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Best Potassium Supplements

Updated December 2018
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best potassium supplements

    Last Updated December 2018

    Potassium is a mineral that plays a crucial role in the human body. Most people don’t need to worry about a deficiency since it’s easy to get potassium from natural sources. However, some illnesses and conditions can contribute to a lack of potassium in the body. Without potassium, the body is prone to bouts of high blood pressure, nervous system dysfunction, and muscle spasms. Potassium is also critical for a healthy metabolism and plays an important role in digestion.

    But high levels of the mineral are dangerous, so taking potassium supplements without first consulting a doctor is not advised. The BestReviews team wants to provide you with helpful information about this particular supplement to make sure it’s taken safely.

    Below, you’ll find a guide that covers the causes of deficiency, symptoms that may be present when the body doesn’t have enough of this mineral, along with a handy list of natural sources of potassium.

    A diet with enough natural potassium sources can help protect you from high blood pressure, stroke, and salt sensitivity. Salt sensitivity is a condition in which blood pressure becomes elevated after ingesting salt. However, a potassium-rich diet is not the only factor that contributes to healthy blood pressure.

    Who needs potassium supplements?

    If you’re healthy, it’s very unlikely that you need to take a potassium supplement as part of your routine. Unless, for instance, you’re an athlete performing rigorous workouts on a regular basis, it’s likely that you consume enough potassium by way of your diet.

    Potassium supplements should be taken on the recommendation of a healthcare professional and are often prescribed for individuals with impaired kidney function. Diagnosis of a deficiency should be made by your doctor.

    Signs of potassium deficiency

    A few signs may point to a potassium deficiency. It’s not a good idea to supplement without having a clear picture of the cause of your symptoms. Don’t assume that because you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms that you’re deficient. These symptoms could be caused by other ailments. Speak to a health professional for an accurate diagnosis.

    Mild deficiency

    • Fatigue

    • Cramping

    • Constipation

    • High blood pressure

    • Insomnia or poor-quality sleep

    • Concentration issues
       

    Severe deficiency

    • May cause heart rhythm abnormalities in addition to the above symptoms

    Causes of potassium deficiency

    There are several reasons why your body might be deficient in potassium.

    • Kidney malfunction (a common cause of potassium deficiency)

    • Hyperthyroidism

    • Poor diet (could also result in a number of vitamin or mineral deficiencies)

    • Frequent laxative use

    • Diabetes

    • Alcoholism

    • Antibiotic use or taking other potassium-depleting medication

    • Dehydration

    EXPERT TIP

    Take potassium supplements with water to prevent dehydration.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Types of potassium supplements

    Different types of potassium supplements are absorbed differently by the body. Your doctor will prescribe the right kind for you and your particular condition. Some forms of potassium in supplement form include potassium gluconate, chloride, aspartate, chelate, phosphate, bicarbonate, citrate, and orotate.

    Potassium supplement factors to consider

    There are a few things to consider before heading to the supplement aisle at your local pharmacy.

    Talk to your doctor

    Potassium supplements can be harmful in high doses and, in some cases, taking too much of this mineral can be fatal. Speak to your doctor before purchasing and taking this supplement. Your doctor can help determine whether a deficiency is genuinely present and what form of potassium to take as part of your treatment. A deficiency could also be the result of a more severe condition, which is best diagnosed by a healthcare practitioner. Self-diagnosis is not recommended.

    Drug interactions

    Potassium supplements may interact with a variety of medications. Some medications can inhibit absorption, while others do the opposite and cause a buildup of potassium in the system.

    Dosage

    Your physician will determine the right dosage for you. The recommended daily intake for potassium is 4,700 mg for healthy adults. The number is slightly higher for women who are breastfeeding. Most individuals should not have an issue getting enough potassium from their diet. There is no upper limit recommended by the FDA, but it’s well documented that high doses of potassium supplementation can lead to heart problems that in some cases prove fatal. Overdose is extremely unlikely to occur when potassium is ingested solely via food sources, however.

    Format

    Potassium supplements come in capsules, tablets, liquids, and powders. Potassium can also be injected into the bloodstream by a qualified physician.

    Some cereals and other foods are fortified with vitamins and minerals like potassium. However, the potassium found in these enriched foods is not as easily absorbed by the body.

