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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone checked their daily Potassium intake?

I came across this because I have a family history of high blood pressure and I recently found out I've become lactose intolerant. (The symptoms can cause a drop in potassium absorption) Not having enough can cause your blood pressure to rise, heart rate regulation issues, muscle contraction issues, and a bunch of other stuff that are relevant to cycling performance.

The main reason I bring it up is the high daily recommended value. I believe the RDA was recently raised, but in any case it's currently 4700mg/day. This is a relatively huge dose compared to other vitamins and minerals. It's believed most Americans don't get anywhere near this value.

Sweating at 1L/hr causes you to lose approximately 230mg/hr of Potassium. If your sodium level drops your potassium loss rate will increase. In a nasty situation on a hot day climbing, etc.. you can supposedly lose 2L/hr of sweat though.

I think the marketing of sports drinks is supposed to have made us aware that we lose potassium and need it for sports.. but they never qualify they levels. Very few of the electrolyte replacement drinks that we commonly drink seem to have meaningful amounts of potassium. My tub of Gu20 says it has 40mg in a single water bottle serving. Endurox R4 has 120mg in a 12oz serving. Gatorade Endurance looks pretty good too, 180mg in a 16oz bottle. Almost enough for proper replacement. Powerbars drink mixes look pretty bad, 10mg in both the active and recovery formulas. Cytomax is 60mg per scoop which probably comes out competitive to Gatorade and Endurox.

The highest potassium content in food appears to be dried apricots, 900mg in a 1/2 cup serving. A typical bananna is around 450mg which is good since it's a popular cycling food. It's in lots of foods but at pretty low levels.

It seems like careful food selection is the only way to get it.. GNC sells potassium supplements but the highest dose is 250mg.. probably not worth the cost.

Frankly I'm pretty surprised it's that hard to get given the attention it does seem to get as an electrolyte that you lose sweating.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks a couple of those sites look awesome.

I already eat bananas a lot but I'm going to probably go to at least 1 every day now. Not that it appears to be enough but it's a start.
 

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NeoRetroGrouch
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benInMA said:
Thanks a couple of those sites look awesome.

I already eat bananas a lot but I'm going to probably go to at least 1 every day now. Not that it appears to be enough but it's a start.
Last time I had full blood work done, during the evaluation the doctor asked if I ate a lot of bananas because it was the only time he had seen a blood analysis where the only number out of spec was a HIGH potassium. At the time I was eating at least one banana a day and working out on a treadmill or stationary bike at least once per day. Sweating is probably my only natural talent and I dump tons (though that does not necessarily mean a corresponding high salt loss). You have personal data to support your need, but I would caution others not to assume that your data applies to them. - TF
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Anything else funky about your diet?

Like you drink 4 cups of milk (that would be close to 1600-2000mg) a day or love apricots or something?

A single banana is just not enough to cause you to have high potassium, not even close.. did your doctor find something else going on?

My last blood work (went in for overtraining) had my blood potassium level dead in the middle of the OK range.

Of course almost all the potassium in your body is apparently not in your blood so the bloodwork doesn't show the true level, just like with sodium.

I basically alternate what fruit I buy cause I can only eat so much before it will go bad.. so one week I will have at least one banana a day, the next week I won't cause I'm eating apples or oranges or something.

4700mg in a day would be around 10 bananas.. :O
 

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My non-scientific experience

99% of the time my nutrition is covered by just eating a fairly good, balanced variety of foods. When I was doing ALOT of riding, specifically brevets, I I would sometimes get leg cramps at night. With brevet food quality basically set by what you can get at rural quick-marts, I'm sure I was getting plenty of sodium, but potassium was another issue. I found out that Morton makes what it calls <a href="http://www.mortonsalt.com/consumer/products/foodsalts/litesalt.htm">Lite salt</a>, which mixes potassium chloride with the regular sodium chloride. I used the Lite salt on various foods and even sprinkled some into my drink mixes. It seemed to resolve my issues.

YMMV
 

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NeoRetroGrouch
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benInMA said:
Anything else funky about your diet?

Like you drink 4 cups of milk (that would be close to 1600-2000mg) a day or love apricots or something?

A single banana is just not enough to cause you to have high potassium, not even close.. did your doctor find something else going on?

