Potassium is a necessary mineral that is required by all tissues in the body. It is often referred to as an electrolyte due to the fact that it brings a little electrical charge that triggers various cell and nerve functions. Potassium is discovered naturally in many foods and as a supplement. Its main function in the body is to help keep typical levels of fluid inside our cells. Sodium, its equivalent, maintains typical fluid levels beyond cells. Potassium also helps muscles to contract and supports typical high blood pressure. [2]


Potassium salts in the form of saltpeter (potassium nitrate, KNO3), alum (potassium aluminum sulfate, KAl( SO4) 2), and potash (potassium carbonate, K2CO3) have been understood for centuries. They were utilized in gunpowder, coloring, and soap making. They were scraped from the walls of latrines, manufactured from clay and sulfuric acid, and gathered as wood ash respectively. Reducing them to the element beat the early chemists and potassium was classified as an ‘earth’ by Antoine Lavoisier. Then in 1807, Humphry Davy exposed damp potash to an electric existing and observed the formation of metal beads of new metal, potassium. He kept in mind that when they were dropped into water they skimmed around on the surface, burning with a lavender-coloured flame. [3]

Mechanism of action

Potassium ion is the main intracellular cation found in virtually all body tissues. The overall amount of body potassium in grownups is estimated at 45 millimole (mmol)/ kg body weight (about 140 g for an adult weighing 175 pounds; 1 mmol = 1 milliequivalent or 39.1 mg of potassium). Potassium mainly remains in cells, and a percentage can be found in the extracellular fluid. The quantity of potassium that stays in the cell (intracellular) is 30 times that of extracellular concentration, producing a trans membrane gradient, controlled by the sodium-potassium (Na+/ K+) ATPase transporter. This is an essential gradient for nerve conduction, contraction, and kidney function. Vomiting, diarrhea, renal disease, medications, and other conditions that change potassium excretion or move it inside or outside of cells. In healthy clients’ people with typical kidney function, significantly high or low potassium levels are rare.

Impact on blood pressure

Potassium reduces minimizes intravascular volume, by decreasing sodium reabsorption through a boost in urinary sodium excretion. This short-term result, nevertheless, does not discuss the long-term effects of potassium on blood pressure. Increased plasma potassium levels that happen through consumption are related to vasodilation occurring through stimulation of the sodium-potassium adenosine triphosphatase pump (Na+/- K+ATP ase) and opening of potassium channels of the sodium-potassium adenosine triphosphatase pump. Other possible systems of action for potassium might consist of alterations in barroreflex sensitivity and hormone sensitivity in vascular smooth muscle and cells of the sympathetic nerve system.

Effect on electrolyte balance and body systems

The potassium gradient throughout the membrane of a cell manages cell membrane potential, kept predominantly by the sodium-potassium (Na+/- K+ ATPase pump). Transmembrane electro-chemical gradients motivate diffusion of Na+ extracellularly and K+ intracellularly. Potassium supplements avoids hypokalemia to maintain this balance and is often utilized in an oral service or injection kind in the scientific setting, preventing harmful impacts such as arrhythmias, irregular muscle function, and neurological disturbances. When triggered, the Na+/- K+ ATPase pump exchanges 2 extracellular K+ ions for 3 intracellular salt (Na+) ions, affecting membrane capacity through either excitation or inhibition. This is specifically important in the homeostasis of the nervous system, kidney, and heart muscle tissue. The body and cell circulations of potassium in normal conditions are referred to as internal and external balance, respectively. Decreased serum potassium (or imbalance) increases the risk of ventricular arrhythmia, cardiac arrest and left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH). [4]

Health Benefits of Potassium

It is frequently considered an essential nutrient that remedies high blood pressure, lowers stress and anxiety and stress, and improves much more health disorders. Let’s take a look at the common benefits in detail.

Stimulates Neural Activity

It plays an essential function in keeping brain function at a normal level. High levels of potassium allow more oxygen to reach the brain, thereby stimulating neural activity and increasing cognitive function. There is a great reason that individuals call bananas brain food; they include impressively high levels of this mineral.

