Potassium is an essential mineral that plays a vital role in many bodily functions.
From supporting muscle function to maintaining fluid balance to helping with bone strength, potassium is essential to our health.
No surprise then, low levels of potassium, called hypokalemia, can cause serious health problems and can even be life-threatening.
So, with that said, let’s dive a little deeper into how potassium helps bodily function:
Nervous System Function
Alongside sodium, potassium aids the nervous system in operating efficiently. Our nervous system is the communication line between our brain and our body. With the help of potassium, our nervous system regulates muscle contractions, reflexes, and our heartbeat.
Some symptoms of nervous system dysfunction as a result of a potassium deficiency are: loss of muscle control, a feeling of tingling or numbness in the body, and in severe cases, paralysis can occur.
Potassium is important in supporting the brain’s higher functions such as memory and learning.
Potassium works with sodium to initiate electrical signals within the brain that transmit information. Potassium and sodium work intricately together for our neurological functions to work smoothly, ultimately helping us have the ability to learn and retain information.
When this functionality is compromised as a result of low potassium levels, symptoms such as foggy memory and reduced capacity to learn could occur.
Potassium is the main electrolyte found in intracellular fluid (the fluid inside your cells) while sodium is the primary electrolyte found in extracellular fluid (the fluid found outside your cells).
Together, these two important electrolytes maintain and regulate the flow of fluids and nutrients going into and out of your cells.
Poor fluid balance can lead to dehydration, which can negatively affect heart and kidney function. Stay hydrated and ensure you hit the recommended daily intake of potassium to maintain optimal fluid balance in the body.
Potassium plays an important role in metabolic processes to neutralize bone-depleting acids.
During digestion, potassium compounds neutralize acids. In the absence of potassium, however, these acids would draw upon alkalizing calcium from bones to be neutralized.
The withdrawal of calcium from bones renders you more susceptible to osteoporosis. However, with correct potassium intake, you allow your body to preserve and retain calcium, making your bones stronger and more durable.
So, are you getting enough potassium?
The recommended daily intake of potassium is between 3,500-4,700 mg per day.
Ironically, potassium is abundant in many healthy foods, but an American National Survey indicated 98% of the population is potassium deficient.
Santevia’s 2 tips for hitting your daily potassium intake:
- Ensure your diet is full of potassium-rich foods. Our favourites: avocados, bananas, spinach, sweet potatoes and wild salmon.
- Drink your potassium with mineralized alkaline water. Santevia mineralized alkaline water tastes better than tap water or conventional filtered water and is infused with healthy minerals potassium, calcium and magnesium.