My last blood work (went in for overtraining) had my blood potassium level dead in the middle of the OK range.

Of course almost all the potassium in your body is apparently not in your blood so the bloodwork doesn't show the true level, just like with sodium.

I basically alternate what fruit I buy cause I can only eat so much before it will go bad.. so one week I will have at least one banana a day, the next week I won't cause I'm eating apples or oranges or something.

4700mg in a day would be around 10 bananas.. :O

No problems, no alarms. It's just that we are all different. - TF
 

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what is your blood pressure? The potassium is only

benInMA said:
Has anyone checked their daily Potassium intake?
I came across this because I have a family history of high blood pressure.

one factor and it is most important to compare salt intake to potassium. I had to read up and the current medical news is that our salt is way high compared to potassium. We need 2000 to 2500 mg of Potassium and we should have less salt, not 4000 to 5000 mgs a day like many people. Most of the prepared foods like a burger or can of soup can have 1000 - 1500 mgs of salt so its best to decrease salt. I had to reduce my BP (180/118 at peak) I eat black strap mollasses on porridge in the morning. Eat a grapefruit, banana, sweet potatoe, etc each day and look at everylthing for salt. It's everywhere. Anyway my BP is arouind 125/75 now, a year later. Read up about salt and you will be a lot better off.
 

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Salts

jiggs said:
one factor and it is most important to compare salt intake to potassium. I had to read up and the current medical news is that our salt is way high compared to potassium. We need 2000 to 2500 mg of Potassium and we should have less salt, not 4000 to 5000 mgs a day like many people. Most of the prepared foods like a burger or can of soup can have 1000 - 1500 mgs of salt so its best to decrease salt. I had to reduce my BP (180/118 at peak) I eat black strap mollasses on porridge in the morning. Eat a grapefruit, banana, sweet potatoe, etc each day and look at everylthing for salt. It's everywhere. Anyway my BP is arouind 125/75 now, a year later. Read up about salt and you will be a lot better off.
People get REALLY confused about salt. There are a bunch of numbers out there, but they really don't apply to someone who exercises hard in hot weather - aka people who ride bikes any serious distance. I come back from a long ride covered in white powder (salt) and if I ate the RDA of sodium, I would be hyponatremic all the time. For the roughly 30% of the US population who are salt sensitive relative to blood pressure AND who have high BP, their salt balance is a whole different deal than the rest of the population. The constant media message about how it is good for you to reduce salt intake only applies to some people, and SURE doesn't apply to me.
 

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two things. You didn't mention potassium and that's

Kerry Irons said:
People get REALLY confused about salt. There are a bunch of numbers out there, but they really don't apply to someone who exercises hard in hot weather - aka people who ride bikes any serious distance. I come back from a long ride covered in white powder (salt) and if I ate the RDA of sodium, I would be hyponatremic all the time. For the roughly 30% of the US population who are salt sensitive relative to blood pressure AND who have high BP, their salt balance is a whole different deal than the rest of the population. The constant media message about how it is good for you to reduce salt intake only applies to some people, and SURE doesn't apply to me.
what Ben was talking about. Secondly, he's not necessarily just like you when it comes to salt. Maybe he lives up north where it isn't that hot. Do you know your salt intake? What's your blood pressure and your family's history? It seems important to talk about salt and too much salt as a lot of people eat crap, preserved in the can with salt and there are a lot more than 30% of people that need to cut back on salt and increase their potassium. (will someone help me down off this soapbox)
 

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Call me a Fred
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Salt (sodium chloride) is not the evil substance that the health fanatics say it is. Here is some of what scientists have found. Nitice that most of them found low salt to be bad, not high salt.

