Potassium is an important mineral and electrolyte needed for all kinds of bodily functions, not just for running marathons and lifting weights (but Electrolytes can be lost through sweat. )
Low (hypokalemia) and high (hyperkalemia) potassium levels can cause discomfort and, in some cases, life-threatening complications, so it is important to keep potassium within an optimal range. It is important.
To find out everything you need to know about potassium, a board certified internist, Vitamin MD.netand Dr. Travis Nemkoff, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.
What does potassium do in the body?
Nazarian says potassium is an essential mineral that plays a variety of roles in our bodies, including:
- Regulates electrical activity of the heart
- Regulates intracellular fluid exchange
- maintain normal blood pressure
- Promotes proper nerve function
What is the normal range for potassium?
Nazarian says the normal range for potassium is 3.5 to 5.2 mEq/L. (This can be determined with a blood sample.) Low potassium levels can cause symptoms such as:
- High blood pressure (increases the risk of heart disease and stroke)
- abnormal heart rhythm or arrhythmia
- Weakness and spasms that can lead to paralysis
- It increases the risk of kidney damage as well as gastrointestinal symptoms such as constipation and abdominal pain.
Additionally, high levels of potassium can cause consequences such as:
- Life-threatening arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm)
- sudden cardiac death
- difficulty breathing
- nausea and vomiting
Nemkov points out that high potassium is “pretty rare and dependent on kidney failure.” Excess amounts are removed by the kidneys, so high dietary intake does not usually pose a risk. ” Potassium can build up in the blood in patients with advanced kidney disease, and this is a medical emergency. You may need a procedure called dialysis To get rid of excess potassium.
How much potassium do you need per day?
“Recommended amounts of potassium to consume vary by age,” Nazarian says.
What food contains the most potassium?
If bananas first come to mind, they’re close! Bananas are an excellent source of potassium, with around 422 mg per stick. However, according to a list prepared by the government, mayo clinicacorn squash is in cake and contains about 896 mg of potassium per cup (cooked).
Both Nazarian and Nemkov say these foods have good amounts of potassium.
- Leafy vegetables
- Legumes such as beans and lentils
- dairy products
- Dried fruits such as apricots, prunes, and raisins
Electrolyte drinks also help replace electrolytes that are lost through sweat and illness. Some of these products are high in sugar, which may be fine for vigorous exercise, but may not be ideal for just hanging out. Talk to your doctor if you have questions about how to increase your potassium intake.
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