It is of great significance in preventing the incident of stroke in the human brain. Dr. Elizabeth Barrett-Connor and Kay-Tee Shaw, M. Sc., through their research study, discovered that a high intake of potassium from food sources may safeguard against stroke-associated death. It is clear that people at high danger for this terrible condition are typically discovered to be deficient in this vital nutrient. Since it serves as a vasodilator, the capillary unwind throughout the body when an appropriate quantity of this mineral is consumed. This means that blood streams more easily and is less most likely to embolisms and break off to cause strokes.

Stabilizes Blood Glucose

Studies recommend that lower levels of potassium are connected with a greater threat of diabetes. A research study released by a group of scientists from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, U.S.A., found a link between high levels of insulin/glucose and low levels of potassium in individuals who were otherwise thought about to be healthy. This is likewise why those experiencing diabetes are motivated to keep their potassium levels typical, to reduce the chances of unpredictable spikes and plunges in their glucose and insulin levels by supporting the blood glucose levels throughout the body. Medical professionals think about low levels of potassium with high levels of insulin as attributes of developing diabetes.

Decreases Muscle Disorders

An adequate concentration of this mineral is required for the routine contraction and relaxation of muscles. The majority of the potassium ions in the body are located in the muscle cells. It keeps optimal muscle and nerve function and assists keep our reflexes fast because it promotes the neural connection of muscles and the brain.

Avoids Cramps

Muscle cramps are a common result of low levels of potassium in the blood, a condition called hypokalemia (source: Journal of Athletic Training). If you take in a banana every day, you can easily prevent muscle cramps since bananas have rich potassium content.

Improves Bone Health

The advantages of potassium even extend to enhancing the health of your bones. There are particular qualities of this mineral that neutralize different acids in the body, which helps in keeping and preserving calcium, making it available to use for bone strength and resilience. In addition, a study at the Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center states that consuming fruits and vegetables having high levels of this mineral leads to greater mineral density in bones, even more enhancing and lengthening their life.

Regulates Neural Function

Potassium channels play an essential function in preserving the electrical conductivity of the brain and drastically impacting the brain function. It is also associated with higher brain function like memory and knowing. In addition to this, disorders like epilepsy are related to the dysfunction of potassium channels that can happen through its deficiency. There are potassium currents that play a significant function in mammalian nerve cells. These channels are adjoined with a huge array of neural function and can help moderate and regulate electrical currents throughout the body.

Stabilizes High Blood Pressure

Potassium is useful in reversing the function of sodium in unbalancing regular high blood pressure, as investigated by Cappuccio Francesco P et al. released in the Journal of Hypertension. Thus, it functions as an essential element that keeps the normality of high blood pressure in the human body. This additional decreases the risk of heart diseases and high blood pressure. Policy of blood pressure is one of the most essential functions of this powerful mineral. As mentioned previously, it has vasodilation homes that work to relieve the tension of capillary, which is among the primary causes of high blood pressure.

Strengthens Muscles

Among the helpful advantages of potassium is its function in guaranteeing the correct growth of muscle tissues and the usage of energy launched throughout metabolism, which adds considerably to muscular strength. The muscles, consisting of those all-important cardiac muscles, are prone to paralysis due to a deficiency of potassium in a person’s diet.

Stimulating cell growth and providing the metabolic energy to do so is an important function of potassium and muscular health would be compromised without it. Also, without the contraction and relaxation that potassium enables muscles to carry out, workout and extra muscle training would be impossible.

Improves Metabolism

Potassium assists in the metabolic processing of numerous nutrients like fats and carbohydrates. Thus, it is of an excellent value in extracting energy from the nutrients that are taken in. Detailed studies performed in Denmark have shown that this mineral is likewise an integral part of the synthesis of protein, which has an impact on tissue regrowth, cell growth, and total balanced metabolic process.

