mg.
  • Nature made potassium gluconate-550mg.
  • Solaray potassium supplement-99mg.

These supplements are best consumed after meals for efficient absorption. If you prefer to use potassium supplements, then find the one that fits you best.