Potassium & Weight Loss

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Dietary potassium has been known to assist in weight loss. It helps with the development of muscles, the functions of the nerves and kidneys, and the production of energy. It also regulates blood pressure and increases metabolism. Increasing the intake of potassium in your diet can help you lose weight while decreasing the chances you will suffer from high blood pressure and heart diseases.

Function of Potassium in Weight Loss

Potassium is essential in building muscle and essential to their proper function. If you are trying to lose weight, potassium will help convert the food you consume into the energy you will need when exercising or training. Potassium has a direct effect on how your body burns calories and how the heart and other muscles regulate blood flow. It can help prevent your muscles from cramping during a workout.

How Much Potassium is Necessary for Weight Loss

The best daily intake level for potassium is debatable, but the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies recommends a daily intake of about 3,500 mg of potassium for a healthy adult to lose weight. Most Americans only get about 2,000 mg every day which means they are considered to be potassium-deficient.

Potassium Deficient Adults

If you aren’t getting the amount of potassium you need every day, you are considered to be potassium deficient. People who are potassium deficient are at risk of an ailment called hypokalemia. Minor hypokalemic symptoms are weakness and cramping in the muscles which can be detrimental to the exercise and activities necessary for weight loss.

Potassium Rich Foods for Weight Loss

A variety of food sources are high in potassium. There are fruits, vegetables, meats, cereals, breads, and dairy products that are all good sources of potassium. Bananas, whole wheat bread, oatmeal, potatoes, squash, beef, pork, peanuts, yogurt, milk and cheese are just a few of the foods that are rich in potassium. To maximize the amount of potassium you consume, it is important not to cook or add water to these foods as it tends to diminish potassium intake.

Risk of Consuming Too Much Potassium

It is important to be aware that consuming more than the daily recommended amount of potassium will not help you lose more weight. Instead it causes hyperkalemia which can bring about stomach irritation and can potentially trigger a heart attack. Keep tabs on your potassium intake to avoid hyperkalemia.

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