June 3, 2023

Learn more about potassium and why it’s the most important electrolyte.

So why is potassium the most important electrolyte that’s the question for today well let’s just take a look at four main electrolytes we have k plus which is the chemical symbol for potassium we need 4 700 milligrams then we have sodium which is n a plus 1500 to 2300 milligrams then we have calcium ca we need a thousand milligrams and the magnesium we only

Need 420 milligrams so we can see that we need 10 times as much potassium than we do magnesium then with sodium we need twice as much potassium and with calcium we need four times as much so why do we need so much potassium well first of all what is an electrolyte electrolyte is an electrically charged mineral when you take an electrolyte and you put it in water

It separates and becomes conductive to electricity so our bodies use electrolytes for various things to help conduct nerve impulses to help you contract and relax muscles to help maintain ph in the body as well as to help push fluid through the body thirty percent of all the energy in our body comes from this little pump called the sodium potassium pump but i do

Have to say that the definition for pump is slightly different than the pump that you probably have down in your basement as the sump pump this is a biological definition it means the mechanism for movement of electrolytes through the cell membrane okay so that’s a little bit different than just a pump pushing fluid somewhere so 30 of all the energy that you have

Whether it’s digesting or thinking et cetera thirty percent of all the energy comes from this sodium potassium pump so the purpose of this pump is to basically keep sodium out and keep potassium in so it’s keeping these two minerals separated okay that’s the purpose of this pump anytime you have two different minerals which are electrically charged in a different way

Okay you form a battery so with a battery you have a positive and a negative there’s a difference in this electrical charge and that allows for energy to be maintained for the purpose of this pump is to maintain cellular energy so your cells are basically batteries and the battery is there to help generate nerve impulses which happen to be connected to muscles so

It’s activating the muscles you have electrical impulses that are actually changing the muscle rhythm then we need energy to have the muscles contract and relax and help regulate the ph of the body and one purpose of that is to allow enzymes to work so for example there are certain enzymes that actually work in different phs so if your digestive system is the wrong

Ph that enzyme won’t work let’s take the stomach for example you have this extremely powerful protein enzyme called peptase right and that enzyme is activated when the stomach reaches a certain ph level if the stomach never reaches that ph level and then the enzyme never becomes activated and then you don’t digest protein so the ph is very very important and the

Stomach is greatly dependent on potassium for its ph and its ability to digest protein all right and then we have fluid balance if you don’t have enough potassium guess what your ankles are going to swell up with fluid sometimes when you see people with sandals they have this these indentations around the sandals where they have this all this puffy fluid and i

Just want to walk up to them and tell them just take some potassium all that fluid will completely go away probably within a few hours but i have to withhold myself from doing that because sometimes people consider that rude all right so what does potassium do well it keeps us energetic okay it gives us endurance when we exercise if you’re low in potassium you will

Not be able to go as far when you exercise it also prevents cramping like the cramps that you get in your calves or your feet now it could also be magnesium as well also potassium is necessary to prevent arrhythmias okay which is part of the pacemaker of your heart it also helps prevent twitching tremors constipation because you have this it’s called peristalsis

This pumping action through your colon which is controlled by the nervous system and the muscular system so without potassium you don’t get this pumping action through the colon and things just kind of sit there also potassium is necessary to prevent vascular calcification so potassium is definitely needed in the regulation of calcium now without potassium you

Get insomnia you can’t sleep so potassium is a physiological tranquilizer it relaxes the body much like magnesium does so let’s just say for example you’re deficient in potassium for some reason you’re going to lay there on the pillow and try to get to sleep but your heart’s going to be pounding faster you’re going to feel your muscles more tense you’re not

Going to be able to get into that relaxed state all right the next thing is insulin resistance i have a lot of videos on this topic potassium is needed to prevent insulin resistance in fact if you take a diabetic or a pre-diabetic or someone with insulin resistance they’re always deficient in potassium so potassium will help your blood sugars it will help lessen

This insulin resistance and insulin in the cell allows certain nutrients to go inside and fuel so anything that inhibits this insulin function stops the absorption of nutrients and fuel into the cells so this is just another reason why potassium is important in blood sugars now you also have stored glucose that’s called glycogen glycogen is a string of glucose

Molecules which also have with it a string of potassium molecules so in order for glucose to be stored in the liver and the muscle you also need potassium and without the potassium you don’t store glycogen as well and so if you don’t store glycogen the body then starts storing more fat instead of stored sugar and so potassium is involved in a lot of different

Aspects of your blood sugars when you go on the ketogenic diet the requirement for this glycogen goes down so you’re not going to need to store as much glycogen the same thing goes with when you do intermittent fasting so you’re not eating so your body is then running on ketones so you’re not running on glucose so you don’t need as much of this so this kind of

Goes away so you’re basically burning it up and it’s not replaced as much especially in your liver after about one to two days and so what happens is you’re going to lose a lot of glycogen glucose and you’re also going to lose potassium this is why when you start on the ketogenic diet you need to take a potassium supplement i always recommend one in electrolytes

So you have all of them not just potassium all right the next thing that potassium does is it helps to prevent high blood pressure if someone has high blood pressure the easiest thing to do is just to increase the potassium and their body and it usually will come down the other cause of high blood pressure is low vitamin d and then a lot of times people say well

Wait a second i thought high blood pressure was caused by high sodium okay well you need sodium and potassium in the right ratios so instead of lowering sodium which by the way you need a certain amount of sodium for a lot of reasons why not increase potassium because yes you might have too much sodium but in reality you just don’t have enough potassium to deal

