Do people really get 4,500-4,700g of Potassium on keto? What about 100% magnesium?


(John) #4

They may limit the pills to 99 mg, but Morton Lite Salt is 50% potassium chloride and you can eat all of that you feel like. 1/4 teaspoon = 350 mg potassium. I sometimes add 1/2 tsp of that (so 700 mg potassium) to some lemon-infused water as a quickie “ketoade” drink.

I take a magnesium supplement pill that supplies 75% of the recommended amount. No muscle cramps here.

(Katie Egervari) #5

I’ve tried the magnesium supplements - the citrate ones that are often recommended - and they do absolutely nothing for me, so I guess you’re lucky. Not everyone is. Lots of people at my workplace on keto complain about the same issue after wasting money on supplements.

it’s entirely possible that this problem has a lot to do with where you live. If the local vegetables come from magnesium-rich soil, then you’re not likely to develop this problem. Everyone in Toronto, Ontario on keto seems to have it though. Even people not on keto have this issue - I hear it all of the time in the tech industry, which is the industry I work in.

I’m still concerned about products that give you the ability to take in more than 100mg. There’s a reason the fda is limiting it. It doesn’t take much effort to start reading about potassium overdoses on lite salt on google. Again, getting this stuff from food seems like the solution.


You said

[quote=“Katie_Egervari, post:1, topic:65066”]
Supplementation doesn’t seem to work for me - Tried that
[/quote] so potassium was assumed since it’s topic subject.

That’s because the body can only absorb < 100mg at a time. The FDA wording makes it sound like toxic.
I’ve been taking 99mg Potassium supplement for more than 15 years for leg cramps and long before I started keto. Now I take additional supplements from

(The amazing autoimmune 🦄) #7

Bone broth is high in both potassium and magnesium, I suspect that’s why I haven’t had problems. Along with the fact that 95% of the time I eat two huge handfuls of spinach a day. Since it has turned cold I tend to have broth for breakfast these days. I am obese, but I don’t believe that you have an unlimited supply of these minerals, your body only stores so much , unlike fat😉. The one night I had mild cramping I didn’t have bone broth on my fast.

(John) #8

The ones I take are Magnesium Oxide. Bought them at Sprout’s market. Their house brand. I am pretty sure all my veggies come from California or Mexico.

(Doug) #9

You can do it with avocados, but concern here is usually vastly overblown, and I guess I should say ‘in my opinion’ since it does come up with some frequency. As far as I know, our kidneys are pretty good at keeping a lid on things here, i.e. they can recycle up to 90% of the potassium if need be. Lots of countries don’t even have recommended daily amounts of potassium since deficiencies are rare. If anything, I think a gram to 2 grams a day is plenty.

As with so many things, if there is a demonstrable shortage, that is one thing. If not, then why worry about it?

(Doug) #11

It can take time - even years - to overcome insulin resistance, and that is really what Type 2 diabetes is.

“Fat,” per se, being “inflammatory,” - I greatly disagree with this.

(Doug) #13

Discussion is all good - I think the individual is well-served by doing their own research/due diligence. Presently, I think the evidence is building up that processed seed oils, as opposed to natural fats like butter, olive oil, beef, pork, and chicken fat, etc., are bad for us.

(Doug) #15

Not sure what you mean there, Marion - body fat is going to be one thing (and if we need/want to) - consumed if we set the stage correctly.

(Daisy) #17

For potassium I do lite salt, for magnesium I do magnesium oils and magnesium oxide

(Carl Keller) #18

From what I’ve read, few people on any diet get enough potassium but it does not mean they are deficient.Potassium deficiency is rare and like @OldDoug says, “our kidneys are pretty good at keeping a lid on things and retains/recycles potassium already in our system”. Only when we experience chronic diarrhea or vomiting do we experience large amounts of potassium loss.

With that being said, you can eat these things:

6 oz wild salmon = 63mg magnesium + 1068mg potassium
1 avocado = 35mg magnesium + 608mg potassium
1 cup cooked soybeans = 148mg magnesium + 886mg potassium
1 cup cooked spinach = 157mg magnesium + 839mg potassium
and you get 402mg magnesium (96% of RDA)
and 3402mg potassium (72% of RDA)

WIll I eat this every day? No, because it’s 31 carbs. But I do try to incorporate these things into my weekly diet. I also think the RDA for potassium is unrealistic for keto and unnecessary for any diet.

(Doug) #19

Indeed, Marion - got you, now. :slightly_smiling_face:

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #20

My understanding is that sodium, magnesium, potassium, and calcium are all regulated by interlocking mechanisms, and that the key is being sure to get enough sodium. It certainly seems true for me, because I don’t get cramps and the other symptoms of magnesium and potassium deficiency as long as I work to keep my salt intake up.