Decreases Stress And Anxiety & Tension

Potassium is of terrific significance for people suffering from unfavorable mental states like stress and anxiety and stress. It is considered a powerful stress buster and therefore, makes sure an effective mental efficiency. Stress and anxiety and stress are really harmful to other parts of the health and any perk from things like potassium is considered an excellent concept if you experience chronic stress. This mineral can help manage different hormones in your body, consisting of stress hormonal agents like cortisol and adrenaline, excess quantities of which can be damaging to the body.

Increases Heart Health

The health benefits of potassium make sure health for the heart along with the kidneys. It plays an irreplaceable function in managing the metabolic process and keeping the heart and kidneys running efficiently. Additionally, this mineral assists the kidneys in removing waste through the process of excretion. However, it is strongly encouraged to consult your physician to get suggestions about potassium dose, due to the fact that it can help stimulate the body to take in more calcium than necessary, which can in fact calcify and trigger kidney issues, rather than resolve them.

Maintains Water Balance

Another significant role that potassium plays is in the maintenance of an optimum fluid balance in the human body. Various kinds of cells need a proper water balance for effective performance and potassium aids these cells in regulating the balance. Fluid balance keeps all of our organ systems operating in one method or the other, which is why lots of people advise consuming bananas after athletic events or after a night of heavy drinking, in order to rehydrate and enhance fluid balance.

Controls the Level of Fluids

Potassium is likewise a fantastic electrolyte in the human body. It helps in managing the level of fluids in the body and hence help in a number of critical body functions. Additionally, electrolytes help transfer electrical charges throughout the body from the brain and nerve system, so extra electrolytes keep whatever functioning faster.

Enhances Nerve System

Potassium assists enhance the efficiency of nerve reflexes that transfer the message from one body part to another. This, in turn, assists in contraction to carry out numerous activities every day without getting tired quickly, which is additional benefited by potassium and is required to cause muscle contraction and function.

Word of Caution: Excess of this mineral in the body can be damaging; for example, clients with kidney concerns who can not effectively process this mineral, may have alarmingly high levels. This can cause cardiovascular disease, muscle paralysis, troubled breathing, tingling in the hands and feet, heart arrhythmia, and nausea. Potassium can be an amazing addition to certain diet plans, however always beware that you do not overdo, and if you select to consist of potassium supplements in your diet, consult your physician initially. [5]


Individuals with abnormal kidney function and those on potassium-sparing medications or ACE inhibitors, which are typically utilized for dealing with hypertension, might require to monitor their intake of potassium and most likely should not be on a potassium supplement. If for some reason your healthcare provider has advised this anyhow, your blood will be monitored carefully to prevent hyperkalemia (high blood potassium).

If you’re taking particular medications, you need to prevent taking potassium supplements. These types of medications consist of spironolactone, triamterene, amiloride, captopril, enalapril, fosinopril, indomethacin, ibuprofen, ketorolac, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, pentamidine, heparin, digitalis, β-blockers, α-blockers, losartan, valsartan, irbesartan, and candesartan.

Whenever you have a concern about potential interactions, consult your healthcare provider.

Water Pills Weaken Potassium

Individuals who take water tablets (also referred to as diuretics) are frequently prescribed potassium at the same time. This since as the body eliminates extra fluid, it also flushes out electrolytes like potassium.

Meet Your Potassium Needs

The optimal method to satisfy your potassium requires is to eat a variety of entire foods consisting of fruits like avocados, oranges, bananas, veggies (such as sweet potatoes, squash, and dried beans), low-fat milk, and certain sources of protein like salmon and chicken.

It is no knock on supplements to say that food is your best source of nutrition. (After all, they’re called “supplements” for a reason: They’re planned to supplement what’s missing out on from your food diet plan.) Besides, it’s approximated that the body takes in about 85 to 90 percent of dietary potassium.

If you’ve had trouble including fresh produce to your diet, consider adding frozen vegetables and fruits. Food is frozen at peak freshness, boosting its dietary worth.

Kiwifruit Packs a Bigger Punch

Many individuals associate bananas with potassium. However a couple of other fruits really include more potassium than bananas. It can be fun to discover which ones.

