The Best Way to Supplement With Potassium | Chris Masterjohn Lite #59Randall Smitham October 20, 2019 100 Comments
This is how to supplement with potassium. Hi. I’m Dr. Chris Masterjohn of chrismasterjohnphd.com, and this is Chris Masterjohn Lite, where the name of the game is “Details? Shmeetails. Just tell me what works!” Today we’re going to talk about potassium supplements. Now, I’ve made videos in the past about getting enough potassium, and I’ll link to those in the description so that you can go back and look at those videos. Those were about getting potassium from food. In fact, I recommend you try to get all of your potassium from food so that you don’t need to follow the instructions in this video. With that said, it is important to get enough potassium, and unless you’re really focusing on it, it’s very easy to not get enough from food. Sometimes I talk to people and they say, “Geez, what you’re telling me to do to get enough potassium in my food doesn’t sound like something that I’m ready to do.” And they really want to take a supplement, and so if you fall into that category, this is for you. With that said, it’s important to clear what you’re doing with your doctor. The FDA actually regulates potassium supplements to make sure that they don’t exceed 99 milligrams. The reason is that even though there are very clear studies in humans showing that it is perfectly safe for healthy people to take 15 grams of potassium per day, it’s also the case that for someone whose kidneys are not able to excrete potassium at the rate that they need to, even smaller doses are able to cause hyperkalemia, which means that your blood levels of potassium go too high. Hyperkalemia could affect your heart rate or could affect—could give you palpitations or something like that, but it could, in theory, in the worst cases, not in theory, but it could in the worst cases, lead to death. And so it could be an emergency-room situation, so the FDA has just come out and said, “We don’t want the fewer people who would have access to these supplements to have those bigger problems, so we’re not going to let anyone take more than 99 milligrams of potassium at a time.” With that said, there are bulk powders of potassium that actually make it super easy to take more than that because they just called the serving size whatever gives 99 milligrams, and you just pour out however much you want. Nevertheless, it is more common than you might think that someone doesn’t have— that someone does not have the proper ability to excrete potassium in the kidneys. And that’s because things like NSAIDs, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, the most common drugs on the market that people are taking all over to manage trivial—I don’t want to trivialize a bad headache, but oftentimes, trivial headaches, trivial pain, people are taking these, sometimes very bad, debilitating pain, but still, these drugs are common, and they can impair the excretion of potassium in the kidneys. Insulin resistance, one of the most common metabolic problems we have in our society, impairs the ability of the kidneys to get rid of potassium. So it’s very important that you clear what you’re doing with your doctor to make sure that you’re not taking any drugs, those or other ones, that you don’t have any health conditions that you know about or that you don’t know about yet that could interfere with your ability to tolerate potassium supplements. There’s another problem, which is that with certain potassium supplements, and potassium chloride seems to be the worst offender, and potassium supplements that are in pills or capsules or tablets, especially if they are in time-released tablets, which seems to be the worst offender, can irritate the stomach lining. And that’s because you take a pill of potassium, it goes into your stomach, and then it just stays in one location, where there’s a very high concentration of potassium rather than spreading out, and it can irritate and basically eat a hole in your stomach lining. When your potassium is spread out in your food, there’s no one area of the stomach that is vulnerable to that high concentration of potassium. Also, potassium stimulates insulin, and so you could get hypoglycemia if you took potassium on an empty stomach. That doesn’t happen when you eat potassium in food because the potassium is mixed in with the—even vegetables have at least a little bit of glucose, where the potassium drips into your system, and the glucose drips into your system at the same time, and you get the proper balance. So if we need to use potassium supplements, how do we best replicate what’s in food to give us a slower input of potassium that our kidneys are better able to handle, along with a slow drip of glucose that balances our blood sugar in a way that is spread out in our stomach that is not going to eat a hole anywhere in our stomach? Well, what I would do is I would use this supplement that is shown on the screen: BulkSupplements Potassium Citrate Powder. I like potassium citrate because A) it’s not potassium chloride, and B) another alternative, potassium bicarbonate, is best to—bicarbonate is best to not take on a full stomach because it can interfere with stomach acid, and you can wind up burping up a lot of the bicarbonate. So potassium citrate is better than bicarbonate when you’re mixing it with a meal, and potassium is better mixed with a meal for the reasons we just described. So this BulkSupplements Pure Potassium Citrate Powder, I would use, start with small doses, like a few hundred milligrams, and make sure you tolerate it. Again, presumably you’re telling your doctor about this, and you can look out for any adverse signs and then work your way up. You can theoretically go up to grams per day. There have been 15-gram-per-day studies, like I mentioned before. But I would definitely be trying to get the bulk of your potassium from food, and so you really want to make your total potassium, if you can get your total potassium, food and supplements combined, to hit 5 or 6 grams per day, you’re in very good shape. You take that bulk powder, and you stir it into your food, or you blend it into your food, depending on whatever— what you’re eating and whatever the easiest way to mix it in. The goal is, as in the previous episode with calcium, to evenly mix the potassium throughout your food so that it is the closest approximation to actually eating the potassium in the food. If you want to purchase BulkSupplements Pure Potassium Citrate Powder without my affiliate link, just search Amazon for the name of the product. If you do want to use my affiliate link so that you can send some funds my way at no extra cost to you to support the free work that I put out, then you can use chrismasterjohnphd.com/potassium. The audio of this episode was enhanced and post-processed by Bob Davodian of of Taurean Mixing. You can find more of his work at taureanonlinemixing.com. This episode is brought to you by Testing Nutritional Status: The Ultimate Cheat Sheet. Everything you could ever need to know to optimize your nutrition all in one place. Easier to find and use than ever before. Get your copy at chrismasterjohnphd.com/cheatsheet. Use the code LITE5, that’s all capitals, L-I-T-E, the number 5. LITE5 to get $5 off. All right, I hope you found this useful. Signing off, this is Chris Masterjohn of chrismasterjohnphd.com. This has been Chris Masterjohn Lite. And I will see you in the next episode.