Thursday, 30 October 2014

Potassium and electrolytes

Of all the nutrients, potassium is the hardest to hit. At the recommended intake of 4.7g, you'll need to eat 8-11 bananas everyday to reach the daily dose. USDA electrolyte recommendations are 2.3g sodium, 4.7g potassium and 3.6g chloride. Looking at my nutrient tracking over 2 weeks, I average 1.4g of potassium a day without supplements. Here are some sources of potassium:

Estimates of potassium in certain foods1
Food Serving size Potassium amount (milligrams)
Cooked spinach1 cup840 mg
Sweet potato1 medium695 mg
Plain nonfat yogurt8 ounces579 mg
Banana1 cup540 mg
Cooked broccoli1 cup460 mg
Tomato1 cup430 mg
Fat-free milk8 ounces380 mg
Chicken meat100 grams256 mg
Oats0.5 cup (45g)193 mg
Whey Protein1 scoop (30g)145 mg

Supplementing Potassium

Potassium chloride tastes horrendous. I'm currently looking at replacing it with potassium gluconate or citrate, which are better absorbed that the chloride compound.
Heres a discussion on potassium at DIY soylent:

Below table shows the amount of elemental potassium in each compound.
Potassium Compound Potassium per gram
Potassium Chloride 521 mg (remaining is chloride)
Potassium Citrate 360 mg (remaining is citric acid)
Potassium Gluconate 155 mg (remaining is glucose)
Potassium citrate is harder to find in pure powder form so I'll probably mix potassium chloride and gluconate to get my recommended dose of electrolytes. Ill update the exact amounts once I'm happy with the combination.

Keeping sodium-potassium ratio around 3:2 (in moles) is more important since that is required for neural activity (lessons from Sol from Khan academy and brain basics). There is a also a thread on the DIY soylent forum about sodium-potassium.


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