I suspect that things get handled better in the absence of carbohydrate, for a lot of people. I find the Stefansson experiment quite intriguing, for example. Here are these two guys who go a year eating nothing but meat, and they never develop scurvy or any other mineral deficiency.

We know now that vitamin C is unnecessary in the presence of β-hydroxybutyrate, because it restores the body’s built-in anti-oxidant mechanisms. I suspect that ketones may play a role in determining how much of other vitamins and minerals we need, as well. After all, our hunter-gatherer ancestors seem to have done just fine without supplements.

Low Electrolytes?
How much salt?
Workouts and electrolytes
(Allie) #21

I don’t count how much I get of anything. Lite salt in coffee, sea salt capsule each morning, sea salt added to all cooking, magnesium in baths and on skin as well as daily supplements (one type each morning and ZMA before bed to help with sleep). Works for me and never give it a second thought.


Goodness, I hear you!

Having been low carb for decades, steadily working downwards through carb intake to my present carnivore, I too have experienced mineral problems.

Tracking my potassium shows that even with supplementation I usually only get about one third of the RDA - which I am (like you) trying to resolve.

Tracking my magnesium, I fall woefully short and ended up with horrible insomnia as a symptom - which magnesium oil dealt with superbly. Very happy to use that. I don’t think the mag tablets were being absorbed.

I also usually fall very short on copper and manganese, or so says cronometer.

IMHO there are two widespread attitudes to this that are short sighted and potentially harmful:

  1. It is OK. This is how we are supposed to eat, so don’t worry.

Er… no. Man evolved eating wild, not farmed meats and greenery. Modern farming leaches nutrients, boosts carb content, and adds all sorts of chemical fertilisers and pollutants - all of which affect nutrient content and our bodies capacity to absorb and thrive on those nutrients.

  1. It is OK. Eating carnivore/keto/paleo means that our nutrient requirements are different from on SAD, so I can just eat what I like and bury my head in the sand.

Ha! Well yeah. You can. I did. But this is just a generic romantic pipe dream that may work for some, even many. But not me. I discovered I was getting all sorts of deficiency signals, cramps, insomnia, lethargy, aches… heck, it turned out that even when supplementing I had to be very selective about quality of supplement, or they did sweet FA.

I expect if I rewound time around 15-20,000 years, I would thrive on hunter gatherer auroch, bison, mammoth, ptarmigan, marrow, bone broth, bitter herbs, mosses and great glorious slabs of delicious fat. The same is not so easy to achieve with today’s foods.

My concern is that people are just storing up problems for themselves in future decades after years of slow malnutrition come home to roost. As has happened for me.

Even with supplementation, my magnesium levels got so low that I have used magnesium oil every night for months, but the symptoms return if I miss a single day. So I am a long way from restocking my body with a mineral that is used in every cell for over 300 vital processes.


You could up your carb intake to 30g, it doesn’t have to stay at 20g unless you are very insulin resistant. (I aim for <50g). Upping to 30g means an extra 50% of veggies and possibly an extra 50% potassium thus reaching your goal.


Very late in this conversation, but have you considered transdermal magnesium? I have ME/CFS and make my own magnesium transdermal with Epsom salts and water in a household spray bottle. I’ll be using magnesium chloride for my next batch.

I use it to reduce NMDA activity as I have a MAJOR problem with GABA/glutamate, hence starting Keto.

(Bunny) #25

10 Magnesium-Rich Foods That Are Super Healthy Avacados have lots of magnesium!

I would add oysters to that list.

I eat oysters like crazy, love them!

Very even in SMP fatty acids:

(Ben ) #26

NoSalt has 640 mg per 1/4 tsp of Potassium. Himalayan Pink salt fine ground at 1/8 Tsp has 287 mg of sodium. Three times a day I consume 2 servings of both minerals with water. I am starting to like the taste. For Magnesium I use the oil that you spray on. The bottle says you get about 66mg of elemental magnesium for every 4 sprays. After a shower I will spray on at around 50 sprays so I should be covered on the Mag. The salt is a little low but I put salt on almost everything I eat so it should also be ok. I make my mag oil from mag flakes. Its a lot cheaper.

(Xsam As) #27

I have had this issue with sodium intake. On keto for almost a year. I run and do HIIT at least twice a week and do strength training 3 times per week. If I eat the recommended 2300mg sodium intake, I would get muscle cramps, heart palpitations and some bowel problems. When I eat more sodium, more than 4500mg. All of these symptoms go away.