We tend to eat way too much sodium…and not nearly enough potassium. This can, and often does, lead to water retention and/or hypertension (aka high blood pressure).
It seems that it’s not just the amounts of each of these electrolytes that’s important, but the ratio of potassium:sodium that we ingest is as, if not more important.
I’m always a proponent of trying to get your nutrients from natural food when possible. So to boost your potassium intake you should definitely focus on consuming potassium-rich foods like chicken breast, potatoes, cantaloupe, kiwi, etc.
But even still, it can sometimes be tough to consume enough of these foods to get your potassium:sodium ratio to at least 2:1. That’s where a supplement, of sorts, can come in handy….enter No Salt.
Flavor your Food, Boost your Potassium Intake
A simple way to supplement your diet with potassium (without choking down tons of pills) is to add some No Salt to some meals. If you use too much it can have a bit of an aftertaste, but if you don’t put too much, it’ll taste fine (or you won’t even notice it).
Instead of having regular sodium chloride (aka table salt), No Salt uses potassium chloride. Although it doesn’t taste as good as table salt, it does give you some additional potassium. Just 1/4 teaspoon has 650 mg of potassium. That’s about 50% more than a banana!
Don’t Get Carried Away…Check with Your Doc
Although most people would arguably be ‘healthier’ by adding even a couple thousand milligrams of potassium to their diet, in some extreme cases that could be lethal…seriously.
Let’s say a good approximate target intake would be ~ 4,000 to 5,000 mg potassium per day and ~ 2,000 to 2,500 mg sodium per day, for some this could be dangerously high in terms of potassium.
For example, people on potassium-sparing diuretics may end up with too much potassium relative to their sodium status (because the diuretic ‘kicks the sodium out’ so-to-speak).
Long story short, if you’re gonna add more than ~ 1/4 tsp of No Salt to your meals per day, or if you have kidney problems, diabetes, hyperkalemia, dehydration, take diuretics, etc., you should consult with your doctor first. Seriously, if you take meds or have a medical condition at all…or just when in doubt…talk with your doctor to make sure it’s safe for you to bump up your potassium intake and/or reduce your sodium intake (especially if you’re gonna reduce it to less than ~ 1,500 mg per day).
One More Idea
Perhaps try implementing No Salt like I do…when I’d typically flavor a food with table salt (NaCl), I’ll use about half No Salt and half regular salt. I can’t even tell the difference, but at least I’m taking a step in the right direction in terms of normalizing my sodium and potassium intake.
Your friend in fitness,
PS Of course any type of sodium-free, potassium-chloride-based salt will work. I just refer to No Salt as it seems to be the most readily available brand.