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  • Potassium Supplement

    It looks as if one of the features of the primal diet was that the potassium:sodium ratio was much higher than the modern diet.

    I know fruit is a good way to get potassium but you have to eat a lot to get the 4-8g that appears to be idea. Supplements are limited to 99mg/serving so that doesn't appear to be a viable option.

    I am considering adding bulk potassium bicarbonate to my morning protein shake both for the potassium and for the alkalizing effect. A level teaspoon contains about 2g of elemental potassium.

  • #2
    I don't understand....if you're eating the primal diet that supposedly has a better potassium/sodium ratio, then why would you need to supplement?
    Liz.

    Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
    Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food

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    • #3
      Originally posted by lizch View Post
      I don't understand....if you're eating the primal diet that supposedly has a better potassium/sodium ratio, then why would you need to supplement?
      I agree. I've been tracking my foods with nutrition data and I average about 3,000 mg/day potassium and I don't eat much fruit. I'm pretty sure potassium supplements in excess can have bad side effects?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Katie82 View Post
        I agree. I've been tracking my foods with nutrition data and I average about 3,000 mg/day potassium and I don't eat much fruit. I'm pretty sure potassium supplements in excess can have bad side effects?
        Maybe I am getting more potassium than I think although the alkalizing effect of the bicarbonate is also attractive.
        Last edited by Benson; 11-03-2010, 04:01 PM.

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        • #5
          Do some reading about this and talk to a doc before diving in to do heavy potassium dosing. It can be pretty dangerous without weekly blood tests, supposedly. That's why the OTC potassium supplements are legally limited to 99 mg.
          "Trust me, you will soon enter a magical land full of delicious steakflowers, with butterbacons fluttering around over the extremely rompable grass and hillsides."

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Benson View Post
            Maybe I am getting more potassium than I think although the alkalizing effect of the bicarbonate is also attractive.
            I guess I don't get the alkalizing thing. All vegetables and I think fruits are alkaline. Grains are the most acidic. Meat is acidic but with a ton of vegetables to balance it out it shouldn't be an issue. And the PB is supposed to include LOTS of veggies!

            Try tracking your intake on nutrition data for a few days and see how much you are really getting of potassium before you decide to supplement anyway!

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            • #7
              I found that potassium loss was a real problem when I tried to go VLC. And in Aus you can't buy K supplements without a prescription (because we're all children who need our nanny state to hold our hands).

              Once you have been eating a while you don't need to supplement K unless you eating a lot of sodium (which for me was bacon and eggs from my favourite cafe most mornings).

              But at first the Dr Eades recommend on their protein power plan that you should supplement with K for a few weeks while your body adjusts. What happens is that as you go low carb you piss out a lot of minerals, which wouldn't be a problem, except that our foods are saturated with Na and you end up eating a bunch of sodium but no K to balance it out.

              However, most people don't have any problems with it. I would say don't bother supplementing K unless you start to get the symptoms of K deficiency. Don't eat salted foods and you should be right, but just be sure to pay attention because salt is added to a lot of foods (which sadly includes bacon) and some people (like my grandmother) cook heavily with it. Most cheeses have lots of added salt too.

              If you do need to supplement than 99 mg may be sufficient anyway. If you really find it not working than I suggest you go over to the Drs Eades site and read what they say about supplementing K.

              Finally, I'm of the opinion that the whole acid/alkaline thing is mostly bullshit. So don't supplement K unless you are sure you have a K deficiency (and not just low carb flu or something else such as a lack of fat in your diet).
              A steak a day keeps the doctor away

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              • #8
                Hi there - this is an older thread but I'm really needing some help with this.

                I depleted my potassium levels (Im fairly sure, thru self-diagnosis!) by being on asthma inhalers and also by having a prolonged time on ACV (which actually depletes K levels). Symptoms are very close to asthma for me: confusion, dizziness, sore and cramping muscles including legs, oppressive chest pressure, headaches, low energy. Once a I took a couple of 99mg K supplements, my heart took off and was roaring! It was pretty impressive and showed me that I was normally in a fairly "weak" state. Note that I haven't had this confirmed with a blood test.