Foods High in Potassium

According to the USDA nutrition database, the following are foods high in potassium. See below for a list of these foods followed by the quantity of potassium each contains:.

  • Acorn squash (1 cup prepared without salt): 896 milligrams
  • Apple (1 medium with skin): 195 milligrams
  • Artichokes (1 cup hearts cooked): 480 milligrams
  • Avocado (1/4 of the whole): 172 milligrams
  • Banana (1 medium): 430 milligrams
  • Beets (1 cup raw): 442 milligrams
  • Broccoli (1 cup chopped and prepared): 457 milligrams
  • Child Brussels sprouts (13 pieces): 315 milligrams
  • Beans (1/2 cup dried– quantities differ based on range): 1,813 milligrams
  • Cantaloupe (1 cup cubes): 427 milligrams
  • Carrots (1 cup chopped): 410 milligrams
  • Cherries (1 cup without pits): 342 milligrams
  • Milk (1 cup low-fat): 350-380 milligrams
  • Mushrooms (1 cup whole): 305 milligrams
  • Orange (1 small): 238 milligrams
  • Peas (1 cup raw): 354 milligrams
  • Peppers (1 cup chopped): 314 milligrams
  • Parsley (1 cup chopped): 332 milligrams
  • Potato (1 medium baked with skin): 930 milligrams
  • Quinoa (1 cup cooked): 318 milligrams
  • Salmon (6 ounces): 730 milligrams
  • Spinach (1 cup prepared): 839 milligrams
  • Sweet potato (1 cup baked ): 664 milligrams
  • Tomatoes (1 cup chopped): 430 milligrams
  • Watermelon (1 cup diced): 170 milligrams

Compared to a control diet plan (offering 3.5 portions a day of fruits and vegetables and 1,700 milligrams daily of potassium), eating a diet plan which included 8.5 servings each day of vegetables and fruit and 4,100 mg daily of potassium has actually been shown to lower blood pressure. Research studies have also found that eating more vegetables and fruits (foods naturally abundant in potassium) can lower high blood pressure.

Dig Into Yogurt

Plain, nonfat yogurt is an excellent source of potassium, packing 625 milligrams of potassium in a 1-cup serving.

Processed Foods

Some processed and packaged foods also include added potassium salts or naturally taking place potassium (such as dried beans and entire grains). If you should monitor your potassium intake, bear in mind labels. A lot of ingredient labels will list “potassium chloride” as an additive. This is usually discovered in foods such as cereal, snack foods, frozen foods, processed meat, soups, sauces, snacks, and meal bars.

You may also discover added potassium in products such as Emergen C (a powdered drink). Foods which contain a minimum of 350 milligrams per serving are permitted by the FDA to state, “Diet plans containing foods that are great sources of potassium and low in salt may reduce the danger of hypertension and stroke.” [6]

How can I get more potassium in my life?

Easy– simply consume foods high in potassium. While bananas are often promoted as a potassium powerhouse– and with 422 milligrams per medium fruit, it does have a good quantity– it’s not the just excellent source. 2 cups of spinach has 334 milligrams of potassium, one cup of Brussels sprouts has 389 milligrams, and one cup of lentils has a massive 731 milligrams.

If you do want to stick with fruits, one cup of cubed cantaloupe has 427 milligrams, one cup of dried apricots has 1,720 (!) milligrams, and one cup of oranges has 326 milligrams– making them all fantastic sources.

Nevertheless, while loading up on potassium-rich foods is typically not a concern for a lot of healthy people, getting excessive potassium can be an issue for individuals who have kidney concerns, Aaron states. Your body’s potassium is processed in the kidneys; if your kidneys aren’t working appropriately, your body may have a tough time removing the excess. “Those with impaired kidney function must consult their doctor about going on a potassium-restricted diet plan if potassium build-up is an issue,” Aaron states.

