What Are The Best Potassium Supplements in 2017?

The benefits of potassium supplements for general health and wellbeing as well as fitness are becoming increasingly evident. It’s no surprise that the nutrition world is catching on and popularity in the wider community is rising.

If you think a potassium supplement is what you need, the next step is choosing a product that’s right for you. With so many options available, you’re probably wondering what’s the best potassium supplement?

I’ve taken a look at what’s out there and picked the best products on the market to share with you today. Read on to find out more.

What is Potassium?

Potassium is an essential mineral for maintenance of total body fluid volume, acid and electrolyte balance, and normal cell function. In this context, the term “essential” means our bodies cannot produce potassium. For that reason, we must get potassium from the foods we eat or through supplementation.

Potassium plays a part in a wide range of functions including:

  • Boosts nervous system
  • Maintains optimal fluid balance
  • Improves bone health and muscle tissue growth
  • Keeps brain functioning normally
  • Prevents muscle cramps
  • Maintains electrical conductivity in the brain
  • Stabilizes blood sugar levels and blood pressure
  • Maintains optimal muscle and nerve function

Where Can You Find Potassium?

Fruits

When you initially think of potassium rich fruit, the first thing that comes to mind is probably a banana, right? Dietary guidelines state that one banana contains 422mg of potassium per serving. However, this is not the highest concentration; prune juice packs a whopping 707mg per serving.

Other fruits which are a good source of potassium include avocado, melon, papaya, and even dried fruits such as raisins.

Vegetables

Vegetables are another good choice when it comes to potassium. A simple baked potato has 941mg per serving, followed closely by tomato or tomato paste which has 669mg per serving.

Okra, broccoli and beets also contain the mineral. Other alternatives are leafy greens such as spinach or kale.

Dairy and Protein

Potassium can also be found in a number of dairy and protein food sources. Atlantic wild salmon has 534mg per serving and plain yoghurt has 579mg per serving.

Even plant based proteins like soy beans (edamame) contain 485mg per serving. Other good alternatives are kidney beans, lentils, and many varieties of fish.

I would like to stress, this is just a selection of the foods which contain high levels of this beneficial mineral. When you start to contemplate all the natural food sources from which you can obtain potassium, the list would be simply exhaustive. Most people who eat a well balanced diet should be reaching their recommended intake.

You may be wondering, if potassium is easily found in so many natural sources, why would anyone need to take supplements? There are a few situations where supplements can be helpful. Let's take a look at some of the most common reasons to take a potassium supplement.

Unbalanced Diet

Unfortunately, a large number of people don’t consume a healthy diet. According to a survey investigating dietary intake in comparison to daily recommendations, typical eating patterns were particularly low when it came to consumption of fruit (75% below) and vegetables (87% below), dairy (86% below) and oils (72% below). In comparison, they exceeded recommendations for added sugars (70% above), saturated fats (71% above) and sodium (89% above).

With an unbalanced diet, potassium deficiency is certainly a risk.

Other Reasons for Potassium Deficiency

Although a poor diet is considered the main cause of potassium deficiency, there are a number of other contributing factors. Potassium deficiency is more common in those who:

  • Use medicines such as diuretics and certain birth control pills
  • Have physically demanding jobs
  • Are athletes
  • Have health conditions that affect their digestive absorption, such as Crohn's disease
  • Have an eating disorder
  • Smoke
  • Abuse alcohol or drugs

The Dangers of Low Potassium Levels

According to a report from the World Health Organization (WHO) “non-communicable diseases are the main contributor to mortality and morbidity globally, killing more people each year than all other causes combined.”

Low potassium intake has been associated with a number of these diseases, including chronic kidney stone formation, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and low bone-mineral density.

High blood pressure is a major contributing factor for cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease and stroke. Potassium is important for maintaining both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Research has shown that taking potassium supplements lowers blood pressure through its handling of sodium within the body.

The WHO tells us that diet-related diseases are chronic and take many years to manifest. A poor diet lacking in essential vitamins and minerals throughout childhood has a significant association with high blood pressure during adulthood.

How Much Potassium Do We Need?

The amount of potassium needed in your diet depends on your age and gender. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends a minimum of 4700 mg of potassium per day for individuals aged 14 and up. This is a good goal for adults to aim for, although women who are breast feeding should consider upping their potassium intake to 5100 mg per day.

It’s crucially important that children get enough potassium in their diet to prevent developing potassium deficiency linked diseases. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has set the following RDAs of potassium for children:

0-6 months

400 mg/day

7-12 months

700 mg/day

1-3 years

3,000 mg/day

4-8 years

3,800 mg/day

9-13 years

4,500 mg/day

14 years and up

4,700 mg/day

You may think these figures are a difficult target to achieve, but because potassium is found in so many core food groups, most people can reach their goal without putting in much effort.

What About Supplements?

Although doctors would usually try to encourage improved diet in cases of potassium deficiency, on occasion supplements may be necessary. Although potassium in normal doses is considered safe, overdoses can be fatal. Therefore you should always be advised by a doctor before taking potassium supplements.

