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Electrolytes such as potassium have many important roles in the human body. Not getting enough potassium can cause you to feel tired and worn down, making it harder for you to stay active enough to lose weight effectively. Although supplemental potassium on its own won't aid weight loss directly, it can help you avoid potassium deficiencies. Always talk to your doctor before taking any sort of supplement.
Potassium is an electrolyte, so it has an electrical charge when it is dissolved in water-based substances such as blood and the fluid inside of cells. Electrolytes are important for conducting electricity, and your cells can generate and maintain an electrical charge by controlling the amount of potassium inside and outside of cells. Potassium is particularly important for the health of nerve and muscle cells 1.
Importance For Weight Loss
Does Potassium Thicken Your Blood?
The main way that potassium can help you lose weight is by keeping your muscles from getting fatigued and tired. When you don't get enough potassium from your diet, you can develop a condition known as hypokalemia, which causes your muscles to become weak and cramp more easily. This can make it hard for you to stay physically active, causing you to burn fewer calories. Getting enough exercise is a critical part of losing weight, so be sure you get enough potassium in your diet.
- The main way that potassium can help you lose weight is by keeping your muscles from getting fatigued and tired.
- When you don't get enough potassium from your diet, you can develop a condition known as hypokalemia, which causes your muscles to become weak and cramp more easily.
If you are concerned that you aren't getting enough potassium and that it's hindering your ability to lose weight, stock up on high potassium foods. A medium baked potato with its skin on has 926 mg of potassium. Bananas, prune juice, plums, orange juice and tomato juice also provide high levels of potassium. Potassium also can be found in significant levels in raisins, artichokes, squash, cooked spinach, lima beans, almonds and molasses.
- If you are concerned that you aren't getting enough potassium and that it's hindering your ability to lose weight, stock up on high potassium foods.
- Bananas, prune juice, plums, orange juice and tomato juice also provide high levels of potassium.
Sources of Electrolytes
Although potassium can help your muscles stay healthy, allowing you to burn more calories, potassium will not result in weight loss on its own. In fact, consuming large amounts of potassium supplements can be dangerous and result in a condition known as hyperkalemia, which can disrupt your heart's rhythm and affect the function of your muscles. Talk to a doctor before taking any sort of supplement to try to help you lose weight.
Does Potassium Thicken Your Blood?
Sources of Electrolytes
What Are the Dangers of High Potassium?
Muscle Pain Due to Low Potassium
Does Taking Potassium Supplements Help Leg Cramps?
How Much Potassium Does a Female Need?
Foods With Potassium Bicarbonate
Can Low Potassium Cause Death?
Can Taking Potassium Supplements Be Dangerous?
What Is the Potassium Content in a Banana?
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Potassium
- Linus Pauling Institute: Potassium
- Potassium. Office of Dietary Supplements. National Institutes of Health
- Lambert H, Frassetto L, Moore JB, et al. The effect of supplementation with alkaline potassium salts on bone metabolism: a meta-analysis. Osteoporos Int. 2015;26(4):1311-8. doi:+10.1007/s00198-014-3006-9
- Chatterjee R, Slentz C, Davenport CA, et al. Effects of potassium supplements on glucose metabolism in African Americans with prediabetes: a pilot trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2017;106(6):1431-1438. doi:10.3945/ajcn.117.161570
- Potassium. Fact Sheet for Consumers. Office of Dietary Supplements. National Institutes of Health
- Health Claim Notification for Potassium Containing Foods. US Food and Drug Administration
- Aburto NJ, Hanson S, Gutierrez H, Hooper L, Elliott P, Cappuccio FP. Effect of increased potassium intake on cardiovascular risk factors and disease: systematic review and meta-analyses. BMJ 2013;346:f1378.
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. What Is Potassium?
- ConsumerLab.com. Potassium Supplements Review.
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- Curhan GC, Willett WC, Speizer FE, Spiegelman D, Stampfer MJ. Comparison of dietary calcium with supplemental calcium and other nutrients as factors affecting the risk for kidney stones in women. Ann Intern Med 1997;126:497-504.
- D’Elia L, Barba G, Cappuccio FP, Strazzullo P. Potassium intake, stroke, and cardiovascular disease a meta-analysis of prospective studies. J Am Coll Cardiol 2011;57:1210-9.
- O’Neil C, Keast D, Fulgoni V, and Nicklas T. Food sources of energy and nutrients among adults in the US: NHANES 2003-2006. Nutrients. 2012;4:2097-120. DOI: 10.3390/nu4122097.
- Stone M, Martyn L, and Weaver C. Potassium intake, bioavailability, hypertension, and glucose control. Nutrients. 2016;8: E444. DOI: 10.3390/nu8070444.
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Health Claim Notification for Potassium Containing Foods.
- Weaver CM. Potassium and health. Adv Nutr 2013;4:368S-77S.
- Yong Sun, et al. Dietary potassium regulates vascular calcification and arterial stiffness. JCI Insight. 2017;2(19):e94920.
Adam Cloe has been published in various scientific journals, including the "Journal of Biochemistry." He is currently a pathology resident at the University of Chicago. Cloe holds a Bachelor of Arts in biochemistry from Boston University, a M.D. from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in pathology from the University of Chicago.