It’s clear that potassium is greatly essential to the body, and luckily, it’s not too hard to get enough of this essential nutrient– and doing so can be delicious! If you are stressed over your potassium levels, book a consultation with your doctor who can do blood work guaranteeing your levels are where they should be. And hello, possibly load a banana to consume on your way home. [7]

Side Effects

When taken by mouth: Potassium is most likely safe for many people when taken by mouth in amounts of as much as 100 mEq (3900 mg) of total potassium daily. In some individuals, potassium can cause indigestion, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, or digestive tract gas.

What other drugs will impact potassium citrate?

The following drugs can communicate with potassium citrate. Tell your doctor if you are using any of these:.

  • eplerenone (Inspra);
  • digoxin (digitalis, Lanoxin);
  • candesartan (Atacand), losartan (Cozaar, Hyzaar), valsartan (Diovan), or telmisartan (Micardis);
  • glycopyrrolate (Robinul);
  • mepenzolate (Cantil);
  • quinidine (Quinaglute, Quinidex, Quin-Release);
  • atropine (Donnatal, and others), benztropine (Cogentin), dimenhydrinate (Dramamine), methscopolamine (Pamine), or scopolamine (Transderm-Scop);
  • a bronchodilator such as ipratroprium (Atrovent) or tiotropium (Spiriva);
  • bladder or urinary medications such as darifenacin (Enablex), flavoxate (Urispas), oxybutynin (Ditropan, Oxytrol), tolterodine (Detrol), or solifenacin (Vesicare);
  • irritable bowel medications such as dicyclomine (Bentyl), hyoscyamine (Anaspaz, Cystospaz, Levsin, and others), or propantheline (Pro-Banthine);
  • an ACE inhibitor such as benazepril (Lotensin), captopril (Capoten), fosinopril (Monopril), enalapril (Vasotec), lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), moexipril (Univasc), perindopril (Aceon), quinapril (Accupril), ramipril (Altace), or trandolapril (Mavik); or
  • any kind of diuretic (water tablet) such as bumetanide (Bumex), chlorothiazide (Diuril), chlorthalidone (Hygroton, Thalitone), ethacrynic acid (Edecrin), furosemide (Lasix), hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ, HydroDiuril, Hyzaar, Lopressor, Vasoretic, Zestoretic), indapamide (Lozol), metolazone (Mykrox, Zarxolyn), or torsemide (Demadex).
  • This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can communicate with potassium citrate. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, organic products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor. [9]

What are warnings and safety measures for potassium chloride?


This medication consists of potassium chloride. Do not take KDur, Slow K, Kaon Cl 10, KCl, K10, Klor-Con M, Klor Con M10, Klor Con M15, Klor Con M20, KlorCon, Klotrix, KTab, MicroK, or K8 if you dislike potassium chloride or any ingredients consisted of in this drug.

Keep out of reach of kids. In case of overdose, get medical help or contact a Toxin Control Center instantly.


  • Hypersensitivity
  • Without treatment Addison disease
  • Hyperkalemia
  • Renal failure

Effects of Drug Abuse

  • No information offered [10]


Attempt to consume more fruit and vegetables. Higher potassium usage from foods, particularly fruits and vegetables, might reduce blood pressure and the risk of cardiovascular disease and strokes.

Never take potassium supplements without a medical professional’s prescription, as this can easily trigger high blood potassium levels that are dangerous.

Take note of the potassium material of salt alternatives, since it can be high. [11]


  1. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/potassium.
  2. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/potassium/
  3. https://www.rsc.org/periodic-table/element/19/potassium.
  4. https://go.drugbank.com/drugs/DB14500.
  5. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/minerals/health-benefits-of-potassium.html
  6. https://www.verywellhealth.com/health-benefits-of-potassium-4588613#toc-contraindications
  7. https://www.wellandgood.com/how-to-feel-happier-tuft-and-needle/
  8. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-851/potassium
  9. https://www.drugs.com/potassium.html#interactions
  10. https://www.rxlist.com/consumer_potassium_chloride_kdur_klorcon/drugs-condition.htm
  11. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-importance-of-potassium
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