Did you know that an electrolyte imbalance is common when eating keto?
At least there is an easy fix for it.
Potassium deficiency happens even in people who are eating a standard diet that might be high in carbs and low in fat. (Ref)
Low carb & ketogenic diets are great for improving health in many ways like reducing metabolic syndrome issues, weight loss, physical & mental performance boosts, plus loads of other health benefits. But, one thing to remember is that it’s not perfect. Certain minerals or vitamins are definitely lost and need to be replenished.
Potassium is one mineral our bodies need and that seems to run low on a keto diet. (Sodium from salt is another)
If you start to feel weak, get muscle cramps, have skin problems, are irritable or moody then a low level of potassium in your system might be the culprit you need to fix.
I’ve found a few different potassium supplements to help you stay keto, plus feel good.
Top Rated Potassium Supplements
1. Nature Made Potassium Gluconate – 550 mg
We all know Nature Made brand. They’ve been around for over 40 years and have that bright yellow label that’s easy to spot on the store shelves. So is it any surprise that they would show up in my top 3.
With Nature Made Potassium Gluconate, you have a supplement that is trusted and approved by the United States Pharmacopeia (USP). Since low carb diets are known to deplete potassium, it’s important to make sure to increase potassium intake on a daily basis. You can do this by eating foods high in potassium – such as spinach, kale, and bananas – and a taking a trusted supplement.
A potassium supplement, like Nature Made Potassium Gluconate, can help prevent you from having to deal with the symptoms that seem to go hand-in-hand with a low carb or keto diet. Not having enough potassium in your diet can cause you to become irritable (no one wants to be around a grouch), to feel weak, get muscle cramps (those are the worst!), and you may even experience skin issues (remember puberty? Yeah, not fun).
Nature Made Potassium Gluconate is safe and easy to add to your daily routine if you don’t want to eat your greens like Popeye.
Lets compare some of the other features:
- Verified by the United States Pharmacopeia, the nonprofit that set the bar for what can and can’t be sold as dietary supplements, and medicines, food ingredients. So basically, that means they’re following the rules and guidelines to make sure their products are safe
- They’re made with no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
- Gluten, yeast, and starch free
- Easy to swallow and formulated for easy absorption. In other words, it’s not a horse-pill and will break down easier so your body can absorb what it needs
- The label might be considered misleading for some. Anyone reading only the front would assume it has 550 mg of Potassium. But it’s only 90 mg of actual potassium
- Considering it’s recommended that we get at least 4,700 mg daily depending on our age, 90 mg doesn’t seem like all that much
- They’re uncoated, so some people may still have trouble swallowing them
- Of the three recommended, has the lowest amount of potassium – 90 mg vs. 99 mg
2. NOW Potassium Citrate – 99 mg
The NOW Potassium Citrate is another option to boost and maintain your potassium levels when on a low carb or keto diet.
Like Nature Made, NOW Foods has been around for almost 40 years. Unlike Nature Made, NOW has expanded into essential oils, beauty products for hair, skin, and nails, sports nutrition, natural foods, and pet health supplements.
So NOW upped their game a bit and they’ve taken their Potassium Citrate supplement right up to the level of what is legally allowed in the US for the daily dosage of a potassium supplement – 99 mg. As long as it stays under 100mg, then they’re still considered safe and legal.
Remember the keto flu symptoms I told you about when you’re on a low-carb or ketogenic diet? Potassium citrate is another way to make sure your potassium levels don’t drop too low and to prevent you (or those around you) from having to deal with any of the irritability, muscle cramps, and skin issues, to name a few.
You also get option of the NOW Potassium Gluconate tablets with 99mg of Potassium. But for the purpose of this review and the keto diet, I felt their Potassium Citrate supplement was a better option.
For those of you that have just slightly lowered potassium levels, this supplement is a simple way to give those levels a boost since you only take one a day.
Lets compare some of the other features:
- Approved by the National Products Association, another non-profit dedicated to keeping safety and health standards for the natural products industry.