                My problem is that I cant tolerate supplements - I have a sensitive stomach - I cant take the pills. So I am supplementing with food and coconut water - I estimate Im getting about 1500-1700mg a day thru measured doses - and it makes me feel great. However my eyes are continuously bloodshot as hell. Does this mean that I am actually getting too much K? (Im not getting the hyper K symptoms however).

                Bloodshot eyes to me usually occurs with gastric irritation - even with supplementing K thru food only, I am still getting an irritated GI - at least I think that's why Im getting this. Any way to manage or mitigate this issue?

                I am fairly sure I am on the right track as I frequently go hiking over weekends - last time I went I didn't take any high-K foods. The very first nite the symptoms came back - pressure in my chest, irritation in mood, low energy. Why cant I sustain decent K levels - will taurine help? (this also gives me bloodshot eyes). Will it take a few weeks of supplementation to get levels back up? I also gym twice a week and run - so I will sweat out K regularly at higher amounts than usual.

                I am starting to understand that the seemingly OTT levels required for K (4700mg day, yea right!) are based on the ratio between K and Na. I am on a very LOW sodium diet - does this mean that I still need to aim for this ridiculously high supplementation threshold, or less?
                Last edited by slimecity; 10-18-2016, 02:19 PM.

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                • #9
                  Hubby was diagnosed with diabetes insipidus a couple weeks ago. His symptoms presented as extreme tiredness, and his blood tests revealed low levels of potassium, sodium and other minerals. Doc said - Stop drinking so much fluid! Salt your food! Hubby had bought into the low sodium theory, and excessive water intake was diluting everything. Interestingly, the sodium was more important than the potassium to supplement. He eats eggs daily (I salt them if I'm cooking) , bacon a few times a month. He's not a big veggie or salad eater, but we eat stir fry a couple times a week. Just to be on the cautious side, I give him a 99 mg potassium supplement 4-6 times a week, but don't think it is a necessity. Nor do we eat out, nor eat a lot of processed foods. I'd think salt was probably more crucial to getting a handle on your symptoms, but a blood test will win over guessing. Ask your doc.

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                  • #10
                    A single tablespoon of blackstrap molasses provides 293 mg of potassium, almost 3X that of the highest supplement.

                    A single, medium potato provides almost 900 mg., twice that of a banana, the food source that often comes to mind.
                    Stop by to visit at http://primalways.net
                    Old Paths ... New Journeys

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                    • #11
                      1. Coffee is an excellent source of potassium and fiber. Each 6 oz cup has over 100mg of K, and I'm sure if you drink it strong like me, it's a lot more.

                      2. The FDA limits K supps to 99mg. For whatever reason. Ten of them, and you haven't even added 1 gram of K.

                      3. Yeah, the whole alkaline/acidic food thing comes out of the era of ignorance about 100 years ago. One of the great nutritional zombie myths.

                      4. The easiest way to get more K is to reduce your sodium. There's plenty of good, solid research indicating it is the ratio of the two rather some some arbitrary absolute numbers.

                      5. If you want to supp K, the easiest way is salt substitute, potassium chloride. But as you will discover, unlike table salt, it is bitter. You can't use much. Alternatively, potassium citrate, easy to buy on eBay or Amazon. Same bitterness, however.

                      6. All natural foods have more K than Na. The exception is an egg, they are equal.

                      7. You body may have problems with K or Na salts, but those would be long term problems. Not like going for a hike but not having high K food along. Our ancestors migrated from Africa, across Asia, down the Americas to Patagonia. Never once worried about K. Your body is amazing at the alchemy it can do to find essentials from some place in your body until you can replenish.

                      I went through a period heavy K supp'ing with the citrate. Now I don't, and I salt my foods to my taste.

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