Potassium: potassium supplement
What is potassium?
Potassium is one of the macro-minerals, so-named because it makes up more than .01 percent of our total body weight. These minerals, crucial for good health, include calcium, phosphorus, chlorine, potassium, sulfur, sodium, magnesium and silicon.
Potassium plays several important roles in our body including maintaining normal cell functions, conducting nerve impulses and aiding muscle contractions. Potassium also helps convert the body's active form of energy, glucose, into stored energy, glycogen.
Men and women need fairly large amounts of Potassium, about 2,000 mg each day, so a Potassium supplement may be something to consider. Fruits and vegetables, particularly potatoes, as well as meat, fish, and chicken, are all good dietary sources of Potassium. Because of this wide availability of Potassium in our food supply, most of us don't suffer from a deficiency of Potassium, but a Potassium supplement can ensure that we get enough of this important element in our diet.
Taking a potassium supplement is important because Potassium helps to keep fluid and electrolyte balance in our cells. Sodium and Potassium work together to regulate the body's water balance, heart rhythms and muscle function.
How does Potassium work?
Potassium and sodium work together to help maintain the body's water balance and to regulate pressure within and between the cells. Sodium is found in the fluid around the cells whereas potassium is found inside the cells. If you have high blood pressure or if you're taking diuretics, eat foods that are rich in potassium or take a potassium supplement.
Sodium and potassium also help transmit nerve impulses so that muscles can function.
How do I make the most out of a potassium supplement?
Choosing a wide variety of foods will help to ensure you receive enough Potassium. Very high sources of potassium include apricots and bananas. Potassium is water-soluble, so it's lost when you cook food in water, or when the Potassium comes in a water-base, like milk.
To ensure optimum health benefits, then, you might consider a Potassium supplement. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of Potassium is between 2,000 and 3,000 mg for adult men and women.
If you drink heavily, eat large amounts of salt, use diuretics, or endure large amounts of mental or physical stress, consider a potassium supplement, especially if you also don't include lots of fruit and vegetables in your diet.
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