- It’s a capsule made out of gelatin, so there’s no funny taste when you swallow it
- Side benefit – it can help with muscle cramps that many people suffer from, especially at night
- Free from soy, nuts, eggs, dairy, and gluten
- Since it’s a gelatin capsule, you can’t break it in half to make it easier to swallow
- Although it’s 99 mg of Potassium Citrate, it’s only 2% of the Daily Recommended Value
- Because it’s a low dose, it may not help to boost the potassium levels to where they need to be on its own. You’ll still need to supplement your potassium intake using healthy keto friendly foods like spinach and avocado.
3. Solaray Potassium Supplement – 99 mg
The Solaray Potassium supplements round out my picks for the best potassium supplements to take when you’re on a keto diet.
Solaray is the premium brand in the nutraceutical family of brands. They may not be as well-known as Nature Made or NOW, but they have been around the longest of the three.
Like the NOW option, Solaray’s Potassium Amino Acid Complex has 99 mg of potassium as a Potassium Amino Acid Complex. It’s right there on the border of what is considered legally safe by the Food and Drug Administration.
As with the other two on this list, Solaray’s supplement can also help balance out low levels of potassium that are all too common when you’re on a low-carb or keto diet. Even though this is 99 mg, you still have to supplement your potassium intake with foods like kale, bananas, and avocado. If you’re not a fan of fruits and veggies, why not give try guacamole or chocolate covered bananas a try?
Solaray’s supplements are approved by the United States Pharmacopeia (remember them?), and they meet the FDA requirements for labeling. Their products are also free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. Solaray also does a final test searching specifically for gluten before they declare and label their product is gluten-free.
Lets compare some of the other features:
- Adhere to the United States Pharmacopeia and the National Formulary protocols for safety. They are made in a state-of-the-art GMP facility and undergo testing at two different stages
- Small to medium sized gelatin capsules that are easy to swallow
- It may also help with any muscle cramping and keep your body’s electrolyte levels in balance
- Reacted with whole rice concentrate instead of soy
- Unlike Nature Made or NOW, Solaray doesn’t state that it’s gluten free so those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance should be aware before taking this supplement
- Unlike a tablet, the gelatin capsule can’t be broken in half
- Some may be unable to handle the Magnesium Stearate
- They are only 3% of the daily recommended potassium dosage, so you still have to incorporate potassium into your diet
Foods High in Potassium
Real food is always number one choice for getting all your vitamins and minerals.
Here are some grocery items that are a good source of natural potassium:
- Nuts (almonds, cashews)
- Bananas (avoid for the glucose issue)
- Green leafy vegetables (broccoli)
- Milk (can cause insulin response as high in carbs)
Benefits of Taking Potassium
- Reduced blood pressure
- Increased muscle mass
- Decreased bone loss
- Reduced risk of stroke
- Improved endothelial function
- Reduced dietary acid Load
Best Time to Take Potassium
Take potassium tablets with or just after a meal for optimal absorption. It is normally well absorbed in your small intestine with about 90 percent being absorbed during the process of digestion.
You’ll be taking it two to four times per day.
Possible Side-Effects Symptoms
There is no set upper limit for potassium.
That means it is not clear exactly how much potassium you can safely take per day. However, very high doses of potassium can be deadly.
If you are taking a potassium-sparing diuretic prescription drug then DO NOT TAKE supplemental potassium! – (See drug list)
- Upset stomach feeling
- Muscle weakness or paralysis, irregular heartbeat, confusion, tingling sensation in the limbs, low blood pressure, and even coma.
Even though a keto or low carb diet can help some health or weight-loss issues, it’s important to remember that it can also deprive your body of essential minerals.
You can use this guide to find the supplement that will work best to keep your levels balanced.
- Best Magnesium Supplements on a Keto Diet
- Best MCT Oil for Keto
- How to Measure Ketones
- Best Blender for Hot Liquids Like Bulletproof Coffee
- Best Grass Fed Whey Protein Powders
- Best CoQ10 Supplements
- Best Nicotinamide Supplements
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