    Staff
    BestReviews

    Potassium supplement prices

    Potassium supplements are relatively inexpensive, ranging from $0.02 to $0.25 per capsule or gram of powder.

    Budget-friendly: Potassium supplements that cost under $0.10 per pill typically offer a lower dosage of the mineral.

    Mid-range: Supplements that cost from $0.10 to $0.15 per pill feature a higher dosage per capsule and may contain multiple types of potassium.

    Expensive: Supplements on the higher end of the price spectrum, up to $0.25 per pill, typically include potassium as part of an electrolyte replacement and are often targeted toward athletes. Pricier options may also be marketed as organic.

    Other sources of potassium

    Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is the best way to make sure you’re getting enough potassium. Here are some sources of the mineral that you can find easily at your local grocery store or maybe even in your kitchen right now.

    • Avocados

    • Bananas

    • Beans and lentils

    • Beet greens

    • Potatoes (unpeeled)

    • Squash

    • Sweet potatoes

    DID YOU KNOW?

    The condition known as hyperkalemia is caused by elevated potassium levels in the bloodstream.

    Tips

    • Take supplements with a beverage or food. Potassium supplements can cause stomach irritation in some people, which is why it’s important to ingest them with water or another beverage. Taking potassium with food or right after eating is also advised. You could feel nauseated or your stomach could be upset after taking potassium.

    • Use and store supplements as directed. Unless advised by your doctor, it’s not recommended that you crush tablets or capsules. Keep potassium supplements in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. This is especially important for liquid forms of potassium.

    • Watch out for low-sodium foods. Some low-sodium foods contain additional potassium and should not be eaten in addition to supplements.

    • Don’t take a potassium supplement if you’re taking a multivitamin. There are a variety of multivitamins that include low doses of potassium. Unless you have a known potassium deficiency, it’s most cost effective and convenient to take a single capsule daily.
    Athletes with demanding training schedules might have a greater need for a potassium supplement.

    FAQ

    Q. Is it safe to take potassium supplements?

    A. This supplement is fine In small doses since the recommended daily dose is fairly high. The trouble is that overdoing it can be dangerous. If you take medications, potassium supplements could interact with them, too. Those with heart problems or diabetes should not take potassium supplements. Potassium is not a supplement that should be taken without speaking to your doctor first.

    Q. Is there anyone who should avoid potassium supplements?

    A. Anyone on blood pressure medication and individuals with kidney or heart problems should not take OTC potassium supplements without consulting a healthcare practitioner.

    Q. How do I know how much to take?

    A. For adults, the daily recommended amount of potassium is 4,700 mg. You should not take that amount in supplements, however. Intake from food should be sufficient unless you have a condition or you’re taking medication that causes potassium deficiency. Ingesting high doses of this supplement can be dangerous. Bottles of potassium sold over the counter come in small doses, typically less than 100 mg, to prevent overdosing and harmful side effects. Doses under 100 mg are safe in most cases. Don’t take multiple doses without first consulting your doctor.

    Q. Can I take potassium supplements with other medications?

    A. Some medications may deplete your body’s potassium, while others can raise the levels of this important mineral. If you’re on medication, always talk to your doctor before taking a supplement such as potassium.

    Q. Can I buy potassium supplements over the counter?

    A. Yes. But in the United States, the supplement is regulated so that doses sold over the counter typically do not exceed 100 mg, a small fraction of the daily recommended amount. This limit helps prevent dangerous side effects of over-supplementation. If you are truly deficient as a result of an illness or condition, you would need to take a lot of OTC capsules or tablets. Severe deficiencies are therefore best diagnosed and treated by your doctor.

    Q. Do supplements expire?

    A. Not technically. An expiration date on a supplement bottle simply indicates the time when potency may start to decline. Good news: minerals like potassium don’t degrade as quickly as vitamins, so they have a longer shelf life. Using these types of products after the expiration date isn’t dangerous, but the supplement may not be as effective as it once was. The exception to the rule is with liquids. Stored incorrectly, these can rapidly turn rancid.

    Q. Is it safe to take potassium supplements while breastfeeding?

    A. The mineral does pass through breast milk, so if you’re considering taking the supplement, please talk to your doctor.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Bronwyn
      Bronwyn
      Editor
    • Daniel
      Daniel
      Writer
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Melinda
      Melinda
      Web Producer
    • Steph
      Steph
      Writer

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