1. A ten-year study of nearly 8,000 Hawaiian Japanese men concluded: "No relation was found between salt intake and the<sup> </sup>incidence of stroke." (1985)
2. An eight-year study of a New York City hypertensive population stratified for sodium intake levels found those on low-salt diets had more than four times as many heart attacks as those on normal-sodium diets – the exact opposite of what the “salt hypothesis” would have predicted. (1995)
3.An analysis by NHLBI’s Dr. Cutler of the first six years’ data from the MRFIT database documented no health outcomes benefits of lower-sodium diets. (1997)
4.A ten-year follow-up study to the huge Scottish Heart Health Study found no improved health outcomes for those on low-salt diets. (1997)
5.An analysis of the health outcomes over twenty years from those in the massive US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES I) documented a 20% greater incidence of heart attacks among those on low-salt diets compared to normal-salt diets ( 1 2 ) (1998)
6.A health outcomes study in Finland, reported to the American Heart Association that no health benefits could be identified and concluded “…our results do not support the recommendations for entire populations to reduce dietary sodium intake to prevent coronary heart disease.” (1998)
7.A further analysis of the MRFIT database, this time using fourteen years’ data, confirmed no improved health benefit from low-sodium diets. Its author conceded that there is "no relationship observed between dietary sodium and mortality." (1999)
8.A study of Americans found that less sodium-dense diets did reduce the cardiovascular mortality of one population sub-set, overweight men – the article reporting the findings did not explain why this obese group actually consumed less sodium than normal-weight individuals in the study. (1999)
9.A Finnish study reported an increase in cardiovascular events for obese men (but not women or normal-weight individuals of either gender) – the article, however, failed to adjust for potassium intake levels which many researchers consider a key associated variable. (2001)
10.In September, 2002, the prestigous Cochrane Collaboration produced the latest and highest-quality meta-analysis of clinical trials. It was published in the British Medical Journal and confirmed earlier meta-analyses' conclusions that significant salt reduction would lead to very small blood pressure changes in sensitive populations and no health benefits.(2002)
11. In June 2003, Dutch researchers using a massive database in Rotterdam concluded that "variations in dietary soidum and potassium within the range commonly observed in Westernized societies have no material effect on the ocurrence of cardiovascular events and mortality at old age." (2003)
12. In July 2004, the first "outcomes" study identifying a population risk appeared in Stroke magazine. Researchers found that in a Japanese population, "low" sodium intakes (about 20% above Americans' average intake) had one-third the incidence of fatal strokes of those consuming twice as much sodium as Americans. (2004)
13. A March 2006 analysis of the federal NHANES II database in The American Journal of Medicine found a 37% higher cardiovascular mortality rate for low-sodium dieters (2006). See their university's news release. Hear a podcast.
14. A February 2007 reported in the International Journal of Epidemiology studied 40,547 Japanese over seven years and found "the Japanese dietary pattern was associated with a decreased risk of CVD mortality, despite its relation to sodium intake and hypertension." (2007)
 

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most of these are linked to the salt institute, a non profit

MikeBiker said:
Salt (sodium chloride) is not the evil substance that the health fanatics say it is. Here is some of what scientists have found. Nitice that most of them found low salt to be bad, not high salt.

association of salt producers, (manufacturers) formed 1914. Sorry but isn't that like Exon saying don't worry about gas guzzling SUVs, they don't harm the environment. The best thing for anyone to do is their own investigation. I did mine, bought some books and am now much healthier for having done so.
 

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Tear down the box!

jiggsThe best thing for anyone to do is their own investigation. I did mine said:
The data is unequivocal: study after study has shown that roughly 1/3 of the population is salt sensitive when it comes to hypertension. You may well be one of those people, and you obviously tend toward hypertension, but that doesn't mean that it applies to everyone else as you suggest ("there are a lot more than 30% of people that need to cut back on salt and increase their potassium"). Can you cite research to support this claim? Whether the studies MikeBiker were funded by the Devil himself does not necessarily alter their scientific validity.

YOU may need to restrict salt and increase potasium. I live in northern Michigan and need a lot of salt in the summer. I am not hypertensive. A significant fraction of hypertensives are afflicted by obesity, clogged arteries, etc. but that doesn't mean that they are salt sensitive. You believe this strongly, but you are trying to apply it too broadly.
 

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oh boy

Wow...just wow....I don't even really know where to begin with this....just wow...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yikes.. I wasn't trying to start a fight over sodium vs. potassium. My Dr. wants me keeping up on it but the average of all the readings I sent him was like 125/70 so no need to worry any time soon.

I was just bringing this up as it sounds like there are plenty of potential benefits for exercise if you make sure you're getting at least the recommended amount of Potassium. Even with normal BP it sounds like there is a good potential for less cramping & better recovery from workouts.