With that sodium so these people that are salt sensitive usually are just potassium deficient all right and another common myth that i’ve heard is that you don’t want to take potassium because it’s very toxic to the kidney that’s false information in fact potassium protects your kidneys unless you have stage five kidney failure in which case you have to avoid

A lot of different nutrients but if you don’t have end stage kidney failure potassium is actually beneficial for the kidneys and i’m going to put a link down below for those people who have not heard that information before in fact potassium citrate is good for preventing kidney stones it’s also good to prevent gout which is uric acid crystals so potassium is

Actually very very good for a lot of different things now i already mentioned this it prevents edema okay swelling if you have swelling usually you have an imbalance of too much sodium and not enough potassium when you take sufficient potassium it’s like a diuretic if you have fluid retention you will get rid of that excess fluid all right i already mentioned this

Potassium counters sodium toxicity also i already mentioned that it helps you make stomach acid and i also mentioned it helps prevent gout because potassium citrate is alkaline and if you keep the the ph correct and don’t allow your ph to become too acidic you won’t have these uric acid crystals coming out of solution aggravating your big toe joint all right so

Now the question is why are we deficient in potassium well the number one reason is because of the diet the average person only consumes about a cup and a half of vegetables every single day okay a cup and a half well where in food would you get a lot of rich potassium bananas right well in a banana it’s only 300 milligrams we need 4 700 milligrams so if we do

The math you would need 15.6 bananas per day to reach your 4700 requirement now the problem with bananas is they come with too much sugar so bananas are not the best source the best source would be leafy greens okay but yes you would need at least seven to ten cups to contribute to this amount but realize also other food will contribute so it’s not just the salad

There’s even potassium in certain things like salmon for example and there’s potassium in nuts and seeds and nut butters and so there’s other sources of potassium but the leafy greens have a good amount and it’s fairly easy to eat big salads now when i say one cup i’m talking about like a small handful which is like one ounce so you need like a bowl of salad you

Could do one for your lunch and then you can do one for your dinner to make it really easy but i did a video on showing you the amount so i will put that link down below now avocados are loaded with potassium one avocado is roughly about 700 sometimes 800 milligrams of potassium so avocados are really good now i don’t recommend going out and getting a potassium

Supplement unless there’s a higher amount of potassium like an electrolyte powder because typically the supplements for potassium only come in 99 milligrams okay so you would need like what 47 pills every single day and that’s not very practical so i recommend you try as much as you can to get it from your diet or get a good electrolyte powder that has enough of

These electrolytes number two if you are vomiting you’re going to lose your potassium if you have diarrhea you can lose your potassium diuretics are notorious for becoming potassium deficient i mean it’s kind of wild that you’re here you are taking a drug for your high blood pressure when that is going to deplete your potassium and create a higher amount of blood

Pressure doesn’t make sense to me okay stress when you have stress you deplete your potassium reserves and by the way when you actually take potassium it relaxes your nervous system it pulls you out of this stress state sugar depletes your potassium real quick i have to tell this story my wife and i years ago right right before we’re getting married we went to

Shop around for um wedding cakes okay and we were sampling wedding cakes and we’re eating sugar all day this is before i had any awareness on healthy foods at all so we ended up that night at an italian restaurant and we had pasta pizza we had bread we had wine we were carved out right and then we looked up and everyone was gone in the restaurant except us and they

Were except another guy was going past us with the dessert trays all the different desserts they were actually going to toss them and he wanted to know if we wanted to sample some before he tossed them and of course i don’t like to see food go to waste so i started to dive in and started consuming as much additional dessert as i can cram into my mouth now as i

Was driving home that night i remember i feeling kind of weird so i got home i went to bed tried to go to bed and i started to hear my this pounding in my ear just like boom boom boom boom boom what is going on i had no idea that was a severe potassium deficiency caused by consuming a tremendous amount of refined grains and sugar okay so all this refined grain

And sugar literally depletes you of potassium and starts to accelerate the heart rate my heart rate was literally going so high my heart was pounding out of my chest okay i didn’t sleep one minute if i would have known what i know now back then i would have just either took some potassium or had a big salad to try to replenish some of this lost potassium perfect

Example of low potassium all right when you do keto you need to take potassium because you’re going to lose fluid which you’re going to then lose potassium when you drink alcohol you can deplete your body of potassium when you consume excessive fluids so some people drink gallons of fluid while they’re working out and they’re sweating too and they’re losing not

Just their sodium electrolyte they’re also losing their potassium so they’re going to become very dehydrated and feel dizzy and weak and so when you drink gallons of water you better be drinking your electrolytes at the same time but not just potassium sodium too and i mentioned this sweating right here okay diabetes diabetics need or require more potassium and

They’re usually always deficient in potassium because of this insulin resistance thing so potassium is very very important for diabetics especially yet they’re just retaining sodium like crazy in fluid without the potassium all right then we have fasting now the thing about fasting is when you’re fasting especially prolonged fasting sometimes uh you’re not able

To store some of these electrolytes for a long period of time so if you’re deficient you know whether it’s magnesium or potassium going into a fast and you’re not consuming anything no electrolytes then it’s exaggerated you can feel dizzy you could pass out so this is why when you fast i recommend taking electrolytes all right so now that you know about potassium

Let’s show you the video that i mentioned about consuming enough salad i put it right here check it out

Transcribed from video
POTASSIUM: The Most Important Electrolyte Yet an Ignored Epidemic – Dr. Berg By Dr. Eric Berg DC