Do I need to supplement with Potassium?

(Troy John) #1

I have been on Keto for over 6 years and until now felt the need to be on top of all electrolytes, however, I am wondering whether I need to supplement continuously with Potassium or is there a time in one’s keto journey where they can safely omit taking electrolytes, mainly Potassium? What are you folks doing? I know salt is of utmost importance and for me magnesium as well. Any experiences would be appreciated.

(Polly) #2

I take lo-salt which replaces sodium with potassium from time to time. Listen to your body.


Completely depends on what you’re getting in with your diet. Makes no difference how long you eat keto, or any other WOE, your body doesn’t care what name you attach to what you eat, only that it gets what it needs.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #4

Potassium is dangerous; too little or too much in the system can be fatal. I wouldn’t mess with it, myself, except on doctor’s orders. Magnesium and calcium are not so crucial, and you might or might not want to supplement them.

Another complication is that I’m not entirely sure that the “normal” ranges are reliable, since these days they are calculated off an increasingly unhealthy general population.

What we do know, however, is that getting enough salt is key to keeping calcium, magnesium, and potassium properly regulated. I find that if I don’t get enough salt, I get headachy and constipated; too much, and I experience loose stools and occasionally diarrhoea. If putting salt on your food makes it taste good, that’s a reliable sign that your body wants it. If it ever starts tasting bad, back off, because you’ve had too much for a while.

(Troy John) #5

Thanks, Paul. Everywhere, even on this forum, we have been told to supplement with potassium to reach the target recommendation for keto. I am at a loss of what to think and do when it comes to potassium. As it stands, from food I am unable to reach the recommendation.


I wonder about the recommendation sometimes, I tracked my potassium and magnesium a few times and they were always pretty low if I remember well (the magnesium surely was and I am unable to get much from my food. it’s fine, magnesium is the only thing I may supplement sometimes when I get cramps. like, 10 pills per year at most, I am not one that is able to supplement, I am instinctively against it). But I seem to function well enough… Maybe some of my intake isn’t ideal but if I don’t feel real problems, I refuse to worry about it.
Of course, it’s just my attitude. But I am sure that it’s not necessarily right to worry about recommendations. They are some general idea, may be even not exactly right, our diets may change even our needs… Like we may be just fine with extremely little Vitamin C if we consume very little plant matter… Maybe there is something like that regarding other micronutrients. As far as I know, my magnesium intake didn’t get any better but regularly eating much meat seems to solve my leg cramp problem (as Mg pills always helped with it, I suppose it’s usually a Mg problem in my case)…
I know very little about potassium, I tracked it once or twice in Cronometer and it was so awfully low (if I remember well, it was years ago) while I functioned well that I just ignore the whole thing. It’s not like I can eat much more anyway… The recommendations are just awfully high, it makes little sense to me.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #7

For now, try not to worry about it, until your doctor says it’s time to start worrying.

By the way, if you make your own bone broth, magnesium and potassium leach out of the marrow, if you simmer the bones long enough.