I was able to dissolve 250mg Potassium & 250mg Magnesium into 16oz of Gatorade yesterday by popping open one of the GNC tablets... so in addition to watching what I eat I'm going to try adding the Potassium & Magnesium to my water bottles and see what happens on some long rides on hot days. The tablets worked out to $0.08 each so it's a cheap thing to try.
 

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Mr. Irons I do believe your'e warmed up sir.. But I thnik

you are well informed and I acknowledge that there is two sides to the argument. (BTW I bet you aren't eating a whole lot of junky on the go foods full of salt.)

however..

quote-"Whether the studies MikeBiker (quotes) were funded by the Devil himself does not necessarily alter their scientific validity".

----really?

YOU may need to restrict salt and increase potasium. I live in northern Michigan and need a lot of salt.
----the original question had to do with someone with a history that suggests that some knowledge of potassium, versus sodium might be useful.

http://heartdisease.about.com/cs/hypertension/a/saltwars.htm

I like that "saltwars". Anyway, the best advise is likely not here on this board.
 

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Has anyone checked their daily Potassium intake?

I came across this because I have a family history of high blood pressure and I recently found out I've become lactose intolerant. (The symptoms can cause a drop in potassium absorption) Not having enough can cause your blood pressure to rise, heart rate regulation issues, muscle contraction issues, and a bunch of other stuff that are relevant to cycling performance.

The main reason I bring it up is the high daily recommended value. I believe the RDA was recently raised, but in any case it's currently 4700mg/day. This is a relatively huge dose compared to other vitamins and minerals. It's believed most Americans don't get anywhere near this value.

Sweating at 1L/hr causes you to lose approximately 230mg/hr of Potassium. If your sodium level drops your potassium loss rate will increase. In a nasty situation on a hot day climbing, etc.. you can supposedly lose 2L/hr of sweat though.

I think the marketing of sports drinks is supposed to have made us aware that we lose potassium and need it for sports.. but they never qualify they levels. Very few of the electrolyte replacement drinks that we commonly drink seem to have meaningful amounts of potassium. My tub of Gu20 says it has 40mg in a single water bottle serving. Endurox R4 has 120mg in a 12oz serving. Gatorade Endurance looks pretty good too, 180mg in a 16oz bottle. Almost enough for proper replacement. Powerbars drink mixes look pretty bad, 10mg in both the active and recovery formulas. Cytomax is 60mg per scoop which probably comes out competitive to Gatorade and Endurox.

The highest potassium content in food appears to be dried apricots, 900mg in a 1/2 cup serving. A typical bananna is around 450mg which is good since it's a popular cycling food. It's in lots of foods but at pretty low levels.

It seems like careful food selection is the only way to get it.. GNC sells potassium supplements but the highest dose is 250mg.. probably not worth the cost.

Frankly I'm pretty surprised it's that hard to get given the attention it does seem to get as an electrolyte that you lose sweating.
Anthony Constantinou | Anthony Constantinou CEO CWM FX says For those who like to note their potassium intake, should try very little potassium food which are as follows:

GRAINS
Refined grains contain lower levels of potassium as compared to whole grains.

MEAT
Shrimp is an acceptable low-potassium food. Red meat is high in potassium and should be avoided by those wishing to lower their blood potassium level.

VEGETABLES

Some vegetables, including cabbage and carrots, qualify as low potassium foods when cooked.

FRUITS

Low-potassium fruits include watermelon, strawberries, raspberries, plum, tangerine, grapes or grape juice and oranges.
 

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Anthony Constantinou | Anthony Constantinou CEO CWM FX says For those who like to note their potassium intake, should try very little potassium food which are as follows:

GRAINS
Refined grains contain lower levels of potassium as compared to whole grains.

MEAT
Shrimp is an acceptable low-potassium food. Red meat is high in potassium and should be avoided by those wishing to lower their blood potassium level.

VEGETABLES

Some vegetables, including cabbage and carrots, qualify as low potassium foods when cooked.

FRUITS

Low-potassium fruits include watermelon, strawberries, raspberries, plum, tangerine, grapes or grape juice and oranges.
I think you're 15 years late to this party.
 
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