The Best Potassium Supplement

There are quite a few varieties of potassium supplements to choose from. It can be hard to tell which brand offers the best quality product. Here I’ll list my five picks for the best potassium supplement. I’ve also listed some pros and cons to help you make up your own mind.

Quality

Price

Our rating

I must admit, I am a big fan of the Bulksupplements brand. They offer high quality supplements that are made in the USA in a GMP facility and are always third party lab tested to guarantee purity. This alone gives confidence in the quality of the products they provide.

This pure potassium citrate powder comes in an alternative form of powder and provides 99mg of potassium citrate per serving. It benefits from being free of any artificial colors, flavors, sugars or preservatives. It is also dairy, soy and gluten free which is a plus point for those with dietary intolerances.

Its aim is to regulate blood pressure and boost bone health. One negative point is that some users find it difficult to measure the dose accurately.

Pros


  • Powder supplement
  • 99mg potassium citrate
  • Clean & pure powder
  • No fillers
  • Unflavored
  • Factory sealed foil zip pouch
  • Lab tested for verification and guaranteed purity
  • Helps regulate blood pressure
  • Boosts bone health
  • No additives or preservatives
  • Gluten free
  • Soy free
  • Dairy free
  • Non GMO
  • Made in the USA
  • Manufactured in a GMP facility

Cons


  • Lacks measurement info
  • Some experienced laxative effects

Quality

Price

Our rating

This supplement is in the middle of the road in terms of price. The pack does include 500 caplets, so when you look at it in terms of price per unit, they could be a good choice value wise especially for long term use.

The product includes 99 mg of potassium per serving with one caplet to be taken daily. It’s claims to have significant benefits in maintaining fluid balance and cell functions. Also claiming to support nerve transmission.

The slight inconvenience to users seems to be the claim of “easy” to swallow caplets; unfortunately they appear to be the opposite for some.

Pros


  • 99mg per tablet
  • Gluten free
  • 500 caplets per package
  • Easy to swallow caplets
  • Helps maintain fluid balances
  • Supports nerve transmission
  • Helps maintain cell function
  • 1 caplet daily

Cons


  • Some users still had difficulty swallowing the caplets

Quality

Price

Our rating

This supplement from Zenesis Labs has 99mg of potassium per serving, but it comes with the additional benefit of 150mcg iodine. It’s aimed at those that are prone to muscle cramping and fatigue.

It comes in at a middle of the road price and is made in USA. As an extra, it includes a lifetime guarantee should you feel dissatisfied.

The downsides are that some users felt that the dosage wasn’t strong enough after taking the supplement for a period of time and it does contain shellfish (but this is clearly displayed on the packaging for clarity).

Pros


  • 99mg potassium per serving
  • 150mcg Iodine – 100% RDV from kelp to maintain healthy thyroid function
  • 250 tablets per pack
  • Made in USA
  • 110% lifetime guarantee
  • 1 tablet per day
  • Reasonable price

Cons


  • Contains shellfish, so not suitable for those with allergies
  • Some users found after taking it for a period of time, the dosage didn’t relieve muscle cramps

Quality

Price

Our rating

This supplement from Pure Science provides 99mg of potassium per serving. It’s vegetarian friendly so appeals to a wide audience. There are 100 capsules per pack designed for easy consumption and quick absorption.

These supplements are expensive which is disappointing. If you are looking to take them simply to boost your levels short term they may be a good option for you, however, they are may break the budget when it comes to long term use.

Pros


  • 99mg per serving potassium
  • 100 capsules per pack
  • 1 capsule to be taken daily
  • Over 3 month supply
  • Vegetarian friendly
  • Capsule form for easier consumption and quicker absorption

Cons


  • Some users dislike the plain packaging
  • Expensive

Quality

Price

Our rating

This supplement is free of any artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. Another bonus is that it’s been formulated for easy absorption. It’s yeast, starch and gluten free, so appeals to those that have intolerances.

Nature Made Potassium Gluconate contains 90mg of potassium per serving and is competitively priced so appeals to those on a budget. One point which confused many was the labelled dose. 550mg doesn’t refer to actual pure potassium mineral but potassium gluconate salt. The true dose of potassium is 90mg.

Pros


  • 90mg per serving potassium
  • United States Pharmacopeia (USP) verified
  • Formulated for easy absorption
  • No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • No yeast, starch or gluten
  • 100 tablets per pack

Cons


  • The labelling can be confusing

Our Choice

For me, I have to say the best potassium supplement would have to be BulkSupplements Pure Potassium Citrate Powder.

This supplement is a pure no frills, “does what it says on the tin” kind of product which doesn’t have any additional additives or sweeteners and is as natural as possible.

It has 99mg per serving which should give you a top up of any lost potassium. Also, with it being an unflavored powder, you could consume it in your favourite smoothie or add it to soups and stews which is great for anyone like me who hates taking pills. All in all, it is a good quality product which I think would make a good choice for anyone looking to boost their potassium levels.

 

 

Helen Sanders
 

Chief editor here at Health Ambition, I'm a proud mother of two passionate about nutrition and ways to live healthier with more energy!

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